£21,455 - £25,565 Price range
51 - 62 MPG
The regular Volkswagen Beetle is a car that majors on retro appeal and this special version turns the nostalgia up to eleven. It’s called the Beetle Dune and takes its inspiration from the ‘Baja Bugs’ (stripped out old Beetles with big wheels) that were specifically built for crossing sand.
This new model is, depending on your viewpoint, all about style though – so gets 18-inch alloy wheels, swollen black wheel arches and rugged bumpers. Suspension raised by 10mm is the only nod to making your Dune desert ready, but we wouldn’t advise giving it a go.
City streets are where it belongs and we can imagine it catching the eye of the fashionista it’s aimed at – the kind of people who buy the Mini, Fiat 500 or DS 3 – particularly if it is finished in the car’s launch shades of Sandstorm Yellow or Dark Bronze.
Inside, there is less to differentiate the Dune from regular Beetles, however you do get contrasting stitching on the standard sport seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. There’s plenty of space up front and the boot is a decent size whether you go for the hatchback or the convertible.
Buyers are limited to a choice of two engines – a frugal diesel or a lively 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol. The diesel is best paired with the £1,600 optional DSG automatic gearbox – it’s very quick to shift and ideal if you’ll be driving a lot in town.
Standard equipment includes a Bluetooth infotainment system with a 6.5-inch touchscreen display, air-conditioning and all-round parking sensors. Cruise control, which seems to be fitted to almost everything these days, is a £240 option, though; as are electric folding door mirrors (£115 ) and mud flaps (£81).