Teaser image of 2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI

Volkswagen Beetle Goes Green with New Powertrain

Volkswagen's march to world dominance may just come on the back of diesel models like the VW Beetle TDI Clean Diesel coupe that has a starting price of $23,295.

This will be the sixth TDI Clean Diesel model available in the U.S. when it goes on sale in August. The other models are the: Golf TDI, Passat TDI, Jetta SportWagen TDI, Touareg TDI and Jetta TDI.

The Beetle TDI is the third model in the Beetle lineup and joins the 2.5-liter five-cylinder and 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline models, which launched in 2011 as replacements for the awkwardly named New Beetle. The Beetle TDI features VW’s 2.0-liter turbocharged, direct-injection Clean Diesel engine that produces 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. When equipped with a manual transmission, the model has manufacturer fuel economy estimates of 41 mpg highway and 32 mpg city.

Those fuel economy numbers are fairly fantastic when compared to the gasoline models. The 2.5-liter five-cylinder Beetle is rated at 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. The 2.0-liter turbo Beetle has an EPA rating of 21-mpg city and 30-mpg on the highway.

But (and isn't there always a but?) the diesel Beetle does have a starting price that is $4300 higher. Plus, diesel fuel has higher taxes thanks to low consumer use of diesel fuel until now. (Lawmakers foolishly believed only businesses pay diesel fuel taxes, conveniently forgetting that those costs are passed onto consumers.)


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I'v never understood why their gas models suck so much gas. Why can't they get any better than a Civic Si? There is something wrong with their gasoline drivetrain or car body if that is the case. The beetle is not a large car.