Turbo diesel Beetle is great hybrid option

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2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible

Volkswagen’s Beetle was in need of a makeover, a style update. The “new” Beetle was getting long in the tooth and sales were beginning to fade. How could the company keep the car’s originality and give it an update that, well, updated the car?

Easily, apparently. The current new Beetle is more handsome, more practical and just more better.

Bad grammar aside, the Beetle has been lengthened and widened. The fenders have been sliced off somewhat to give the car a more masculine look. The front bumper has been notched and the longer roofline has shades of a Porsche 911. This reworking is working.

The Beetle’s interior get’s a huge upgrade as well. There is a little more room than before. The comfortable front seats are more comfy and more supportive. Rear seat room is better, but it’s only good for four people. I’m sure some adventurous college students can cram many bodies in this, but that’s another story.

The dash has been reworked and it’s a job well done. Volkswagen used expensive looking stuff to dress this Beetle convertible. Every button, switch and knob looks and feels good. I really like he big touch screen which gives the car an even more upscale look.

My favorite part of this Beetle is the engine. The two-liter, turbo diesel engine cranks out 140 horsepower with 236 pounds-feet of torque. This gives the car a lot, and I mean much low-end grunt. There’s a throaty sound to the engine that gives a sporty sensation.

The best attribute of the engine is the gas milage. This is a diesel and it gets that glorious diesel extended range. Being a bit larger and heavier than the last model, this Beetle convertible gets 41 miles to the gallon on the highway and 28 in city.

That’s 32 miles overall. Who needs a hybrid? Well, there is this thing about zero emission, but there’s no battery to worry about and the fuel is more available than ever. I think this is the technology we should be thinking about. Chevy has a diesel Cruise coming shortly, which is big for an American car company. Will others follow? They should.

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Clean, uncluttered interior

As a convertible the Beetle has always worked fine. This car works better. The longer wider look makes this much more handsome and masculine without alienating women, which are a huge part of the convertible market. The top drops in about 9.5 seconds and can retract safely at speeds up to 31 miles per hour. The new top folds flatter and is less noisy.

This is a fun car to drive, top up or down. Acceleration is good while handling, braking and steering all have benefited from the makeover.You can get a sportier feel if you go for the gasoline turbo but you may feel the guilt of not getting 41 miles per gallon.

The six-speed manual starts at $27,895. Add the great Fender stereo, navigation and a few more bits and you go to $29,195.

Volkswagen had me at turbo diesel. I find little fault with this car. More rear seat room would be good and 40 or more horses under the hood would be great. Yet, I’m totally sold on this package the way it sits. Job well done Volkswagen.

cross@alldaytech

 

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