If you remember the VW dune buggy, it’s what the Beetle Dune is all about. It gets a more aggressive stance, redesigned bumpers, and a stylish rear spoiler to set it apart from the standard Volkswagen Beetle. The design is a take on desert icons like the Baja sand runner.
Even if you don’t like the new exterior color, you can’t say that it isn’t eye-grabbing.
We recently tested the all-new 2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune 1.8T – we even dropped the top for extra summer fun.
What’s New For 2016?
The Beetle Dune is a new model featuring special front and rear bumpers, a large rear spoiler, silver mirror caps, black wheel arches, and running boards. A raised suspension and a wider track make for extra fun driving dynamics.
Features & Options
This Sandstorm Yellow Metallic Beetle Dune 1.8T ($ 25,065) features 18-inch Canyon alloy wheels, heated front seats, Dune seating surfaces with cloth inserts, V-Tex leatherette trim with orange piping, front sport seats, rearview camera, and a touchscreen sound system with proximity sensor. Additional features included a CD player, AM/FM/HD radio, SD memory card reader, voice control, heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals, heated windshield washer nozzles, and Park Distance Control (park assist).
The Sandstorm Yellow Metallic exterior paint ($ 250) was an option on our tester. Volkswagen didn’t give us pricing on the convertible option we had, otherwise, total MSRP (including destination) on the hardtop is $ 26,135.
Stepping inside reveals a unique Sandstorm Yellow Metallic theme. The controversial color is featured on the dash and door panels. The V-Tex leatherette seats come with a cloth insert and yellow stitching for contrast. We found this extremely comfortable as we got back into the car, with the top down, while we had breakfast at Sunrise Sunset in Denver.
The sun was beating down but the seats were still cool with the lighter cloth inserts.
The sports seats are especially supportive as we chucked the convertible around the tight mountain corners after breakfast. The theme inside is sporty with the flat-bottom, leather-wrapped steering wheel and Tiptronic automatic gearshift. In the back, there’s not much room for adults, but you can load up a couple of small kids. The rear seat is 50/50-split folding for extra cargo carrying ability. Cargo volume comes in at a respectable 29.9 cubic feet with the seats down.
There is a small trunk, usable only when the convertible top is up. The top lowers right into the trunk with the touch of a button at the top of the windshield.
Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs
The 2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune is powered by a turbocharged 1.8-liter engine with 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. It comes mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic and Sport mode.
It gets an EPA estimated 25/34 city/highway and 28 combined mpg.
The Beetle Dune with its raised sport suspension and wider track makes it a hoot to drive. We took it out on the mountain curves and the driving dynamics push up the fun-to-drive meter. We would rate it a 7 on the scale with 10 being the top rung. The 1.8-liter turbo made good use of the rarified air at 8,000 feet elevation where we tested the Dune. This 1.8T was a new engine last year, much better than the 2.5-liter 5-cylinder it replaced. It has plenty of power for most needs.
The convertible chassis is a bit heavier and a bit more flexible, but it only feels different when you put the top down. On the way to breakfast on Sunday morning, we dropped the top and took off. The convertible top is super easy to lower with a button on the center top of the windshield. It only took about 10 seconds to power-lower into the trunk. On the way home, we hit a summer mountain rain shower, so we pulled over quickly, hit the button, and had the top back up in 10 seconds.
We were on our way before the clouds let loose.
Overall, the VW Beetle Dune Convertible is a good commuter and especially fun to drive in the city or mountains. We zipped in and out of heavy traffic with ease because of its size, and it’s easy to park in tight spots. We found a spot right up front at the restaurant because it was too tight for bigger vehicles, a bonus during busy hours downtown.
The convertible option adds another level of fun to your weekly commute. On the weekends, it will fit right into your busy lifestyle, activities, and adventures. Just lower the top, throw in the sports equipment, and you are good to go.
*Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. Follow his work on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy
2016 VW Beetle Dune GalleryWe trust TrueCar.com to give us the best, up to date, and TRUE pricing of what people are really paying for their cars. Check them out for more research on this car:
2016 VW Beetle Dune Official Site
Photos: Volkswagen of America, Inc.
But they are not known for going fast, that is, unless you shoehorn something at the back in place of the Beetle’s simple four-banger. Many owners have done that, ranging from more modern Volkswagen engine transplants, to even full-fledged Chevy swaps.
This latest swap however is something that’s even more of an oddball–a rotary swapped Beetle, which Jay Leno gets a chance to try on his latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage.
Check it out after the jump.
Petrolicious knows how to find a great story. Its latest video highlights an automotive artist and the 1953 Volkswagen Beetle that he drives to work everyday.Continue reading 1953 VW Beetle is inspiration on wheels for this painter
Recently, Volkswagen voiced its plans to discontinue some of the models from its global lineup. Two-door cars were the prime target for being axed because of the low demand. Also, discontinuation of these models would mean that the German giant would save close to Rs. 1350 crores. However, much to the rejoice of Beetle lovers in India, the company disclosed its plans of re-launching the car in India by the second half of 2015. Since the car will be imported via the CBU route, volumes is not something expected from this vehicle.
The Beetle has been extremely popular the world over ever since it was introduced. The cute looks and the low sticker price in the early years made it an instantaneous hit and it was nicknamed ‘The People’s Car’. Over the years, the car retained the original shape but kept getting more and more creature comforts and the price kept rising. The current Beetle sold internationally is the third generation model introduced globally in 2013. It has grown in size and looks more mature now which is something the purists haven’t really approved of. But, it has made the bug a little more practical due to the additional space.
Recently, Volkswagen has imported one unit of the Beetle into India for homologation purposes indicating that the launch is not too far away now. The imported vehicle comes with a 1.4-litre TSI unit and we expect the same to be launched here. The same engine is used in the Jetta and the Octavia too and it remains to be seen what state of tune the engine is offered in the hatchback. With much better equipment levels, the car makes a compelling case for itself. However, at an expected price of around Rs. 30 lakhs, it will still be rich man’s toy in the nation.
The seller of this MIDI guitar says…
“An utterly unique opportunity, possibly the rarest instrument on Ebay this week.”
A little research does indicate that it was a very short lived product and may not have even been officially launched. There are very few references to it in Google and only one video on youtube showing one in action. It apparently fell foul of the muscle of the mighty Yamaha Corporation, who had been developing a similar technology.
Here’s more from the seller…
“Here is something that should probably be in a museum under lock and key, a prototype Beetle Quantar guitar synth. There is some info about these online, and even a 4-5 minute clip of a guy playing one on Youtube. The basics is that this synth used ultrasonic technology to create sounds, but sadly for Beetle the mighty Yamaha Corp. were working on the same technology and a court case ensued…… Beetle lost out and faded away, and this lawsuit package then came to me directly from Yamaha around 25 years ago.
There is an owner`s manual, and a covering letter from a leading Beetle employee which explains that this is a prototype and not the finished article. The neck is shimmed up so the strings touch it (2 photos) and the sensor / pickup. I gather the strings don`t need “tuning” like a normal guitar. There are a few dinks and marks, plus sticky tape etc in places, but this is a unique prototype.
There is no fret wear, it has a set of Grover tuners, the optional pedal box, spare strings, the correct power supply, and is in a top quality hard case which holds it snug (not a plastic “kind of fits a Strat or Tele” cheap item)
As can be seen in 2 photos, when plugged in (or fitted with batteries) the unit turns on, lights up, and all the switches and knobs work to change functions, velocity, calibration etc. Being an old fashioned guitarist I cannot get sound from it when plugged into my cheap keyboard, but flicking through the book it looks like it needs somebody better than me to set it up and work it. If you live nearby and wish to come and have a play with it, please do.”