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Beetle Convertible Strong Enough for New England Winters

OK, so it's obviously winter here in was to agree with him but then after a short New England, which begs the question: 15 minutes behind the wheel it dawned why write about a convertible when tem- one me – this is a great engine that is probperature are at or below freezing? Well, ably going to make 80% of Beetle most people are going to live with a con- Convertible owners happy, especially vertible 12 months a year and Volkswagen because it's the least-expensive option just introduced the Beetle Convertible. with a starting price of $24,995. It's a vehicle I'm comfortOK, so there is more to say able pronouncing ready for about the powertrains but lets New England winters, espedwell for a moment on other cially the TDI version that has aspects of the VW Beetle more than enough torque to Convertible, now in its third EHIND tug you threw snowy condigeneration since its resurrecThe Wheel tions. And, cold weather or tion. Compared with the 2006 warm, it's always nice to disversion, the latest Beetle cover a base model that's more Convertible is 3.3 inches wider than satisfactory. at 71.2 inches; 1.1 inches KEITH GRIFFIN Automotive journalists lower at 58.0 inches tall; and aren't supposed to like the base engine. It 6.0 inches longer at 168.4 inches overall. goes against our arrogance for more power From the outside there's no mistaking and sophistication. Give us a V12, twin this vehicle for what it is. After all, the turbos, a dual overhead cam that makes Beetle is iconic for Volkswagen. You're sushi. Anything but the base engine. never going to have trouble identifying Well, count me among what will proba- one. But the changes for 2013 bring the car bly turn out to be a small minority but forward without detracting from its herwhen it comes to the 2013 VW Beetle itage. Smoothing the roofline makes it Convertible, recently introduced at the Los look less a bubble you want to pop. Angeles Auto Show, sign me up. So, how does it drive? Could you use While there are perfectly good reasons the VW Beetle Convertible as a daily drivto purchase a VW Beetle with the frugal er in New England? Normally that would 2.0-liter TDI that gets 41 mpg highway be tough to judge from driving it around when mated with the six-speed manual Southern California but for once the transmission (yet producing 236 lb. ft. of weather gods weren't smiling sunshine torque); and the powerful 2.0-liter TSI down on the Golden State. The cabin was turbo that makes 200 horsepower and 207 quiet in a steady rain. Plus, I felt confident lb-ft of torque, the base engine with its 2.5- driving it on foggy roads in the hills liter inline five-cylinder that makes 170 around Malibu. horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque There are practical touches on the is the right choice. Beetle Convertible. A split-folding rear My driving partner during the Beetle seat—new on this Beetle—allows the car Convertible media launch around Santa to carry bulkier and larger items than is Monica, Calif., said he didn't want to drive normal with a convertible. There's another the 2.5-liter base engine because it would nice engineering touch. The optional wind dilute how much he liked the Beetle screen folds into quarters and has its own Convertible overall. My initial sentiment shelf in the trunk. It doesn't take up valu-

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able space, which encourages its more frequent use. On a sunny winter day, a wind screen and heated seats realistically allows one to drive a convertible at the freezing point. (OK, a knit cap helps, too.) Embrace your summer self. Get a Beetle Convertible to help you plow through the winter. And, as a reminder, this is not your mom's VW Beetle. Men should feel perfectly comfortable driving one – especially the TDI on twisty roads with the manual transmission left in third gear. VITAL STATISTICS Wheelbase: 100.0 inches Length: 168.4 inches Width: 71.2 inches Height: 58.0 inches

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Curb weight: 3206 to 3340 lbs. depending on model Engine: 2.0-liter turbo, 2.5-liter inline five cylinder, or 2.0-liter turbodiesel Horsepower: 140 to 200 depending on model Torque: 177 lb. ft. to 236 lb. ft. EPA estimated mpg city/highway: 2128/27-30 (depending on model) Base price: Starts at $24,995 (before options) As-tested price: Goes up to $27,895 for TDI model (before options) Also consider: (a comparative vehicle) Fiat 500c, Mini Cooper convertible, Ford Mustang convertible â&#x20AC;&#x201C; in the base trim level

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January 2013 North Central News

33

January 2013 North Central  

Community news for the towns of East Windsor, Ellingon, Enfield, Somers, Stafford and Vernon.

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