2013 Beetle Convertible TDI – Review and First Drive

By Sam Miller-Christiansen on 8 December 2012
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Volkswagen introduced a new Beetle just last year, ending the incredible 12 year production run of the original New Beetle that was launched way back in 1998. While the redesign was careful to maintain the qualities that made the original New Beetle such a success, VW is also expanding the line to appeal to a broader segment of the driving public.

A cornerstone of this expansion effort is the new Beetle Convertible TDI. While the previous Beetle hardtop was offered as a TDI model in some markets, the Wolfsburg-based automaker never offered the convertible version with the diesel engine. That’s all changing for 2013 with the introduction of the new Beetle Convertible.


The 2013 Beetle Convertible will be the seventh diesel variant offered in VW’s U.S. lineup.  With the exception of the Touareg SUV, which uses a larger engine that befits its larger stature, all share the same 2.0 liter turbocharged diesel.

That 2.0 liter turbo diesel develops a mere 140 hp but, as any diesel driver can tell you, torque numbers are what really tell the tale for a diesel engine. Indeed, it more than makes up for that seemingly paltry horsepower with a heaping helping of delicious torque, 236 pound-feet to be exact. This means that the TDI in the Beetle Convertible has plenty of power to push this little but heavy car through everyday driving and even let you have a little bit of fun in the twisties.

The TDI variant of the Beetle Convertible also gives it the enviable title of being the most fuel efficient convertible currently available in the U.S. market. Naturally, economy from the 2.0 TDI is outstanding, offering 28  mpg (8.4 l/100 km) city, 41 mpg (5.7 l/100 km) highway with the six-speed manual, and 28 (8.4) city, 38 (6.2) highway with the fantastic six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic.

Volkswagen Beetle Convertible – Exterior

The Beetle Convertible arrives wearing the same (and noticeably more masculine) sheet-metal that Volkswagen introduced with the Beetle hardtop last year, only in this variant it’s minus the top. Volkswagen was careful to redesign the Beetle to be more appealing to men, making it lower, longer, wider, and chopping the roof. While some of that new-found aggression is lost in the transition to convertible, the end result is certainly more masculine than the original could have ever hoped to be.

Exterior differentiation for the TDI model is limited to “TDI” badges on the car’s trunk and some rather hopeless looking wheels that are unfortunately exclusive to the TDI. These wheels offer none of the character of the rollers offered on other, non-TDI, versions of the Beetle.  What a pity.

Click here to continue to Page 2Driving the 2013 Beetle Convertible TDI and Interior

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