Test Drive Reviews Volkswagen 

2017 Volkswagen Beetle Dune Convertible Test Drive Review

Volkswagen struck gold when it reintroduced the Beetle back in 1998. Back then it was fun, nostalgic and overall, a fun little runabout. However, that was almost 20-years ago, and while many compacts have moved on, VW is staying the course with a little car that is one of the most recognizable automobiles the world has ever seen.

2017 Volkswagen Beetle Dune Convertible 1.8T Exterior:

Volkswagen has decided to throw a little more aggression along with a bit more fun at the Beetle with the 1.8L Dune Convertible. Yet with a name like “Dune” we were expecting something that may have a little off-road prowess in its blood. Sadly though, this is not the case. An appearance package only, the Dune does however bring some good things to the table.

The suspension for instance is 0.4” higher than that of a standard Beetle with the overall track being increased by 0.6”. There are exclusive front and rear bumpers, a larger rear spoiler, Dune exclusive side sills, some enhanced black wheel arches to allow for the wider 18×8” Canyon alloys wearing 235/45-series tires, LED taillights, silver mirror caps and three special colors: Sandstorm Yellow, Deep Black Pearl and Pure White.

You can probably guess which color we had.

As for the convertible top, this thing was a snap to operate, taking just 9.5-seconds to lower and 11-seconds to close. It’s also very well insulated. Another nicety is that while most convertibles lose their styling with the top up, the Beetle remains a looker open or closed. All of these exterior features give the Beetle more presence over stock and tell the public that while yes, this is a Beetle, it’s a Beetle that means business.

2017 Volkswagen Beetle Dune Convertible 1.8T Interior:

If you ever wanted to know what simplicity in a Saturday night suit looked like, look no further. The interior of the Dune Convertible may at first seem a bit much, but in reality, it works just fine. Front and rear bucket seats are a combination of Dune exclusive gray cloth with V-Tex leatherette trim and Sandstorm Yellow piping. The front buckets are comfortable and offer up heat and 6-way manual adjustability. Rear seats are molded buckets, however legroom may be cramped for those over 5’10”.

Trim work is a combination of dark gray and black plastics, while the upper door panels and dash have been painted to match our testers exterior color. Basic climate controls, steering wheel mounted buttons and large analog gauges in the dash make utilizing the interior functions a snap. The media center, with its 6.3-inch touchscreen offers VW Car-Net App Connect for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, while a USB and standard power port are positioned in the center console and make for easy recharging and connectivity for your mobile devices. A flat bottom steering wheel with special DUNE moniker and body-colored crosshatch stitching is also a nice touch.

Outward visibility is good with the convertible roof up as large windows help to keep blind spots to a minimum. Drop the top and one hasn’t a care in the world except to enjoy the breeze. Trunk storage comes in at a tight 7.1 cubic-feet however the rear seats do have a pass through for additional storage. Road and wind noise with the top up is minimal, as the cabin and convertible top seem to be very well insulated.

2017 Volkswagen Beetle Dune Convertible 1.8T Performance:

A 1.8L turbocharged 4-cyclinder with Direct Injection makes 170 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, which helps to get the Beatle to 60-mph in just under 8-seconds. Power is transferred through a 6-speed automatic transmission with Triptronic shifting to the front wheels. The engine is smooth and the transmission provides quick shifts that make the Beetle feel quicker than its 3,225-pound curb weight would suggest.

With an EPA fuel economy rating of 24-mpg city, 31-highway and 27-mpg* in combined driving, drivers can expect a range of around 350 miles from the 14.5-gallon fuel tank. Ride quality is compliant on both the highway and back roads and the Dune is a pleasure to pilot on a daily basis. Emergency braking and handling maneuvers provide little in the way of drama and the Beetle proved to be sure-footed during testing.

2017 Volkswagen Beetle Dune Convertible 1.8T Safety:
Equipped with the latest in safety technology, the 2017 Beetle Dune comes to us with such features as anti-lock brakes, anti-slip regulation, brake override system, electronic stability control, engine and hydraulic brake assist as well as airbags throughout the cabin and a standard backup camera. Additional safety features can be seen over at VW.com.

2017 Volkswagen Beetle Dune Convertible 1.8T Overall:

With a base price of $29,395.00 and an “as tested” price of $30,465.00, the 2017 Volkswagen Beetle Dune Convertible 1.8T is one of the best Beetle versions currently on sale. It’s got sporty good looks, a bit of aggression and with the convertible top down, lets you forget about your daily life while at the same time, giving you the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors.

Drop by your local AutoNation Volkswagen dealer today to check one out!

*Fuel economy values (mpg) are EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.

**Vehicle MSRP of $30,465.00 excludes taxes, title, transportation, options, and dealer fees.

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