Used Volkswagen Beetle Dune Cabriolet (2016 - 2018) Comfort

Review by Keith Jones on
3
Filling a niche hitherto unapparent to most people is the Volkswagen Beetle Dune Cabriolet. Think of it as the familiar soft-top Beetle that’s been given the SUV treatment and you’re about there.

3.5 out of 5

Comfort

  • Buy the optional wind-deflector
  • Petrol engine’s the quieter of the two
  • Rear seats are more the preserve of kids

If you only buy one option for the Volkswagen Beetle Dune Cabriolet make sure it’s the wind deflector – it will improve comfort levels significantly.

Roof up you’re pleasantly protected from the elements, with little wind noise caused by the fabric hood, but with it lowered the rear seat passengers will be very windblown. It’s breezy up front too, but that optional wind deflector reduces that effect significantly. Unfortunately, installing it also renders the Beetle a two-seater.

Keeping the side windows up also reduces in-cabin turbulence, but below 30mph it’s relatively bluster-free with them lowered.

If maximising comfort is key, then stick to the smooth-running TSI petrol engine, which is far less coarse than the TDI diesel.

Space-wise it’s fine up front but the rear is better-suited to kids, primarily due to the restricted leg room. The 50:50 split-folding seatbacks are also positioned near-vertically which doesn’t promote comfort either but headroom’s reasonably with the roof erected.

4.5 out of 5

Practicality

  • Reasonably practical for a convertible
  • Boot access is awkward at best
  • Two gloveboxes and decent amount of cubbies

If you’re considering a Volkswagen Beetle Dune Cabriolet because your car needs to ably demonstrate practicality, then it’s advisable to look elsewhere, but it’s reasonably flexible for a four-seater soft-top.

The boot’s not a bad size at 225 litres – big enough for a couple’s weekend away with a pair of soft bags – but accessing it isn’t the easiest of tasks with a narrow little opening and a top-hinged boot lid to duck underneath.

That volume can be extended with the 50:50 split-folding rear seat – VW doesn’t quote a figure for when they’re lowered – released with levers in the boot itself for added security.

Using the rear seat space for extra storage makes sense, especially if you use the optional wind deflector – it’s mesh finish helps make things stored beneath it less visible to prying eyes.

Elsewhere the cabin’s sprinkled with spaces for oddments storage, including two gloveboxes, although the upper one’s not especially deep.

Get a Volkswagen Beetle Dune Cabriolet valuation

4 out of 5

Behind the wheel

  • Well-made cabin features hard plastics
  • Forward visibility is good
  • Thick hood creates blindspots

It’s easy to get into a comfortable driving position in the Volkswagen Beetle Dune Cabriolet, with good forward visibility and a fine vista of the stylish and not-too-retro dashboard layout.

A couple of disappointments soon surface though: while all the switchgear and controls are easy to use and will feel familiar to Volkswagen drivers, what’s likely to disappoint is the cabin quality. It’s very well-assembled, with precious few squeaks or rattles in evidence, but the material quality feels more akin to a basic Up than something costing twice as much.

The second aspect is something that’s inevitable with a soft-top – thick rear-quarter panels that limit over-the-shoulder sight lines, creating wide blindspots. Usefully the mirrors are large enough to offer a decent view and parking sensors come as standard on the Dune.

Also, the sun effectively whites out the multimedia screen when the hood’s lowered rendering it next to useless and the reflective glare off the painted dashboard panels can be distracting too.