2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Review

More masculine Beetle gets a testosterone boost

2013 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo Review

Replacing the previous Volkswagen Beetle with its cute and bubbly shape, the new model introduced in 2012 is considerably more gender-neutral. Though getting over the car’s modern era stereotype will take more than a lower and wider stance.

FAST FACTS

1. Compared to the previous generation Beetle, the new model is 3.3-inches wider, 7.4-inches longer and half an inch lower.

2. Both Turbo and TDI models get additional gauges mounted on the dash that show oil temperature gauge, a clock with stopwatch function and a boost pressure gauge.

3. Turbo models get 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque with an EPA rated 21 mpg city and 30 mpg highway.

4. In addition to upgraded brakes and VW’s XDS electronic limited slip differential, Turbo models get a fully independent rear suspension.

5. Turbo models start at $23,395.

How much more? A turbocharger, more aggressive bodywork and some large 18-inch wheels are certainly a good start.

MANLINESS STARTS UNDER THE HOOD

Forget the base models with their 2.5-liter inline 5-cylinder engine that puts out a decent 170 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. Those are fine for comparison to other economy cars, with their EPA mileage estimates of 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway, and their 8-second time to 60 mph.

The testosterone laden Turbo, with a 2.0-liter direct-injected, intercooled 4-cylinder is the only way to fly. It puts out 200 ponies and 207 lb-ft of torque at a very low 1700 rpm, and holds a flat torque curve right up the tach dial. And it loves to rev easily when you are driving in Johnny Racer mode. Zero to 60 times go down to mid 6 second range, but it feels even quicker. And you’ll still get 21 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. 

Power runs through a slick shifting 6-speed manual transmission, (a 6-speed DSG automatic is an option) with a light clutch effort, which makes it fun and easy to drive smoothly. The steering is responsive and tightens up with more turning input. The large vented front disc brakes and solid rear discs with sporty red calipers do a fine job of handling the braking chores and are a noticeable upgrade from lesser Beetles.

TURBO MODELS GET A WHOLE NEW SUSPENSION SETUP

2013-VW-Beetle-Turbo-sideIn addition to driving the Turbo on the street, we had a chance to do a lap on Road America’s 4.2-mile circuit, and play a little bit with it on an autocross course. Both venues showed off the Turbo Beetle’s nimble handling, especially the autocross course.

Apart from upgraded anti-roll bars front and back, a major reason for the Turbo model’s added capability is the entirely new suspension setup. While base models ride on a torsion beam setup the Turbo gains the same independent arrangement as cars like the Jetta GLI or GTI.

Body roll is kept in check and the Beetle tracks nicely through turns while handling side-to-side transitions capably. Still, it’s no GTI.

Volkswagen’s XDS electronic limited slip differential system monitors the information from the wheel sensors and detects any slippage, adding brake to slow the inside wheel in a corner. The system was most noticeable on the autocross course, less because we could feel it working and more because the Beetle Turbo always had plenty of grip coming out of a corner, despite all the heavy-handed steering and lead-footed acceleration.

SPORTY AND WELL-EQUIPPED INTERIOR

 

 

2013-VW-Beetle-Turbo-interior

VW engineers definitely wanted to butch up the interior cabin of the Beetle. As a result the cuddly flower vase is gone in favor of a dash top tray for holding cell phones, iPod or other essential items. The leather wrapped, flat bottom steering wheel, with phone, radio and info screen controls, looks racy. Carbon fiber looking trim adds to that look, as does a dash top three-dial gauge package showing oil temp, a lap timer and a boost gauge.  Finishing off the theme is a set of brushed aluminum pedals with grippy rubber inserts.

The driver’s gauges are a no-nonsense three-dial affair with a large round speedo with an info screen, surrounded by a round tach and gas gauge. The center stack is clean with easy to use controls for the radio and HVAC. A nice storage cubby sits at the bottom of the stack with a 12-V outlet for charging your electronics.

The seats are a bit narrow, both at the seat bottom and back, but nicely bolstered, and the seat fabric is handsome. Two rear seat passengers still have plenty of headroom despite the redesigned roofline. Legroom is decent, too. And there is also a 12-V outlet so rear seat occupants can play with their toys as well. Getting into the rear seats is made easier because one seatback latch will push the back of the seat forward, and also moves the whole seat forward on its tracks to offer a wide opening to get through. The trunk is larger than you’d expect, and the rear seats fold forward to open up more cargo room.

2013-VW-Beetle-Turbo-driving-back

All is not great with the Beetle’s interior, however. There is way too much hard plastic on door sills and dash. Door storage is just an elastic strap for a map or two, and there is no center console for storage, or to rest one’s elbow.

THE VERDICT

 

Our test car started at $23,395, with the only option being the larger 19-inch wheels and Bi-Xenon headlights for $1,000, so with destination charges the bottom line is $25,165.  So for just over 25 large you get a great handling, fun to drive, sporty car with excellent power to make that daily commute a lot more interesting, and Sunday drives can turn into a sporting event. And you’ll get good gas mileage when you drive more responsibly.

A manly machine? Perhaps. It’s safer to say you no longer have to feel ashamed of driving your wife’s car when yours is in the shop.

  • Peter_705

    Pedro Loewen
    102 398 Park St
    winkler MB
    R6W 0C2
    Canada
    2013 Cadila XTS 
    Review Video
    Autoguide.com
    Peter_705@hotmail:disqus .com

  • Peter_705hotmail.com

    Petdro Loewen
    102 398 Park St
    winkler MB
    R6W 0C2
    Canada
    2013 Kia Oprinna SXL
    Linited Commer Aialvideoad
    Peter_7015@hotmail.com

  • Larry Dickman

    Sorry VW, still a chick car

  • http://www.facebook.com/richardjoash Richard Joash Tan

    you are a bullshit

  • Kosmo

    Love the review – hate the car. Still feel like it’s a vasectomy on wheels. 

  • Guest

     I am sorry that a vehicle challenges your masculinity, perhaps you should just embrace the closet homosexuality and be yourself.

  • TransWarpDrive

    “Chick car?” Hardly! Country singer Lyle Lovett owned a New Beetle. As did rocker Alice Cooper, actor Larry Hagman, and pro wrestler Hulk Hogan. Are you going to tell any of those guys they drove a “chick car?” I think not!
    The only reason I traded my ’98 New Beetle in for an ’05 Passat was because the Bug was falling apart after only 79,000 miles! Otherwise, I’d still be driving it today – proudly! (And yes; I’m a guy.)
    That being said, I will admit that I like the redesigned Bug for 2013. Not because it looks more “masculine” than its predecessor, but because it more closely resembles the original air-cooled, rear-engined Beetle – especially in profile.

  • Peter_
  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZUMLZ3NP36ZPOKSSDY7TNADZLI asus

    Does the 13 model year has a fix to the 12’s window issues? just curious

  • VW Lover

    Volkswagen has figured out the window issue in the 2012 models, they have technicians that can fix it now.

  • http://www.nuethic.com/ MaryjaneBowie

    The large vented front disc brakes and solid rear
    discs with sporty red calipers do a fine job of handling the braking
    chores and are a noticeable upgrade from lesser Beetles. 

    http://www.efoodsdirect.com/

  • Spencerspore

    oh yeah. DEFINITLEY getting one for my next car

  • Trebla

    Had my Beetle GT for 6 months now and think it is great. Quality of workmanship/design excellent.
    Car is fitted with all available extras, Fender Sound, leather interior, 510 Nav. system etc. A quantum improvement over the previous “New” Beetle. Performance more than ample for our highways and cities and Eco conscious world. WELL DONE Volkswagen.

  • Jhogan316

    This is not a chick car !

  • Ollygt

    And if you live in Australia you can only get one with the Polo GTi twincharge engine at the moment.  Boo VW boo, I want a proper manual transmission option and not the engine with the durability and longevity question mark over it.

  • Pat Dooley

    I just got the 2.0T DSG. I had been a Honda Accord leaser for 20 years, but swore off Honda when the last one failed in traffic at 900 miles and Honda could care less about my expenses. Way to go Honda. Bye bye, forever.

    I wanted to buy the 6-speed manual Beetle but my wife thought she’d be happier with an auto. She drives stick but she rarely shifts out of 3rd gear, which sort of drives me crazy, so I was happy she wanted  auto this go around. She doesn’t drive much but she is very happy.
    I am liking this car. Stay in “D” and it is a smooth and economical commuter. Choose “S” (sports mode) and you have instant oomph. When I’m merging onto a freeway, I switch to “S”. It doesn’t mean I want to go fast; it just gives me the option to merge cleanly. When I’m settled in my lane, I go back to “D”.

    I’ve also played with the Tiptronic option but the only real use I have found is to stick it in 1st gear while ascending our convoluted parking building. It’s fun to emulate a stick but it is not the same as driving stick.

    The car looks small but it drives bigger. That’s not surprising because it checks in at 3100lb.VW use their 2,0T engine in the Beetle, Golf GTI, Passat CC, and up into the Audi Range. It is a really nice power-plant, and gives the Beetle a very sporty feel. I took one of my friends for a spin and she just loved the way it took off when you planted your foot.Brakes are good. Stupid dog ran out in front of me and I had to apply all anchors at 60mph, and pulled up well short of the dog.If you want a sporty two-door hatchback, this is the car to check out.

« Back
SWEEPSTAKES – OFFICIAL RULES, TERMS AND CONDITIONS

AutoGuide.com’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. *Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.

1. NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS SWEEPSTAKES. AGE/RESIDENCY RESTRICTIONS, VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto AutoGuide.com and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on AutoGuide.com and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of AutoGuide.com), 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked