The first hopeful glimmer of sunshine always sparks a barbecue, sun cream and convertible buying frenzy. With high hopes for good weather we road test the latest addition to the market, VW’s Golf Cabriolet.
What is it?
Few things in life are as much fun as open-top motoring so we snapped up the opportunity to try out the newest addition to the market, Volkswagen’s elegant Golf Cabriolet.
Who is it aimed at?
The Cabriolet is without doubt best suited to those who won’t be put off by restrictions on the boot size but simply want to embrace wind in the hair motoring. It is stylish and fun.
Cabriolets are all about appearance and elegant styling is essential. The steeply angled windscreen of the Golf Cabriolet coupled with styling cues borrowed from Audi’s A3 convertible, gives a sportier look than rivals.
Under the Bonnet?
In line with other Volkswagens there is a good choice of engines, ranging from a 1.2-litre petrol unit to two diesels a 1.6 or 2.0-litre. We drove the 1.6 litre engine with 77kW (105bhp) output.
What’s it like Inside?
The inside is virtually identical to the current range and is familiar VW. Everything is well finished with good quality materials throughout. But we would have liked a little more luxurious touches given the price difference for the cabriolet. Boot capacity is 250 litres but limited space is no surprise to the cabriolet owner.
On the Road?
The Golf is a great car to drive with sharp steering and good handling. As the cabriolet uses the same tried and tested components the ride is just as good. Under the canvas-roofed Cabriolet the lack of noise is instantly noticeable; you are beautifully cocooned from the outside without ever feeling cramped. When weather permits, it takes the electro-hydraulic roof just nine seconds to open thanks to an ingenious electro-hydraulic control system. In addition it can be operated at speeds up to 30km, an absolute must in Ireland where blissful sunshine can turn to torrential rain in the blink of an eye. Regardless of whether the roof is up or down the Golf cabriolet is good to drive.
The Cabriolet is equipped with an active roll-over protection system, ABS, ESP, airbags all round and a driver’s knee airbag. There is also reinforced window frame and underbody, side panels, and doors to make the car more rigid and safer.
What about fuel economy?
The 1.6 engine offer low emissions and good fuel economy. The Cabriolet returns 4.4 litres per 100 km on a combined cycle and CO2 levels of 117g/km means it qualifies for the lowest annual tax rate of €160.
Okay so the verdict?
The Golf Cabriolet is one of the best around and offers a great compromise for top up or down driving. It is elegant, comfortable, economical and offers good value for money. Cabriolets are an indulgence; why else would we shell out €27,000 plus, but thankfully if everything we did was purely rational the world would indeed be a duller place.
Competitors: Audi A3 Cabriolet; Peugeot 308CC; Mini Cabrio
Why you’ll buy one? Fun to drive; good handling; excellent noise suppression
Why you won’t? Limited rear visibility; interior a little drab
LAST WORD: Don’t forget your sunscreen.
GOLF CABRIOLET 1.6TDI 77kW BMT
Engine: 1958 cc putting out 77kW @ 4400 rpm and 250Nm of torque @ 1500-2500
Max speed: 189km
0-100km/h: 12.1 seconds
Emissions (motor tax): 117g/km (€160)
Starting price: €27,715
Model price range: €27,715 – €34,700 (test car was priced at €35,289*)
No of Doors: 2
Euro NCAP: 5 stars
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy: 4.4 litres (64.2mpg) per 100km on a combined cycle
Car Seats: Isofix is in the back for two car seats and both are easy to use
Boot Capacity: 250 litres
* optional extras included Leather “Vienna” Plus Pack, sports suspension, 18” alloy wheels, leather multi-function steering wheel, mobile Bluetooth “entry”, Multi-function display “plus” – €5,889
16th May, 2012