We haven’t seen a Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet since production of the drop-top version of the Golf 4 ended in 2002. The Eos Cabriolet was then launched to replace it, but VW soon realised that a folding hard top on a relatively small car creates an expensive (and compromised) product. And so, with nostalgic pleasure, VW brought back the ever-popular Golf Cabriolet.
There is no two ways about it: this car is geared towards a more feminine market. In fact, when we asked who would buy this car on our Facebook fan page, about 90 per cent of men said they would not buy it for themselves. Some mentioned they would consider buying it for their wives or girlfriends, though. Like the Golf 4 Cabriolet, this car appeals to a market that does not look for performance or aggressive looks (unless you take the recently launched GTI Cabriolet into account).
The 17-inch low-profile tyres on the 118 kW version make the ride ever so slightly stiff. However, the seats are comfortable and wind noise is minimal, especially with the wind diffuser erected. In fact, the only thing that can cause any discomfort would be the harsh African sun in summer, but on a clear winter’s day the insulated cabin keeps you comfortable and ensures you won’t need to put the top up, which takes all of 11 seconds, and nine seconds to fold down. The roof can be operated at speeds of up to 30 km/h. One feature this car could do with is a cooling function for the seats, not just the heating function that is standard on the Highline model’s leather-upholstered seats.
The steering is spot-on in its direct feel and weighting, and scuttle shake is kept to a minimum. There were no rattles or vibrations; we could very well have been in a car with a solid roof.
Powered by a 1,4-litre turbo and supercharged engine (although Volkswagen is phasing this out), the drop-top is available in Comfortline and Highline trim (the latter only with this powertrain). This model produces 118 kW and 240 N.m of torque. You can opt for a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed DSG transmission, both of which will take you to 100 km/h in 9,43 seconds and to a top speed of 216 km/h. This model boasts a claimed fuel consumption of 6,30 litres/100 km.
It’s safe to say that Audi has a real competitor for its A3 Cabriolet (now on run-out sale). The two cars may share a platform, but the Golf comes in slightly cheaper at R363 500. Updated versions of their donor cars are already available, so we can expect the new Audi Cab and Golf 7 Cab early next year. But, even in its twilight years, the Golf 6 Cab still sets the standard.