2013 Volkswagen Beetle Comfort & Quality

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Comfort & Quality
For 2013, the Beetle Convertible joins the Beetle Coupe in the lineup, but aside from the easy power-folding soft top, there's not much in the way of difference outside the trunk.

Compared to the previous-generation New Beetle, the 2013 Beetle is longer--by about six inches--and roomier inside as a result.

Most of the room goes to the front seats, which are spacious enough for most adults. The rear seats are more of a "plus 2" configuration, best reserved for children and gear.

The 2013 Volkswagen Beetle is a 2+2 of classic proportions--meaning there's plenty of head and elbow room, but not much rear passenger or trunk space.

Flat-bottomed seats are standard in base Beetles, though the Turbo's seats are more bolstered and still very comfortable. Seat controls are easily reached and offer a wide range of adjustment, including height. The slightly towards-center seating position can make it difficult to avoid contact with the center tunnel--or to make contact with the door armrest.

A shallower dash (thanks to a steeper windshield angle) and the extra overall length add space to the cabin, which still manages to feel open, despite the flat-topped roof, thanks to ample headroom. In the Convertible, the open-air experience is complete.

Convertibles get a collapsible wind guard that stows, folded, in a special niche in the trunk. When in place, it does a good job of reducing buffeting, but it eliminates the possibility of rear-seat passengers, and it has a tendency to wobble and vibrate with the wind.

Small-item storage has been carved into most of the available nooks and crannies. The traditional glove box is deep enough, once you ditch the thick owner's manual. The available kaeferfach box has a lovely aluminum pop-out lever, but it's pretty shallow and tall, and pretty un-useful. The shallow dish on the dash is practically made for an aftermarket GPS mount, and your smartphone will fit nicely in the bin ahead of the shifter. Pens and Post-Its are about all you'll wedge into the available armrest bin.

On paper the Beetle's trunk is bigger than its predecessor's, up to 15.4 cubic feet of space, but the sloped hatchback means only a pair of roller bags and some soft-siders will fit unless you fold down the rear seats. Bonus: they lay nearly flat, and expand the cargo area to just under 30 cubic feet. Convertible models offer nearly the same trunk space, minus the stowage space for the wind deflector, because the soft top stows in the trunk.

The fold-down rear seats in the Beetle Coupe are reduced to a pass-through in the Convertible, however, as pyrotechnic pop-up rollover protection fits in behind the rear seats.

With thinner glass and consequently slightly more noise than European versions, North American Beetles tend to be a bit on the noisy side, most noticeable in Turbo models, though all Beetles exhibit relatively high wind noise, tire-thrum, and the occasional high-velocity whistle.

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