Dune buggies are designed for the great outdoors. These powerful off-road vehicles are called dune buggies for good reason, being rugged enough to easily negotiate sand dunes and off-road trails.
With so many dune buggies available on the market in the United States, deciding which one to buy can be quite a daunting task.
Dune buggies are bigger and stronger than your average ATV and have another a number of built-in safety features making them more desirable. The size and quality of the engine, the durability of the buggies frame and enhanced handling of the steering wheel are some of the key advantages dune buggies have over a quad bike and these are some of the most important factors to consider before making a purchase.
Our current ratings for the best dune buggies are:
Best Dune Buggy Reviews
Joyner Trooper 1100
The Joyner Trooper 1100 cc is one of the best dune buggies currently available on the market today. This 4-seater buggy features a powerful 1100 cc 16-valve 4-cylinder engine that can reach speeds up to 85 mph. This powerful buggy will be able to navigate any sun dune or rough terrain with ease.
This all-terrain vehicle has a 5-speed manual transmission with a hydraulic clutch, it also features a hydraulic four-wheel disc brake system. Power is definitely not an issue with this beast of a buggy, it has a towing capacity of 1500 lbs. The sports dash with full gauges also gives this buggy a sleek look.
Safety is a very important factor to consider with the purchase of any motorized vehicle. The Joyner Trooper 1100 features a strong roll cage as well as racing seats with a 5-point racing harness seat belt in order to ensure maximum safety.
This powerful, durable dune buggy doesn’t come cheap, but it is the ultimate dune buggy for any outdoor lover, handling hill climbs with ease and is sure to make your next dune buggy adventure your best one yet.
Kandi Spyder 200
The Kandi Spyder 200 dune buggy is a great option if you are either a beginner or if you are purchasing a dune buggy for your kids. This powerful buggy features a 169 cc 4 stroke single cylinder engine that can reach speeds up to 38 mph.
This user-friendly buggy features an electric start system and it also has reliable front and rear disc brakes. This buggy features comfortable racing seats with harness seat belts in order to ensure maximum protection to its occupants. In addition, this buggy also features a strong durable frame and roll cage that is built to last. We found this all-terrain vehicle to be particularly well suited to off-road racing.
This sleek well-designed sand dune buggy also features lights, turn signals and a horn. Dune buggies can be very expensive, but this powerful little beast retails at a fairly affordable price tag in comparison to some of the top of the range dune buggies.
200GKG Go Kart
The 200GKC dune buggy is one of the best value for money options currently available on the market. This 11-horse power buggy features a 4-stroke single-cylinder engine that can reach a top speed of 40 mph, not bad for a vehicle with safety features that just you just aren't going to get with alternatives such as dirt bikes or pickup trucks.
This powerful buggy features front and rear disc brakes with an electric start system. The automatic transmission of this buggy is easy to use and it can be enjoyed by both young and old. The spotlights and roof rack are ‘cool” add-ons to this already modern dune buggy.
The bucket seats with harness safety belts ensure safety. In addition, the roll cage of this 4-seater buggy doesn’t just offer protection, it is also very durable. This rugged dune buggy with its affordable price tag will be a great addition for any adventure-loving family.
How to ensure you purchase the perfect dune buggy
In the following sections, we evaluate the key factors you need to consider before purchasing a dune buggy. ATVs aren't a cheap purchase and you obviously want to ensure you are buying a vehicle that will hold its own out on the sand dunes or at the beach. As a result, we have put together the following categories that you need to judge each of the ATVs you review on.
Engine quality and size
Off-road trails feature rough terrains with sand dunes, bumps, hills and a variety of other obstacles. A dune buggy with a strong engine is a must in order to negotiate these rough terrains. Majority of dune buggies that are ideal for both kids and adults normally feature 150cc engines.
150cc engines are strong enough to negotiate rough terrain with ease. Dune buggies with 150cc engines can reach top speeds in excess of 35 mph. The most important factor is that kids/teenagers are able to handle the power of a 150cc engine with ease.
Adult dune buggies feature big, powerful engines. 1200 and 1500cc engines are common in the majority of high-end dune buggies. These big engines create enough power to negotiate any terrain with ease, they also deliver top speeds in excess of 85 mph, perfect for tricky hill climbs.
Make sure to buy a dune buggy that has the correct engine size for your needs, also keep in mind that price drastically increases as engine size increases. As a result its worth considering your needs carefully, if you're looking for ATVs for your kids to ride down at the beach, maybe the most expensive engine size doesn't make much sense.
A dune buggy with a durable, high-quality frame is a must for multiple reasons. Dune buggies need to be able to withstand the bumps and scrapes associated with off-road racing as well as hill climbs and the difficulties that they bring.
In addition, a good frame also ensures the safety of the occupants during an accident. The risk of serious injuries is reduced when the roll cage of the dune buggy absorbs the majority of the impact of a crash.
Big wheels with strong durable rims and high-quality tires are a must for any dune buggy. Tires with good traction are also necessary to ensure good navigation of tight corners and rough terrain out on the trails. High spec wheels can also make a world of difference when maneuvering your vehicle on sand.
Big wheels are needed in order to climb over rough terrain, big wheels also ensure high ground coverage which is a must for any off-road vehicle.
The suspension on a dune buggy is a very important feature to consider given the fact that dune buggies are designed to negotiate rough terrains. The suspension of a dune buggy needs to be durable in order to absorb the hits associated with off-road dune buggying.
A good suspension will also ensure a dune buggy that is comfortable to ride in. The suspension of a vehicle also serves as protection, it protects the body and the occupants of the vehicle.
A dune buggy with a below average suspension should definitely be avoided, rather spend an extra bit of money on a dune buggy with a good suspension, it will save you money in the long run.
Dune buggies are powerful off-road vehicles and safety is very important to consider with the use of any motorized vehicle. Dune buggies are designed for use on outdoor trails which increases the risk of accidents, safety is thus of utmost importance when driving a dune buggy.
Key safety features include:
- A high-quality frame with a protective roll cage
- Comfortable seats with safety belts or safety harnesses
- The use of helmets are recommended at all times while operating a dune buggy
In addition, if children are operating the dune buggy make sure that they understand the dangers associated with the use of a motorized vehicle.
Trail conditions are also very important to consider. Take extra caution if you are driving on a new trail or if the trail is wet and slippery.
Price is always an important factor to consider when purchasing any new product. Dune buggies feature rather hefty price tags and with that in mind it is vital to make a well-informed purchase decision.
Buying the cheapest option is definitely not always the cheapest option in the long run. It is also considering the cost of maintenance when purchasing a new dune buggy. A dune buggy with low maintenance cost will be the most cost-efficient option in the long run. The last thing you want to have to do is replace the gear box or steering wheel after just a few months, especially if you're stuck on the sand dunes when something goes wrong.
What is a dune buggy?
The term dune buggy originated when VW beetles were modified into dune/beach buggies. Dune buggies are known for their signature wide tires, a rear-mounted engine and a roofless design.
Original dune buggies are driven around coastal towns and they are ideal if you live in an area that still allows motor vehicles on the beach. Dune buggies are also popular in sandy desert areas.
Modern dune buggies are custom built vehicles that resemble the look of a go kart. The term off-road go-kart and dune buggy is often times confused, as are the terms ATV & UTV.
Off-road go karts and dune buggies are basically the same thing, the only difference being that dune buggies tend to be bigger, featuring larger wheels and a rear mounted engine.
How to build a dune buggy
Building a dune buggy is no easy task and buying one instead of building one is definitely recommended. Building a dune buggy requires time, skills, the necessary equipment/parts and a lot of patience.
If you want to go the building route two options are available to you:
- Modify an existing vehicle
A Volkswagen beetle is the perfect shape and size vehicle that can be transformed into a dune buggy.
Dune buggy kits are available for purchase easily online and these kits make the modifying process considerably easier.
Once you have the kit and the Volkswagen beetle the first step is to begin to take the beetle apart. All electrical components such as the engine, gear box and pressure switch need to be detached.
The next step is to remove the bolts that connect the body to the chassis, once complete you can then go ahead and unscrew the fuel tank and detach the fuel and brake fluid lines.
Once the body is removed you will be able to rebuild the dune buggy using the building kit with the Volkswagen beetle chassis.
A new battery will be required for your modified Volkswagen beetle dune buggy while shocks and new tires are also a must to ensure a comfortable ride.
Modifying a Volkswagen in this way is also known as creating a sand rail. A sand rail is quite simply the chassis of a dune buggy on wheels, perfect for you to head off in during those long summer months or to even to attempt off-road racing with.
- Build a dune buggy from scratch
Dune buggy construction plans are available for purchase from a number of reputable sources online and can start from as low as $25.
You will need access to welding equipment in order to build your custom chassis and once the chassis is built make sure to buy individual parts as needed according to the construction plan you have brought.
Once you have all the parts the building and assembly can begin, and before long you will be enjoying a dune buggy adventure.
A fiber glass frame can be purchased separately if you don’t enjoy the look of a dune buggy with a steel frame.
Buying vs Building a Dune Buggy
Building a dune buggy from scratch sounds fairly simple, but it's far from it. Purchasing an already assembled dune buggy is by far the easiest route to go down with high-quality buggies and UTV options available to buy now online.
With so many kids and adult dune buggies available on the market, finding one that suits your needs should be relatively straight forward. Hopefully, our in-depth reviews should help and examining buggies side-by-side will also help.
Always make sure to do your homework before making any final decisions. A good dune buggy should have a strong durable frame, a high-quality suspension, as well as reliable gear box and steering well. Not only this but adequate safety features including roll cage also need to be considered.
Dune buggies are tons of fun, out last piece of advice? If you have a big family invest in a 4-seater, they will all love you for it, particularly in the summer months when you can explore the nearby national park for hours on end.
BMS Panther XL
If you are looking for the ultimate dune buggy that will impress anyone that sees it look no further than the BMS Panther XL. This top of the range 800 cc twin injected 60 horse-power dune buggy can reach a top speed of 88 mph.
This 2-seater beast features comfortable racing seats with harness safety belts for added security. This buggy also features a windscreen, lights and a strong durable frame and roll cage. This dune buggy can be pre ordered in a variety of different color options, this allows you to choose the ultimate dune buggy in your favorite color.
The big rugged wheels of this buggy will be able to negotiate tough terrain with ease, another reason why this is arguably the ultimate dune buggy. Top of the range dune buggies carry hefty price tags, and purchasing this buggy will definitely leave a dent in your bank account.
Interceptor 163 XRS+
If the little one in the family enjoys speed and the outdoors then the Interceptor 163 XRS+ is a must have dune buggy. This small yet powerful dune buggy is ideal for kids aged 4-12. The powerful 163 cc 5.5 horse power pull to start engine of this buggy ensures hours and hours of fun over rough terrain.
This buggy features safe high quality hydraulic brakes. The dual seat of this buggy has space for 2 occupants. Seat belts are included in order to ensure the safety of both the driver and the passenger.
This little beast features a strong durable frame and roll cage, exactly what one would expect from a high-quality dune buggy. This buggy retails at an affordable price tag, and trust us, your kids will love the Interceptor 163 XRS+.
The Kandi 125cc 2-seater dune buggy kids go kart is one of the best off-road kids dune buggies currently available on the market. This powerful buggy features a 3-speed semi-automatic transmission with reverse. The engine is a clone of a Honda engine and it features an electric start button.
This dune buggy with its strong, durable steel frame and front and rear suspension is made for the great outdoors. The steel frame of this buggy also serves as a protective roll cage. This is a must have feature to ensure the safety of your kids. The comfortable double racing style seat also features 2 individual seat belts to ensure added safety.
Additional features of the Kandi 125cc includes hydraulic disk brakes, headlights and a rear-view mirror. This fun packed buggy with its affordable price tag will be a great addition to any household with adventurous kids.
BMS 1500cc off-Road
If you are in the market for a powerful dune buggy then look no further than the BMS 1500cc off-road 2-seater Sand Sniper. This powerful buggy features a 1500cc 4-cylinder liquid cooled engine that can reach top speeds in excess of 85 mph.
Safety is very important considering the power of this dune buggy. It features a full roof with a steel roll cage as well as racing seats with 4-point shoulder safety harnesses. This buggy can be used in the dark, it features hi/low headlights, off-road driving lights, brake lights and turn signals.
This rugged buggy can negotiate extremely rough terrains, its nitrogen coil over shocks and strong front and rear suspension also ensures added agility and comfort while maneuvering rough terrain. The BMS 1500cc features power steering, a 5-speed manual transmission with reverse and a rear tow hitch that can come in very handy while negotiating sandy dunes.
This buggy features a hefty price tag, but it is definitely money well spent on this powerful fun filled dune buggy.
BMS T-1500cc 4-Seater Buggy
The BMS T-1500 sand sniper 4-seater buggy is the ultimate family dune buggy. This powerful beast features a 1500cc 5-speed manual transmission engine that can reach high top speeds. This dune buggy with its durable frame, full roof and protective roll cage will ensure the safety of its occupants in case of an accident.
This buggy also features 4 bucket seats with safety harnesses for added safety. The aluminum alloy wheels and durable tires of this buggy can negotiate rough terrains with ease. LED headlights, roof lights and turn signals ensure that this buggy can be driven safely at night.
The adjustable Nitrogen coil over shocks and strong suspension of this buggy further enhances its ability to negotiate rough terrains. The 3000 lbs. electric winch is a welcome addition to any dune buggy. This buggy features quite a hefty price tag, but the hours of outdoor fun that it ensures makes it worth the spend.
TrailMaster Blazer 150X
If you are in the market for a family dune buggy that can be enjoyed by both young and old look no further than the TrailMaster Blazer 150X. This powerful dune buggy features a 150cc engine with automatic transmission. Its automatic transmission makes it ideal for young drivers.
This 4-seater buggy has enough space for the entire family, it has a weight limit of 500 lbs. and it can accommodate a driver with a height of up to 5’8”. It features deluxe seats with a 5-point safety harness, this ensures added safety and comfort. The heavy-duty frame of this buggy is durable and its roll cage serves as a protective measure in case of an accident.
The TrailMaster Blazer features a sporty yet functional look. This buggy also features shocks and durable wheels allowing it to navigate rough terrains with ease. A trailer hitch, LED headlights and a horn are all great additions to this little ‘dune beast’.
This buggy is quite an investment, but it will be worth every dollar spent once you get to ride it on a regular basis.
Read our full TrailMaster go kart review here.
TrailMaster Blazer 150
The TrailMaster Blazer 150cc 4-seater automatic dune buggy is one of the best family friendly buggies currently available on the market. It features a powerful GY6 engine that ensures ample power to negotiate tough terrain. It has a weight capacity of 500 lbs. and it can accommodate a driver up to 5’8” in height.
The heavy-duty frame of this buggy isn’t just durable, it also offers protection in case of an accident, something not all ATVs offer. Additional safety features include comfortable sports seats with a 5-point safety harness. Rear and front hydraulic disc brakes ensure easy navigation and it is a must have to ensure safety out on the sand dunes.
Shocks, durable large wheels and a full suspension ensure that this buggy can negotiate any rough terrain with ease. Headlights and a horn are both additional features that add to the value of this buggy. This buggy with its affordable price tag will ensure hours of fun for the whole family.