While the base Beetle and the sportier Turbo might not get the gas mileage you'd expect, the Beetle TDI, both coupe and convertible, scores impressive EPA figures that many have managed to beat in real-world use.
The base 2013 Beetle uses Volkswagen's familiar 2.5-liter five-cylinder gasoline engine, and scores 22/31 mpg city/highway with the five-speed manual transmission. Base Beetle Convertibles are only available with an automatic, and score a less impressive 21/27 mpg.
Beetle Turbos use a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and Convertibles score 21/30 mpg in manual and 21/29 mpg in DSG dual-clutch guise. Turbo Coupes rate an EPA-estimated 21/30 mpg in manual and 22/30 mpg in dual-clutch form.
The best mileage is found not with gas, but diesel, in the Beetle TDI. Rating 28/41 mpg in manual trim, or 29/39 mpg with the dual-clutch, for coupe models, and an identical 28/41 mpg for the Convertible TDI (only available with a manual), the estimated figures put it in range of some of the compact/sporty hybrids on the market. In real-world use, many Volkswagen TDI owners have been able to consistently beat the EPA figures.
In 2015, Volkswagen admitted diesel engines in this model illegally cheated federal tests and polluted beyond allowable limits. As part of unprecedented settlements with federal and state governments, Volkswagen agreed to buyback from owners diesel-equipped models of this vehicle. To determine eligibility for all affected Volkswagen, Porsche, and Audi models, Volkswagen set up VWDieselInfo.com for owners. (Owners of affected vehicles can enter their VIN numbers to see if their cars are eligible for buyback.)