Driving With Dan: The New Beetle

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(KTVI) - Time to go Driving with Dan and this morning, it's the Beetle.

1.)     The Beetle was revived in 1998 as The New Beetle. This is the second generation of The New Beetle, but this generation is called simply the Beetle, no longer officially dubbed The New Beetle with capital letters.

2.)     The coupe was all-new in 2012. Now it`s the convertible`s turn for 2013.

3.)     This convertible is lower, longer and wider than the car it replaces.

4.)     The top folds at the touch of a button and, interestingly, it can be folded or raised at speeds up to 31 mpg. It stacks high above the body in the finest classic Beetle fashion.

5.)     Top-up rear visibility is bad due to wide 'C-pillars.' Alas, a back-up camera is not available.

6.)     This four-seater is a ton of fun, although it`s about as practical as a pocketknife on a rubber raft. The trunk is a mere 7 cubic feet, accessed through an opening that looks like a mail slot. However, the 50/50-split rear seat folds.

7.)     The convertible shares most of its greasy stuff with the coupe, meaning the drop-top can be had with any of three engines: a 170-hp 2.5-liter I-5, a 2.0-liter 200-hp turbocharged I-4 or a 2.0-liter turbo diesel that makes 140 hp. A six-speed automatic is available with all three while a six-speed manual can be had with the turbo gas engine and the diesel.

8.)     Unlike the base coupe, which rides a torsion beam rear suspension, all convertibles get the more sophisticated independent rear suspension found under the turbo coupe.

9.)     Prices start at $25,790.

2013 Volkswagen Beetle convertible

DRIVE FORMAT: Front-wheel drive

BASE PRICE: 2.5: $25,790; Turbo: $28,590; TDI (diesel): $28,960

ENGINES: 2.5: 2.5-liter I-5; Turbo: 2.0-liter turbo I-4; TDI: 2.0-liter turbo diesel

HORSEPOWER: 2.5: 170 at 5700 rpm; Turbo: 200 at 5100 rpm; TDI: 140 at 4000 rpm

TORQUE: 2.5: 177 lb.-ft. at 4250 rpm; Turbo: 207 lb.-ft. at 1700 rpm; TDI: 236 lb.-ft. at 1750

RECOMMENDED FUEL: 2.5: Regular; Turbo: premium; TDI: diesel

TRANSMISSIONS: 2.5: six-speed automatic; Turbo/TDI: six-speed manual or automatic

SUSPENSION: Fully independent

BRAKES: Four-wheel disc with ABS, electronic stability control, traction control

MPG: 2.5: 21/27 Turbo manual: 21/30; Turbo auto: 21/29; TDI manual: 28/41; TDI auto: 28/37

WHEELBASE: 100 inches

LENGTH: 168.4 inches

CURB WEIGHT: 2.5: 3,206 lbs.; Turbo: 3,230 lbs.; TDI: 3,296 lbs.

TRUNK: 7 cu. ft.

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