Northstar Motor Group blogs about cars
Volkswagen Golf Convertible Brisbane : 2012 VW Golf convertible
Commentary by Bob Aldons - Northstar VW
Ewan Kennedy of Carsguide road tests and reviews the VW Golf cabriolet.
If you HAVE to have your convertible with a hard roof, then you can stop reading this story right now.
In days of old when knights were bold, convertibles didn't have hard tops - they came just as God intended, with a soft top that let in dust, water and wind.
These days, manufacturers have come a long way - soft top or rag top convertibles don't let in the elements, in fact they are downright civilized.
Enter stage left Volkswagen Golf cabrio. Whilst it's big brother has a hard top, the VW EOS is pretty pricey and up there with the other vehicles compared in this article. Audi, BMW, and Peugeot have similar sized convertibles to the VW Golf, but are way more expensive, starting at around $51k to the Golf's $39k
And apart from engine size (VW 1.4 twin charger) the differentiating features are nil. All cars have a 5 star safety rating so apart from the hardtop and the fact that you're buying a badge, you'd be nuts to ignore the Golf.
For more information on the Volkswagen Golf Convertible, visit us at Northstar VW, 320 Anzac Avenue Kippa-Ring on the beautiful Redcliffe Peninsula. Alternatively, visit our showroom online at www.northstarvw.com.au or check out our monthly specials at www.lovemyvw.com.au
New Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet’s attractive looks, lithe performance and very competitive pricing
Although convertibles and cabriolets with hardtop roofs have become common in recent years, there is still plenty of demand for traditional soft-top convertibles.
Purists of open-top cars have no interest in driving something that looks like a closed coupe when the roof is up, so will find the new Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet most attractive.
DESIGN AND EQUIPMENT
Volkswagen’s Golf Cabriolet combines the best of the traditional soft-top, with modern folding-roof thinking. The roof is ultra fast and you can put it up and down three times in 60 seconds. The easy-to-use one-button function lets you get it up and down at the lights with time to spare.
When the top is down there is no separate cover for the folded roof, rather the upper surface of the front roof bow becomes the top of the roof stowage are. Because the folded roof sits on top of the boot rather than inside it there’s good luggage space of 250 litres.
However, the boot lid is small and low down and loading/unloading is not easy. The rear seatbacks in the Cabriolet can be folded flat to significantly expand carrying space. Previous models only had a small ski hatch. We found the Golf Cabriolet’s windscreen angle ideal, providing protection from the wind without interfering with the open air feel. Purists will rejoice.
Interior space in the Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet is good with plenty of leg and headroom for the front seat occupants and reasonable space for adults in the back. The front seats are supportive and comfortable, the back seats less so, but for heaven's sake this is a car designed for two and who cares about those in the back.
The interior is pleasingly quiet with the roof in place thanks to a special insulating filler layer. Bluetooth connectivity for both phone and audio, USB and Auxiliary sockets and Media Interface unit all make it easier to entertain and communicate while on the road.
Standard safety features include five airbags, ABS brakes with electronic brake force distribution and brake assist, electronic stability control, hill start assist. All previous Golf convertibles have used a fixed roll bar to provide protection in the unfortunate event of a rollover.
While the Golf may have a traditional roof, the new model has a modern electronic system of looking after its occupants. Two recessed bars triggered by the car’s airbag controller spring upwards in about a quarter of a second if an impending rollover is detected. The front windscreen frame is reinforced to also act as a roll-bar.
However, the chances of rollovers are minimal thanks to the installation of various electronic systems able to sense when a car is starting to slide sideways and do everything possible to bring the errant Golf back on course.
Despite the absence of a fixed roof, clever body design means the car is rigid and we found almost no evidence of the scuttle-shake that used to affect convertibles. Purists may have liked that aspect of convertibles, but we must admit that a solid ride suits us better. And the lack of body movement gives the suspension a nice platform to work from.
There’s good feedback through the steering wheel and handling is sharp and positive. It’s no sports machine but it comes close and it’s most enjoyable to drive. Our road test Golf Cabriolet had Volkswagen’s clever 1.4-litre TSI twin charger engine mated to a seven-speed double-clutch DSG transmission.
Double-clutch transmission can be notoriously temperamental at very low speeds and this one proved no exception. Having said that, we did a fair bit of heavy-duty commuting with our review car and the automatic changes were much appreciated. The model designation of Golf 118TSI refers to the engine’s peak power of 118 kW, at 5800 rpm, while the maximum torque of 240 Nm runs through an excellent spread that goes all the way from 1500 to 4000 revs.
Fuel consumption is typically in the seven to nine litres per hundred kilometres range around town, dropping into the low sixes on a trip. This is pretty good for a petrol engine with the sort of performance provided.
New Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet’s attractive looks, lithe performance and very competitive pricing could well see a swing away from folding hardtop convertibles back towards the soft-top era.
VW GOLF CABRIOLET TSI DSG
Price: from $39,490
Resale: 54 per cent (Glass's Guide)
Warranty: 3 years/unlimited km
Service: 12 months/15,000km
Safety: 5-star Euro NCAP, ABS, BA, stability and traction control, hill start assist
Engine: 1.4-litre 4-cylinder supercharged and turbocharged petrol, 118kW/240Nm
Transmission: 7-speed DSG automated manual; front-wheel drive
Dimensions: 4337mm (L), 1423mm (H), 1782mm (W) weight 1443kg
Thirst: 6.5L/100km, on test , 153g/km CO2, tank 55L
Audi A3 Cabriolet - compare this car
Engine: 1.8-litre, 4-cyl petrol turbo, 118kW/250Nm
Transmission: 6-speed twin-clutch automated manual, front-wheel drive
Body: 2-door convertible
Thirst: 6.9 / 100Km, Premium ULP, CO2 159g/km
BMW 120i Convertible - compare this car
Price: from $53,200
Engine: 2-litre, 4-cyl petrol, 115kW/200Nm
Transmission: 6-speed manual or automatic, rear-wheel drive
Body: 2-door convertible
Thirst: 8.2L/100km, Premium ULP, CO2 192g/km
Peugeot 308CC - compare this car
Price: from $50,990
Engine: 1.6-litre, 4-cyl petrol turbo, 115kW/240Nm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
Body: 2-door convertible
Thirst: 7.2L/100km, Premium ULP, CO2 167g/km