I managed to snag a test in the 2013 VW Beetle Convertible in the last nice weather days in Chicago. So, I did plenty of top-down driving and thoroughly enjoyed my week. One thing I noticed with the top down, however, is that the TDI engine was really loud. After having driven a recent spate of TDIs by Audi and VW, I was kind of surprised by this. It wasn’t a deal-breaker by any stretch of the imagination, just louder than I would have liked.
Everything else about the Beetle Convertible, though, was pretty awesome. Top down operation was under 10 seconds — and there were no clips, locks or latches to deal with. I liked the peppy ride and handling. And even I managed to get decent fuel economy with 34 mpg in combined (read: lots of city) driving. EPA estimates city/highway fuel economy of 28/41 mpg.
Cargo space was a bit small with a very narrow opening. There was a little more to the storage than just the bit under the opening, but it would be a tight fit for rollerboard luggage. Backpacks and gym bags (and the occasional Ciminillo) fit just fine.
Base price: $28,495
Cargo volume: 7.1 cubic-feet