Hit the Coast in the 2018 Beetle Dune and Coast Models

Published: Saturday, November 17, 2018 | 12:40 AM

2018vwbeetlesThe Volkswagen Beetle has always made a statement on the road: fun, whimsical, and iconic. Few cars are as identifiable and beloved, bringing back memories of school dances, summer nights, and road trips. The 2018 VW Beetle is similar in styling to the old Beetle it’s just a lot more comfortable, zippy, and technology forward. I was given the opportunity to drive both the Coast and the Convertible Dune models.

2018vwbeetleduneintWith the special-edition Coast trim I enjoyed a sunroof, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems. The dash had a surfboard-look and the seats a special houndstooth pattern. Plus 17-inch wheels, automatic headlights, automatic wipers, extra body-colored exterior trim, keyless ignition and entry, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, satellite radio, the Composition Media 6.3-inch touchscreen, HD and satellite radios, and VW Car-Net App-Connect which adds assorted smartphone-integration apps, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

The Dune trim had extra ground clearance with a wider track, 18-inch wheels, faux leather and cloth upholstery, front sport seats in addition to 18-inch wheels, front and rear parking sensors, the bi-xenon headlights, LED taillights, and a Fender audio system.

2018vwbeetlepepitaBoth models (indeed all trim levels: S, Coast, SE, and Dune) are powered by a new turbocharged 2.0-liter four cylinder engine that produced 174 horses and 184 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is the only one available and puts the engine through its paces. Expect to get 26/city, 33/highway, and 29/combine mpg.

Up front the Beetle offers plenty of head and legroom, in the back however, the sloping roofline and lack of legroom make it a place for short jaunts. Longer trips may be a bit uncomfortable. The cloth seats in the Coast trim are cute and stylish, whereas the faux leather in the Dune give the Beetle a more upscale look.

I really appreciated the rearview camera since the small back window and thick pillars made it a challenge to backup (plus I’m a lousy backer-upper). Of course with the top down on the Dune all of that is moot.

The technology is pretty basic with a 6.3 inch touchscreen found on most models which uses a mix of touch and digital controls. CarPlay and Android Auto are included and easy to use.

Driving both the Coast and Dune models are a lot of fun with peppy acceleration and great maneuverability. In the city it’s small footprint makes it easy to squeeze into small spaces.

Because of the Dune’s raised suspension you could actually take it off road just a little bit but it takes away from some of its cornering ability.

Nostalgic for the cars of yesteryear but want one with all the modern perks? Give the 2018 Volkswagen Beetle Coast and Dune a test drive.