Wednesday, July 27, 2016

VW Beetle Dune Convertible Test Drive


I have driven a few versions of the current Beetle before. So this is a pretty familiar car to me. But this Dune model is all new.
Available as a coupe or convertible.

It is actually so new, that VW was not able to quote me a price on the car I was test driving for a week.
And while the coupe is on the VW site, the convertible version of the Dune isn't on there yet. (Last time I checked)
All I know is that my test car had a 1.8 Liter turbo. The one they use on almost every VW models in the US. With a 6 speed auto.
It didn't have features like GPS or the amazing Fender stereo system.
So I assume it is sort of a base model for the Dune series.

I was actually surprised by how much I liked the look of the car. Even the color!

In real life, it does have a great personality, and all these fake Crossover/SUV bits actually work.
The whole thing is just pretty charming.


Inside, it is standard Beetle convertible stuff. Except the colors.
Same thing here, I found myself loving that weird/odd/ and rather loud color combo.
The seats are great. And that dark yellow hue makes the interior even more fun than it is in the regular model.
The stereo worked fine. Apple CarPlay is great. But it is not as good as the great Fender system offered as an option.
No GPS but,  finally, VW offers a rear view camera on most of their cars in the US.
And it is a great system. as the camera is super sharp.
And it also comes with front warnings.
The color combo on these Dune seats looks great. At least to me...

Too bad you can't put much inside that armrest. Even my "not that big" camera couldn't even fit there. At all.
Looks like the Bug is finally getting LED tail lights. At least on the Dune version...
Looking really good.
The ugly spoiler is still there. Doing its job of "spoiling" a great design.
It just looks like a bookshelf. Quite ridiculous.
The very first thing I notice was how smooth the ride is. It feels actually smoother than the regular Beetle. The car rides a bit higher, and the 18 inch tires might be quite different.
But it really does ride almost like a luxury car. (Especially compared to the 20 inch tires on the Cascada I had a few weeks earlier)
But at the same time, the steering felt quite a bit heavier than other Beetle models.
Which is not a bad thing. Since I always feel that modern steerings are a bit too light for my taste...

Otherwise, the drive is pretty similar to other VWs with that same engine.
It is mostly smooth, and  quiet. But not as much as the competition. Especially new turbo engines from Ford and GM.
There is still a bit of turbo lag. It still feels a bit weird when starting from a stop.
Like if the engine had turn itself off. Similar to a hybrid.( Although It does not have that feature)

Otherwise it feels very solid and quiet.

The Beetle is usually rated at 25/34 MPG. (Not sure what the official numbers for the Dune are)
During my weekly drive I was able to get 25 in the City. Although it quickly went down to around 20 when I was having fun.
But on the freeway I had no problem getting over 38MPG

I really enjoyed my week with the new Beetle Dune.
More that I though I would.

It has a great, fun personality. And it drives great. The luxury car ride is an added bonus.

I am not sure of the price, but there has to be quite a premium over the regular convertible model.
Which starts at around $25 500. I would guess my test car was around $28 000. But who knows...

I couldn't help but comparing it to the Buick/Opel Cascada I was driving a few weeks earlier.
Sure, at around $37 000, it is a lot more money.
But..  For some reason, they are only about $50 a month apart when leasing.
Weird.

For that $50, the Cascada is a larger, roomier car. Even though the Bug feels very solid, the Cascada feels even more substantial. With a real back seat where 2 adults can actually fit.
It also comes with much more stuff. It is larger and heavier and uses a little bit more gas. But not that much more.
And the engine is quieter and smoother.


In the most recent new car quality study from JD Powers, the Cascada scores very high as well.
While VW usually are not known for being reliable cars. (At least in the US. As they reputation in Europe is golden for some reason)

That's just a though . A very personal one, since most buyers won't really compare these two cars.
But since I really enjoyed driving both cars, I thought I would mention it...




1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks good to me. But won't sell because "Murica wants trucks cuz fuck yeah"