2017 Volkswagen Beetle Dune

The latest version of the Volkswagen Beetle looks good from any angle. I like the low roofline that gives it a hot rod profile.

The Dune model is basically an appearance package that includes special front and rear fascias, a side stripe, and special wheels. This one is Sandstorm Yellow. You can choose white or black, too. A convertible is available.

A whale-tail type rear spoiler and turbo badge make it look like a Porsche junior.

The bright color splash continues across the dashboard and door tops. Black or white Dunes get a black dash. I’ve always liked the latest Beetle’s interior, and this one is extra sharp with contrasting stitching and trim on the excellent heated front seats.

A six-speed automatic drives the front wheels. VW’s touchscreen is easy to use and the base sound system is quite good.

With the small rear window and those headrests, visibility out of a Beetle is not the best, but it has a very good backup camera that pops out from under the rear logo when you select reverse. It really helps in not hitting the curb.

You will be hitting your knees on the front seat in row two, so the back is best for short trips only. Cargo space is actually decent for such a small car, but the seat backs do not fold flat when making extra space for long items.

Power comes from VW’s tried and true 1.8-liter turbo four that produces 170 horsepower. Cruising around town in the Dune is not only fun, it’s a lot of car for the money.

So, for the 2017 Volkswagen Beetle Dune, I say thumbs up to the style, handling, and comfortable front seats; thumbs down to the cramped back seat legroom.

I averaged about 29 miles per gallon. The as-tested sticker price is $24,815.

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