2017 Volkswagen Beetle Dune
1.Eight-liter turbocharged four-cylinder (170 horsepower @ four,800 rpm; 184 lb-ft @ 1,500 rpm)
Six-speed computerized, front-wheel drive
24 metropolis / 31 freeway / 27 mixed (EPA Ranking, MPG)
Noticed: 29.7 mpg mixed
9.6 metropolis, 7.5 freeway, Eight.6 mixed. (NRCan Ranking, L/100km)
Base Value: $24,815 (U.S) / $30,635 (Canada)
As Examined: $25,065 (U.S.) / $30,635 (Canada)
Costs embody $820 vacation spot cost in the USA and $1,745 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada. Due to cross-border tools variations, the 2 can’t be instantly in contrast.
It’s clear what Volkswagen is attempting to do with the Dune trim stage of its Beetle two-door.
The corporate claims the Dune is impressed by traditional Beetles that have been modified into “dune buggies.” Which is ok, however all it truly is is a present Beetle with a raised suspension, black exterior cladding, rear spoiler, bumpers distinctive to its trim, distinctive air intakes, 18-inch wheels, LED taillights, particular inside stitching, and material/leatherette seats.
Aside from that, little units it other than its Beetle brethren. It’s powered by the identical 1.Eight-liter turbocharged four-cylinder present in most Beetles (the R-Line has a 2.Zero-liter turbo four-cylinder) and mates to a six-speed computerized transmission.
A small, comparatively light-weight (it’s nonetheless a tick over three,000 kilos) compact coupe just like the Beetle needs to be enjoyable to drive, even when it’s raised, just like the Dune is. However “needs to be” and “is” are two various things.
With 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, acceleration is strong, although you gained’t be blowing anybody’s doorways off. The six-speed auto is compliant and serves with out criticism.
Dealing with is that this automobile’s largest letdown. The physique is a bit tippy in corners, and the steering is simply too mild and too distant. Nobody expects the Beetle to be a sports activities automobile, however I hoped for higher. Certain, the R-Line trim could be the reply to my complaints, however even with a raised suspension the Dune needs to be extra participating in corners than it’s.
On the flip aspect, one may count on a compact two-door coupe with a barely raised suspension to have a less-than-pleasant trip, however that’s not the case. I drove the automobile from Chicago to Kalamazoo and again for the Dodge Demon occasion, and regardless of a tad little bit of stiffness, it was nice on the freeway.
A minimum of from a trip perspective, that’s. Generic street noise leaked in at freeway speeds. You’ll want to show the radio up a bit.
From a consolation standpoint, the Beetle’s form means it’s roomy up entrance however not a lot in again – the rear seats are mainly a parcel shelf. Certain, they’ll maintain toddlers in automobile seats, however adults might be none too happy to be again there, particularly in the event that they’re on the tall aspect. When it got here to shoot photographs of the inside, I couldn’t climb in or out with out scraping my legs.
One other nitpick – the infotainment display is small. Simple to make use of, however small. A minimum of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto can be found, and CarPlay’s visuals are greater and simpler to learn than VW’s. The infotainment system does have correct knobs, no less than.
Not surprisingly, inside cupboard space is proscribed. That’s most likely not a difficulty for many house owners more often than not, nevertheless it was a trouble on a brief street journey through which I wanted a spot to place receipts and discover a house for snacks and such.
From a styling standpoint, I like the general form of the present Beetle – I’ve discovered it pays homage to the unique nicely sufficient with out being as overtly cloying and cutesy because the New Beetle. In Dune taste it’s acquired just a bit little bit of aggression thrown in. Sufficient aggression that it drew the eyes of various of us – somebody gave me a thumbs-up on I-94 in southwest Michigan, and once I stopped for water and snacks after the Demon occasion, a middle-aged man driving a piece truck wandered over and peppered me with questions in regards to the automobile earlier than indicating he’d love to purchase one.
I used to be a bit bowled over by these interactions. The Beetle has been available on the market lengthy sufficient that it shouldn’t generate stares. Neither is it a very uncommon car. Certain, the Dune trim stands out, however I used to be nonetheless anticipating to maneuver in regards to the world extra invisibly whereas driving it.
Lack of cupboard space apart, the inside is engaging, and the Dune-specific trim works. The yellow might be a bit too loud for some eyeballs, however I didn’t thoughts it.
The Dune could look the half, nevertheless it’s not meant to ever actually go off-road. So it’s primarily a styling train that’s meant to enchantment to a particular subset of Beetle followers. Primarily based on the reactions I noticed, I’d say it does that.
That’s additionally what it does greatest. It’s not fairly as enjoyable to drive because it guarantees to be, and whereas it’s a fantastic commuter or road-tripper for one or two individuals, it’s not going to haul rear-seat passengers who’re previous kindergarten age, nor it is going to be haul a lot baggage. A minimum of I noticed 29.7 mpg mixed whereas driving it.
It’s additionally not costly (my tester was $25Ok out the door), however that worth might fetch you a fundamental Golf/base GTI or a Civic Si – sportier, extra sensible automobiles that don’t punish on the pump.
In the event you just like the traditional Beetle form, otherwise you miss the dune buggy days of the ‘70s, that’s one factor. However take away the Beetle’s uniqueness, and also you’re greatest served buying elsewhere.
[Images © 2017 Tim Healey/The Truth About Cars]