And the Volkswagen Beetle’s story is a long and interesting one. I was lucky enough to partake in the launch of the new Beetle in Berlin, and I was mildly impressed with the new design and the drive of the more masculine Bug. However, this boosted version takes the Beetle to a new level, a “super” level if you will, that lets it wear its name with pride.
Turbocharged, accessorized and sporting one of the best car stereo systems I’ve ever heard, the 2013 Volkswagen Super Beetle is well worth consideration if you’re in the market for a funky, fun-to-drive vehicle that’s also rather practical.
It’s time the modern generation started making their own Beetle stories.
What is the Volkswagen Super Beetle?
The Super Beetle first appeared in the 1971 alongside the standard Beetle. It was available with a MacPherson strut front suspension, an elongated front end, tighter turning radius and eventually a larger rear window, and more over the original Beetle. Super indeed.
As possibly the second coolest Beetle of the modern era behind the New Beetle RSi, the VW Super Beetle now features a jump in horsepower, racier exterior visuals and wheels, as well as other interior goodies.
Volkswagen Super Beetle Price and Specs
When it comes to the 2013 Volkswagen Super Beetle, the Ford Model T standard applies: there are very few options to choose from including only three colours (white, red, black). Really, the only choice to make is in the transmission: 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic DSG with Tiptronic. The DSG option puts an extra $1,400 on the already steep $32,850 price tag, but is a worthy option if you’re really not into the manual vibe.
Equipped with a 2.0L turbocharged TSI 4-cylinder engine, the Super Beetle pushes out 210 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. This is the same TSI engine that will be featured in the MKVII GTI.
The VW Super Beetle comes fully equipped with two-tone leather interior, Fender audio and 19” alloy wheels.
Driving the Volkswagen Super Beetle
In all honesty, I didn’t think I’d enjoy driving the 2013 Volkswagen Super Beetle as much as I did. From the moment I got behind the wheel, pressed the start/stop button and the little 2.0L rumbled to life with some attitude, I was sold.
While I understand the sporty attraction of making an automatic preform like a manual, I did find it a bit obnoxious that the Beetle would shudder upon throttle application as if I’d not given it enough gas while releasing the clutch as I pulled away from a full stop. This only happened in “D,” not in Sport.
As for my son, he may have enjoyed the 2013 Volkswagen Super Beetle more than I -- windows down, music up, my son had a blast. And here’s why: the Super Beetle is all about youth and fun!
With the faintest amounts of turbo spool audible, a grumbly exhaust note and quick-to-respond transmission and handling, the 2013 VW Super Beetle is a joy to drive. When pushed, the Beetle happily complies, feeling nimble and agile all the while being grounded and stable.
Inside and Out of the Volkswagen Super Beetle
Thanks to the rather large ‘80s-esque TURBO decal on the side skirts, 19” rims and rather large wing off the rear, the 2013 Volkswagen Super Beetle is instantly recognizable. I think the half-moon LED daytime running lights are also a great touch, giving the Super Beetle even more character.
Inside, the only-option two-tone red and black leather seats are both comfortable and stylish. Sadly, the Beetle’s touchscreen is not responsive, and something I’ve complained about in other Volkswagen products. In addition, the Super Beetle is only a 2+2. Room in the back seat is limited, and while my Britax baby seat fit with ease; my son had very little legroom.
Perhaps the best part about the interior of the 2013 Volkswagen Super Beetle is the Fender audio system. Audiophiles take note: This is one you have to hear. Never have I heard such a rich, full sound in a vehicle. Thanks to the Beetle’s unique shape, the partnership with Fender is truly a match made in heaven.
Comparing the Volkswagen Super Beetle
There are some decent options in the same vein as the 2013 Volkswagen Super Beetle in the Ford Fiesta ST, MINI Cooper S and even the Fiat 500 Abarth. While those three may all seem smaller, the Super Beetle’s small back seat brings it down to their size.
In the end, there are two things that will hurt the Super Beetle: its final price (close to the $40k mark) and its association with being a girlie car. Why, oh why, did you ever put flowers on the dash, Volkswagen?!