The Volkswagen Beetle Dune and the food scene deliver.
As a food lover, I know everything is fresh in Los Angeles, but you have to drive a lot to discover the food nuances. I had a food list, four days, and limited time to whip around Los Angeles and explore the food scene I had been reading about. I also had the opportunity to drive the Volkswagen Beetle Dune; perfect because I felt the need for speed.
Los Angeles is also known as a heavy traffic city and having a vehicle to weave in and out of traffic is a must. The 405 freeway isn’t anyone’s friend and after driving it for a few days I felt comfortable enough to drive like a local. I started in Echo Park, hit up Melrose Avenue for wine, drove all the way to San Pedro, and back to Silver Lake and West Hollywood for happy hour and dinner.
Small but mighty
The Dune is a powerful car. It’s small but mighty in speed, agility, and power. I wasn’t used to such power in a tiny vehicle, so there were times the car had to remind me I was driving over the speed limit.
Despite the small size, the car had a full-size trunk. I kept a full wardrobe change in the trunk and there was enough space to lay out a dress so it didn’t get wrinkled. I also picked up a few cases of wine for a get-together at a friend’s house and the cases never moved.
Fun, Songs and Sunshine
I enjoyed driving this car in an automatic transmission. I normally drive a manual car and I was concerned the automatic transmission would slow the car down and I wouldn’t feel in control like I do in a manual. But, I felt in total control the entire time I drove the car and felt a piece of me was missing when I returned it. In a city where expensive statement cars are the norm, the Dune was a statement too.
It was easy to get lost in enjoying the car, the drive, and singing out loud to the Sirius XM radio system. The weather in Los Angeles is perfect for having the windows down and sunroof open at all times and I found myself using the mesh sunroof screen to block the sun while still enjoying the breeze.
Who the 2016 Beetle Dune is for
- This car is for drivers who want a fun and hip ride. It has lots of power and get up & go. I went from zero to sixty in less than twenty seconds.
- People without kids – the back seat is small and tight and getting a child in and out of car seat is hard. The back seat is tiny even for a small adult.
- Ladies who like to push the pedal to the metal – I drove this car with heels and flats and it was a smooth transition. The pedals are close together, but I was able to seamless move from the accelerator the brake.
- The steering wheel and column work well for short people like me. The seat adjustments made it easy to feel in control of the car because there were times I opened up the car on the freeway.
WHAT I LOVED
- The car is a showstopper. People couldn’t stop looking at the car, the color, and asking questions about it
- Sunroof mesh screen – I love a sunroof, but sometimes the sun is too bright. The mesh sunscreen allowed the possibility to feel the breeze but block out the sun. Genius.
- Los Angeles is a parking meter city and I was able to parallel park with ease using the rearview camera.
- The large trunk – I was even able to layout a dress without it wrinkling, and, of course haul my wine.
- The navigation was superb. It listed the turns and upcoming speed cameras in enough time I wasn’t worried. Most navigation systems only give hints when you are ready to turn, but not this system.
- Fuel efficiency. I picked up the car on a Tuesday morning and did not need to fill it up until Friday afternoon.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Base price for the Beetle is $23,995; price for the 1.8T Dune I drove, $26,760
- The car gets 28 MPG
- Difficult to install car seats
- 2 USB ports and 1 12 volt power outlet
- Smartphone integration (a big plus)
- 6 Speed automatic transmission
- The car is also available as a convertible.
- Tall people may feel cramped due to the size of the car.
- The car is currently available in Sandstorm Yellow, Pure White, or Deep Black Pearl. The yellow might throw you off, but it’s not too bright. I hope they begin to offer this car in different colors such as navy, red, or titanium gray.
- It’s easy to forget how fast you are going.
Note: Volkswagen provided the Beetle Dune for review purposes. Opinions expressed are my own.