Her + His Car Reviews

2016 Volkswagen 1.8T Beetle Dune

There are two sides to everything, right? To keep our car reviews innovative and interesting, we provide an animated, insightful, detailed and sometimes uncouth two points of view on the same car from - Her + His perspectives.

Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate, women-drivers.com
His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com 

$23,995 plus Dune package is $26,760 $23,995 +
We test drove the Beetle Dune over 1,000 miles and were extremely pleased with the handling and the maneuverability of the Beetle's responsiveness. The 1.8 Litre Turbo handled very well on the thruways, turnpikes, hills and valleys - as there is plenty of kick on this generation of Beetle. Clearly, it's independent suspension is built for cruising. Performance wise, the Dune feels much like any other Beetle--fast, fun to drive, and with steering that is precise, and handling that is definitely among the better compact on the market. You won't have to do lots of correcting to the steering and the brakes are strong and reassuring with a lot of grabbing or oversensitivity.

But the Dune's special features and stance make it feel even more rugged and more planted on the road than the standard Beetle does--which is no slouch in this category either.
Fuel Economy
25 city miles/34 highway miles. Compared to other sub-compacts, the Beetle actually is not near a top contender in this category. The Beetle Dune is equipped with a 1.8-liter direct-injection and turbocharged TSI® four-cylinder engine, offering 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Gas mileage ratings are 25 city, 34 highway, and 28 overall.
The Car
This iconic car has come a long way. The 2016 model's interior is well laid out, easy to read and reach all dials, etc. The seats on our long trip were very comfortable; we used, needed and appreciated the lumbar support. The 18" alloy wheels hold this muscular bad by up and visibility throughout and behind vehicle was good - no blind spots. Tough points have a nice hand like the leather wrapped steering wheel, brake lever, etc.

We found the getting into the back seats to be a bit of a challenge - squeezing through the front seat was not a simple maneuver for those back seat drivers. Another issue was the luggage divider (in the trunk that hides your trunks' belongings) kept interfering with the closing and opening of the trunk easily. Quite problematic when you need to get your luggage out of a hatchback. Oh, and, close the car up to get going. Somehow, this rigged luggage divider had come "off track" - it was feisty and we could not get it back on.

Speaking of the trunk, one thing that works seamlessly - is the split-folding back seats that provides extra packing room. Novelties include the wipers with the heated washer nozzles to mitigate freezing in the winter when slush hits the windshield.
What VW does is take a basic Beetle coupe or convertible, give it coat of a gorgeous yellow gold color called Sandstorm Yellow (or Pure White or Deep Black Pearl, if you prefer), add an out of this world interior with seats that in the case of our test car, ere done with golden yellow piping, and a black and yellow gold instrument panel with same yellow gold stitching on the shifter. Then you install some really sick (that's "good" sick) Canyon alloy wheels with yellow gold trim and gray-black shadings along the inside of the wheels, add raised suspension and wider track, dune front and rear bumpers, a large rear spoiler, silver mirror t caps, and black wheel arches and running board. More specifically, the Dune's raised ride height of 0.4 inches and a body that is 0.6 inches wider give it a more rugged stance.

Up front, you will notice that the bumper features a large central air intake that widens towards its bottom edge, and a black honeycomb screen has an aluminum-look surround that morphs into the front skid plate. On either side of the intake, two black honeycomb vents contain the foglights. A Lighting Package will be available, which will add Bi-Xenon headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights and LED rear license plate lighting.
New this year is the Rearview Camera and Blind Spot Detection. Park Pilot in the front and back. Passenger and Driver Air Bag, Side Head Air Bag, Rear Body Air Bag, Electric Stability Control, ABS. There are plenty of safety minded features on the Dune as well. It comes with Automatic Post-Collision Braking System as standard. This builds on the premise that a collision is rarely a single, instantaneous action, but rather a series of events that follow the initial impact-the most significant of which can cause additional collisions. The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System helps address this by applying the brakes when a primary collision is detected by the airbag sensors, thus helping reduce residual kinetic energy and, in turn, the chance of additional damage. Other standard safety features include standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and front and head-thorax side airbags.
Quite a mix of tech here including: Composition Media with a 6.3" touchscreen AM/FM/Radio/CD Player. A kick 8 speaker sound system pours out the sounds from this and from the Sirius VM Radio. Enhanced with the upgrade in the Fender subwoofer. VW Car-Net App Connect is the integration and interface. Dual zone climate control makes for a happy family and customized temperature intake. Keyless Entry and pushbutton Start. The Dune is fitted with the Composition Media infotainment system that has a 6.3-inch screen with a capacitive touch sensor (similar to smartphone and tablet technology) that enables gesture controls like swiping and pinch-zooming. MIB II also features a proximity sensor, which detects when a hand is nearby and automatically switches its display to allow easier selection of specific features. USB and Bluetooth® connectivity for compatible devices are standard, along with a rearview camera and the Park Distance Control (Park Pilot) system. A Technology Package will also be available, which adds Climatronic® dual-zone automatic climate control, the award-winning Fender® Premium Audio System, KESSY® keyless access with push-button start, and a tilt-and-slide sunroof.
Aesthetics & Styling
An obvious standout, the 2016 Beetle is bold and muscular. Its raised suspension and enhanced, burly bumpers, cladding and rear spoiler add to its swagger in the Dune category. Power sunroof allows the elements "in." Roominess for front passengers. Note that the diesel version is currently under investigation by the EPA for emission regulations issues. I'm prejudiced, but I think all Beetles look cool. They have individual style and features, and best of all, they have instant product identification. It's been around for ages, and the styling is iconic and wears well. Inside, the 2016 Beetle Dune features sport seats with contrasting orange stitching- personally I think it's more gold than orange - and the leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel. Standard equipment includes the new MIB II infotainment system, which serves as the foundation for Volkswagen's available Car-Net® suite of features. VW Car-Net connectivity includes App-Connect technology which allows integration with the three major smartphone platforms - Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™ and MirrorLink® - allowing seamless integration for compatible smartphones.
3 year, 36,000 Limited Powertrain warranty/5 year, 60,000 Limited Warranty. 3 year, 36,000 mile 24 hour Roadside Assistance. Three years or 36,000 miles on basic warranty and five years or 60,000 miles on the powertrain.