Seat Time: 2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune

July 21st, 2016 at 9:00am

2016 VW Beetle Dune

Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Reviewer: Seamus McElroy
Vehicle: 2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune
Price: $26,760 (as tested)

Final Impression:

As we reported in Autoline Daily earlier this year, Volkswagen is ending production of the new Beetle at the end of 2018. But before the Bug rides off into the sunset, the company just introduced a cool version inspired by the Baja Beetle, the Dune.

Compared to the standard Beetle, the Dune features new front and rear fascias, side moldings, a unique wheel design, a rear spoiler and a raised suspension. Inside the differences include sport seats with yellow stitching and a yellow front dash in the version I drove.

2016 VW Beetle Dune - Interior

The Beetle Dune is powered by a 1.8L turbocharged four-cylinder that’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. It’s rated at 25 MPG in the city and 34 on the highway. During my time in the vehicle I averaged around 26 MPG, which is a little disappointing. But I mainly drove it in the city and it was hot and humid the week I drove it, so the AC was cranked up, which dragged down the average.

There really isn’t anything that stands out about the Dune while you’re behind the wheel. It has good power and handles well. However the car definitely makes an impression out on the road. I was really surprised how many turned heads and second looks I got as I drove by. I even had a guy driving a previous model Beetle gives me the thumbs up as he passed on by.

The biggest downside is the safety features for parking. The system is too sensitive and beeps at you even when you’re not in danger of running into something. I also thought the doors could use an extra handle on the inside because in a tight parking lot its hard to open without flinging into a car next to you. But these are minor pet peeves and wouldn’t stop me from buying one.

Volkswagen’s image is tarnished because of the diesel scandal but based on the reactions I got to this car, the company may want to rethink dropping the model. Its clear an iconic vehicle like this can help VW revive its reputation with the public.

2016 VW Beetle Dune - Rear

One Comment to “Seat Time: 2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune”

  1. Bug Says:

    Please DON’T stop making the beetle model!! VW won’t be VW anymore without the bug!