It’s been a long time since the last soft-top Golf. The wait’s been worth it
(from $40,350). You get dualzone climate control, hill-start assist, Bluetooth and ipod connectivity with audio streaming, 17-inch alloys with 225-series rubber and a glovebox that can be cooled.
Bewarevw’s oftenferocious charging for service and parts. It also needs premium petrol.
Under the bonnet isvw’s popular 1.4-litre twin-charger unit which combines turbocharging and supercharging for maximum efficiency and oomph. There’s 118kw at 5800rpm and a hefty 240Nm from 1500-4000rpm. Mated to the six-speed manual, fuel consumption is 6.6L/100km and drops a tenth for the not-so-smooth sevenspeed DSG.
But it’s the soft roof that’s the clever-clogs component. Usually it’s impossible to make a canvas-roofed car quiet, but the engineers have insulated the inner and outer layer to virtually eliminate wind noise.
Thanks to four roof bows, the canvas roof manages to keep its shape at all times.
It takes the electro-hydraulic roof just nine seconds to open and 11 seconds to stow, and can be operated at up to 30km/h.
Impressively, there’s no rollover bar. Rather there are automatically deployable rollover modules which are triggered when the airbags are deployed. These units are incredibly compact, allowing for folding back-seat rests rather than just a ski passthrough port, and the rear seat back has a 50:50 split.
And with the roof up or down there’s a reasonable 250 litres of bootspace.
Obviously based on the Golf, the Cabrio also takes styling cues from the Audi A3 Convertible. But rather than be just a topless Golf, the Cabrio has its own distinctive and, dare I say it, sportingly muscular look— it’s certainly more sports car than cabriolet.
Within, the styling is typical Vwand that means it’s ultrapractical and easy to use on the fly. But more than that, it’s also incredibly well screwed together and the material choice is first rate; in this price range no one makes a better interior.
There’s plenty of room in the front seats which are comfortable and supportive. And thanks to the rear-seat entry aid, getting into and out of the spacious back seats (which seat two) is a cinch for us six-footers.
Because a soft-top carries no reinforcing roof structure, the engineers have to make the body as strong as possible. They’ve done a great job here. The Cabrio is free of scuttle shake and feels just about as rigid as a hard-headed Golf.
The Cabriolet shares the Golf hatch’s five-star ANCAP safety rating, runs five airbags, front and rear head restraints, anti-slip regulation, electronic diff lock, stability control, ABS and electronic brakeforce distribution and more.
This is a a tale of love and hate . . .
Around town I found the Golf Cabriolet to be an