Road Test

Road Test: 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet

August 26, 2013

Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet 2013_SpeedDoctor Road Test_14The new Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet is a perfect retro car. It inevitably resembles the original Beetle Cabriolet from 1949, but still has modern design. The car looks great and is much sportier than the predecessor, the New Beetle Cabriolet. Compared to which, the Beetle Cabriolet is 152 mm (6.0 inches) longer and 84 mm (3.3 inches) wider. Car’s overall length is 4,278 mm (168.4 inches). The longer wheelbase has improved interior space and boot capacity. At the rear there is enough knee space also for an adult passenger. The cargo capacity has increased by 24 litres to 225 litres. The rear seat can now be folded down, thanks to a newly developed rollover protection system.

While the Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet is 29 mm (1.1 inches) lower than the predecessor, there is now 12 mm more headroom for the two rear passengers. With the roof up, the Cabriolet has even lower roofline than the Coupe’s. Being faithful to the original Beetle Cabriolet, the Cabriolet still features a traditional soft top. The softtop’s outer shell is made from three layers, and underneath, there’s a three-layer design for the excellent insulation. The heatable rear window is made of tempered safety glass.

The roof can be lowered in 9,5 seconds and raised in 11 seconds. It is powered by two electric motors and operates fully automatically. All you have to do is press a button located on the upper rail of the windshield surround. The roof can also be operated while driving up to a speed of 50 km/h (31 mph), but this is probably not recommendable on a windy day. When lowered, the roof folds compactly behind the rear seats.

In Europe, the Beetle Cabriolet’s engine range includes direct-injection four-cylinder turbo engines. The three TSI petrol engines range from 105 to 200 horsepower. Two TDI diesels provide 105 and 140 hp. In the USA, Beetle Convertible is offered with the 140 hp diesel and 200 hp petrol engines, which are also available in Europe, and a five-cylinder 2.5-litre engine which is specially developed for American markets. The entry-level model in Europe is this 1.2 TSI. The turbocharged, 4-cylinder petrol engine delivers 105 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 175 Newton metres of torque between 1,550 and 4,100 rpm. The figures might not sound very impressive, but this small engine provides performance good enough for all your daily driving needs. Especially, when you’re driving with the roof down and enjoying the sunshine, the 1.2 TSI is big enough power unit for the Beetle Cabriolet.

Paired with the 7-speed DSG-automatic transmission, the Beetle Cabriolet 1.2 TSI accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 11,7 seconds. Top speed is 178 km/h. Usually, a small displacement engine isn’t very enjoyable with an automatic transmission. However, this DSG 7-speed dual clutch transmission works actually pretty well with the 1.2 TSI. DSG is at its best with a more powerful engine, but proves to be excellent choice with a smaller engine as well. The 1.2 TSI with the DSG transmission is also quite fuel efficient. The average fuel consumption is 5,9 l/100km and the CO2 emissions are 139 g/km. However, if you really want to safe in fuel costs, you should choose a diesel variant.



  • Petrol
  • 4-cylinder
  • 1197cc
  • Turbo


  • 77 kW (105 hp) / 5000rpm


  • 175 Nm / 1550-4100rpm


  • 7-speed automatic
  • FWD

0-100km/h / 0-62mph

  • 11.7 seconds

Top speed

  • 178 km/h

Fuel consumption

  • 5.9 l/100km

CO2 emissions

  • 139 g/km

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