Friday, 2 September 2011 12:50 PM
So we haven’t seen a roofless VW Golf since 2002 but after over 684,000 sales, and as any comeback kid’ll tell you; if you’re gonna re-blaze the trail you’ve got to make a splash. Is the new Golf Cab rocking the drop-top world with some wonderful waves?
Well I think so. Let’s look at this Pure White 1.4-litre TSI 160 PS Cabrio first, in top-trim GT spec and currently the quickest Golf Cab you can buy, until extra petrol and diesel engine variants are offered next year.
At £25,295 for this top-of-the-ranger, plus £720 on multimedia and £380 on a Winter Pack, we’re getting near the very top price for a convertible Golf. But, as seems to be the norm with VW; you get what you pay for. And that’s a solid- and quality-looking car.
You’ll recognise the front-end from the hard-top Golf; the Cab shares its grille and bonnet, but after those sharply-raked A-pillars it’s all new; ending in Cabriolet-only taillights that share a defined grease with the boot lid. Roof up or roof down it’s a pleasantly understated, handsome sight. Those 18-inch “Charleston” alloys with black highlights also help to lift the looks.
Into the interior, and for this £25k car; the stylish signs are good. There is a fair amount of the black plastic around the dash if you search it out, but thankfully it doesn’t obviously present itself.
The steering wheel gets leather and metal trims, the £720 sat-nav system is well-packaged and easy to use and, mixed in with minimal A/C controls, we’ve got a clean and uncluttered dash area.
Then look at the seats. Titan Black Alcantara, and very tasty with it. For a car that’ll spend much of its time – English weather depending, of course! – bearing all with the roof down, you’ll be wanting a swanky interior. These soft and well-stitched Alcantara lovelies look and feel great, and with plenty of adjustment, got me where I needed to be comfort- and control-wise.
On the road and the latest Golf delivers a decent turn of speed from its 160PS supercharged and turbocharged 1400cc engine. It’s a cunning combo that keeps combined economy pegged at 44.1mpg and CO2 at 150g/km, but still has the forced induction puff to drive the Cab pretty hard. There’s some whooshing to be heard from the ‘chargers as you dash to 62mph in 8.4secs and the pick-up torque is good enough to raise a smile. Gets a little gruff at the revs top-end, mind.
And even with the roof chopped off – and thanks to plenty of extra chassis underpinning – the converted Golf is impressively almost shudder-free. The stiffened chassis all but banishes scuttle-shake and lets the suspension work at its best over our crumby roads. And the ride is about right for the more sporty GT model; firm but not thumping too much over sharp potholes.
So this GT looks good to walk up to, drops its hood in less than 10secs, offers sumptuous seating and a pretty quick drive. The VW Golf Cabriolet comes back in some style; in dealers now, with prices starting at £20,720.
VW Golf Cabriolet SE 1.6-litre TDI 105 PS first drive here
By Daniel Anslow
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