Personality bubbles out of the Volkswagen Beetle and the 2016 Beetle Dune is no exception. VW has crafted a special edition Beetle that hearkens back to the 1960s with its dune buggy inspired appearance. This fun special edition following others like the sporty GSR we tested, Classic, Denim, Pink, and Fender Edition. In fact, the Beetle seems to be the only place VW exudes any character these days.
Color selection is limited in the Dune edition. The coupe or convertible Dune is available in either white, black, or optional Standstorm Yellow paint. Our tester, in the requisite shade of mustard, is different. At first it’s questionable, but the color does grow on you over time. There are a few physical changes that go along with the Dune. First, its rear track is .2 inches wider and the suspension has been raised .4 inches higher. To the untrained eye, you may not even notice. It’s hard to miss the rest of the changes; it wears large Dune decals, a spoiler, and black wheel-arch extensions. These minor alterations shouldn’t provoke any owners to try and hit the sand with their Dune. Sharing the Golf platform, the Beetle is still only front-wheel drive.
The Dune is just as individualistic on the inside as it is on the outside. Sandstorm yellow is carried throughout the interior from the dashboard to the seats. The steering wheel felt was thin like a spindle. That’s stark contrast compared to most vehicles nowadays. Its ride quality was on par with other Beetles we’ve driven, but lifted suspension does introduce more body movement. Although the 1.8L turbocharged four-cylinder offered enough power (170 hp), it was disappointing to have it paired with the regular automatic transmission instead of the DSG dual-clutch gearbox. The dual-clutch would have made the Dune more exciting to drive.
The Dune’s lively personality will not go unnoticed. The coupe offers a fun driving experience while still providing the functionality of a hatchback and enormous head room. It may not be able to go off-roading as its name suggests, but you can cruise down your favorite back road listening to your favorite music powered by Fender. The quizzical look from other motorists and the added character of the Sandstorm Yellow paint help this Beetle continue to stand out from the crowd.
|2016 VW Beetle 1.8T Dune
|Sandstorm Yellow Metallic||$250|
|As Tested MSRP||$26,760|