automotive.comĀ®...where your car search begins

2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI Debut

Coming this summer, a little

2013 Volkswagen Beetle Research Click to hide

What's New

The 2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI is a diesel-powered version of the all-new Beetle that Volkswagen introduced last year. With the 140-hp diesel engine found under the hoods of the Golf and Jetta, the Beetle TDI promises highway fuel economy in the high 30s, city economy in the high 20s, and all of it wrapped up in a shape that's just as endearing now as it was when the original Beetle chugged onto the scene nearly 70 years ago.

Who It's For

The newest Volkswagen Beetle is aimed straight at the hearts of those who might otherwise shop at a Mini or Fiat dealership. It's fun looking, like those cars, seats four people, like those, and strikes a perfect balance between being cheap enough for the target audience to buy -- hip young professionals and the like -- but expensive enough to keep out the rabble. The diesel version will doubtless cost extra, but it'll be worth it.

Key Features

From the outside, there's very little to differentiate the diesel version of the Beetle from the more common gasoline-burning types. You have to dig a little deeper.
  • The diesel engine: It comes with either a six-speed manual or Volkswagen's dual-clutch automatic. Plus, it's no slouch thanks to 140-hp and a lot of low-end grunt.
  • Fuel economy: How does 29 mpg city and 39 mpg highway sound?
  • The badge: The only exterior difference between this and other Beetles is the chrome "TDI" badge on the hatchback. But, hey, it's something.

What We Think

The Beetle lineup's newest member is not, exactly, a groundbreaker. Volkswagen offers diesel versions of virtually all of its cars, so it was inevitable that the Beetle would get the same treatment. However, it's still an important addition to the Beetle line, and one more way for Volkswagen to burnish its ever-more-important green credentials.

Back to Auto Show Coverage: Chicago 2012