WITH diesel powered cars becoming more and more popular due to our emissions based road tax regime manufacturers have tried to find ways to offer more than just economical cars but sporty versions of their diesel line-up and so it is with VW and this week’s road test the Golf Cabriolet 1.6 TDi.
Road Tested By Hugh Maguire
Now I know our May weather has been pretty poor of late but I did manage a bit of roof down motoring nonetheless!
Well you will not mistake this car for anything but a VW Golf. The styling has evolved rather than radically changed and I suppose that is a good thing, after all if it ain’t broken why fix it!
The styling is fresh and contemporary without risking alienating the loyal following of Golf buyers.
The test car had the optional 18 inch Charleston alloys which set the car off rather nicely and overall the Cabriolet shape looks good.
Behind The Wheel
The interior gets a touch of the sporty treatment too with chrome detailing around the dials, the leather trimmed multifunction sports steering wheel and aluminium look pedals. It all looks great.
Everything is where you would expect it, with the usual high standard of ergonomics and unsurpassed build quality.
The dashboard is a model of clarity with easy to read instruments and switches that move with a well-engineered precision.
Standard equipment includes Climatronic climate control, cruise control, an on board computer, high quality stereo with MP3 compatibility and an AUX port, a six-speed manual gearbox, front foglights, auto stop/start with regenerative braking, and the usual electrics we have come to expect. On the safety front it is also well kitted out with, ABS, HBA (Hydraulic Brake assist), CBA (Cornering Brake Assist), front, side and curtain airbags, a driver’s knee airbag, ESP, ISOFIX, and full three point rear belts
The cabin is very well laid out and despite the sloping Cabriolet hood the rear proves roomy enough for two adults to sit in comfort.
The 1.6 litre TDi diesel is a well tried and tested unit and proves perfect for this new Golf.
Mated to that slick 6-speed gearbox it all gels together very well indeed.
Emissions are just 117g/km putting it into the lowest road tax band group A at €160 and over my road test it proved very frugal too consuming just 6.6 litres of diesel per 100km on average.
Performance is good with plenty of mid range punch for safe overtaking and the ability to cruise all day at the motorway limit in a refined manner.
The Golf Cabriolet rides and handles very nicely. That optional Sports Suspension fitted to my test car does a rather good job of insulating the passengers from road imperfections, yet endows the Golf Cabriolet with pretty dynamic handling with little bodyroll in corners and limpet like grip.
With the hood up the car is almost as quiet as a tin top, with a very well insulated hood.
Put the top down and with the wind deflector in place, which is a bit fiddly to fit, wind buffeting is minimal at normal speeds. The hood raises and lowers in less than 9 seconds which is very quick and handy for dodging showers!
The boot is very small though (as the hood retracts into a space above it) and suitable only for smaller bags and the like. Unlike other cars in this class the boot size remains the same hood up or down.
Our latest May weather might not get you thinking of a rag top. Nevertheless come rain or shine the new VW Golf Cabriolet does offer the best of both worlds. Roof up it is a comfortable refined cosy Golf, roof down it offers real sun in the face wind in the hair motoring which really is enjoyable.
It comes well equipped, looks cool and of course it’s a VW, so it should prove reliable.
Fun does not come cheap though. VW Golf Cabriolet prices start at €27,715, the Golf TDi Cabriolett costs €29,400, while the car tested with its options such as the sports suspension, Bi Zenon lights, heated seats, full leather trim and so forth came to a hefty €35,289.