Review: 2013 Volkswagen Beetle 50s Edition

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WASHINGTON, August 27, 2013 — Many Volkswagen Beetle fans have very fond memories of their first bug. To And to that VW offers the 50-series. This 2013 convertible model was built in invoke not just the memories of what a “cool bug” might have meant to the fan base with fond memories of their VW experiences in the 1960s and 1970s, but to also push it forward a bit. This concept comes in the form of a black Beetle with a tan interior, a ragtop, basic wheels and some subtle body tweaks that are both modern and retro at the same time.

VW has built a Beetle that not only caters to its fans but also is modern enough to possible win over new fans. It has the look of a generation passed but enough safety, power and creature comforts to make it a fun car.

The 50s is powered with a 2.5-liter inline 5-cylinder engine that’s paired with a six-speed transmission. While it won’t keep pace with the Beetle Turbo, it does offer a very spirited driving experience. It offers up 170-horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. It will hit 60 around the seven-second mark, which isn’t bad but not breathtaking either. For those who have a concern about fuel economy, the EPA rates this 50s edition at 21 in the city and 27 on the highway.

It drives, handles and sounds like a Beetle but with a twist. While it would be easy to argue today’s Beetle doesn’t have the “organic” road feel that the older ones did, it’d be hard to argue that it hasn’t in some ways perfected it. That is to say, that while there still is that “organic” feeling to this car, it achieves that emotion with a well-appreciated modern flare that many will appreciate.

Tight steering, predictable handling in corners, that ‘signature” Beetle exhaust note all working harmoniously in concert with a well-appreciated modern look to the car. In fact, it’s 3.3 inches wider and 1.1 inches lower for 2013.

VW’s well-appointed upholstery has an upscale feel to it but doesn’t overwhelm the retro-style dash at all. One of the things that VW has done is to achieve a nearly sublime balance between old and new. The round-gauges are a total throw-back to the cars heritage as is the use of metal on various points on the dash.

There is a Fender Audio speaker system available, which does sound great; however, this model isn’t outfitted with that top-end system. That said, its audio quality is good and most people will enjoy it while audiophiles will long for something better.

You’ll find that its interior does a great job of appealing to both genders – the lighting, gauge layout, heated seats and mix of colors simply appeal well one’s senses of organization. Gone is the  “chick car” sheen, so VW should have no problems attracting more of the male demographic with its updated design cues.

Trunk space is decent when the top is up and not so great with it down. Overall legroom for the front passengers is rather ample while rear passengers, unfortunately, will suffer the same lack in legroom as older models. In fact, it seems a bit silly that there’s even a rear seat.

In conclusion, Volkswagen may win over some buyers who appreciate cars that reflect days gone by, but will likely appeal  mostly to its fan base. If you’ve ever considered a newer VW Beetle but thought of them as too feminine, now is your chance to snag one that definitely appeals nicely to the masculine side of the gender equation.

This 50-series VW Beetle is about fun with the top down, cruising down a highway with the radio blasting. It brings back memories of a time when so many things in life seemed much less complicated. And that’s a great way to summarize this car, not complicated – and it just happens to be fun to drive as well.

 


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Duane Pemberton

Duane Pemberton is a food and wine writer who is also the owner of WineFoot.com. Pemberton is also a well read automobile reviewer and critic, all of which incorporates into his travel, wine and food reviews.

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