GirlDriver, USA

GirlDriver, USA
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Thursday, August 1, 2013

The 2013 Beetle TDI

The Convertible in Sixties Blue
“It’s a chic car,” my friend Roby said when I put her behind the wheel of the Beetle TDI. “What’s a chic car?, I asked a little disingenuously.  Volkswagen went to great lengths to make this new Beetle appealing to both men and women.  They went so far as to do away with the bud vase, one of the greatest iconic car accessories of all time. Plus, it’s diesel.”
The 2013 is bigger inside, and she, who is one long drink of water, fit very nicely in the car, head to toe.
Powered by a 2.0 liter, 140 horsepower 4-cylinder TDI turbocharged, clean diesel engine that delivers 236lb-ft of torque with a 6-speed automatic transmission and electro-mechanical power steering, the Beetle had smooth acceleration and plenty of it when prompted.
The car was painted Denim Blue, a hark back to the sixties with some tonal differences.  The 1961 VW I bought a year ago––to restore myself with the help of Roby’s son, Brooks, who knows his way around mechanics and will be my guru––is that sixties blue dappled with a bit of rust.
I drove more than 300 miles over a three-day period.  After several long stints, I emerged from the Beetle with an intact back and working legs. It’s a very comfortable car.  Fuel economy is 29 city/39 hwy/32 combined.  I was mostly doing highway driving so mileage was excellent.
The navigation system is pretty straightforward and easy to use, which is about the highest complement you can pay a Nav system these days.  It did refuse to let me input my home address in New York City, trying to make me go to some other Riverside Drive.  Quirks.  These Nav systems all have them.

I did search a couple of gas stations to find diesel.  I had no problems filling the tank and drove by one or two gas stations.
Operation of the radio is uncomplicated. It produces a very pleasing sound, which is provided by Fender, the famous guitar company.  The quiet cabin with Fender’s audio makes a great listening combo.  I’ve recently driven other small cars like the Honda Fit where the cabin noise was noticeable.
With only about $300 in options my vehicle cost $28,360 including destination charges. 
This car is  a complete redo of the “New Beetle”,  the model that brought the car back to America in 1997.  That car was right for its time. But the designers of the New Beetle didn’t want to reference the old Beetle.  This time, Volkswagen has brought design cues from the old Beetle into its new iteration.  They are subtle and the car couldn’t be more modern, but memories stir in the hearts of those of us who grew up loving the Beetle.  You’ll love this one too.