VW Golf Cabriolet: If only this wasn't Ireland...
Last week JOE's Oisin Collins took the VW up! out for a spin and this week it was the turn of the sporty drop-top, the VW Golf Cabriolet.
The first test that the Golf Cabriolet passed with flying colours - and it's one that can be tricky for any car to pass - was 'The Girlfriend Test'. It can be hard trying to convince a female who has zero knowledge of cars that a certain car is the best thing since sliced bread – mainly because to her it’s just a metal box with four wheels. Not the Golf Cabriolet mind you.
The girlfriend’s face lit up as soon as I pulled into the drive way – because it was a drop-top, I assume – but also because the car is actually styled quite nice for a drop-top that is technically a hatchback.
Most hatchback cars that have been converted into drop-tops often look too small to be taken seriously without the roof up (the old Peugeot 206 Cabriolet springs to mind). Thankfully, the lads over in Germany added a big-enough boot to the Golf, so it looks like a normal sized car that has been soaked in style and not a small car that’s been rolled around in glitter, if you catch my drift. Also, the boot is actually big enough to fit a set of golf clubs in comfortably, so that’s a plus (if you actually play golf).
As soon as you sit into the Cabriolet you notice one distinctive fact: it’s one of the most comfortable places you’re ever going to sit in. The sporty bucket seats – which come as standard – keep you comfortably pinned to the seat whether you’re going around corners a tad too fast or you’re just sitting in heavy traffic.
The driver’s position is so uncluttered and open that it gives you the feeling of being in command of a luxurious cruise liner. All the controls are easily reached and better yet, they’re easy to understand. The car was definitely built around the driver and that’s something which is often overlooked in cabriolets that often focus too closely on the roof.
Having said that, VW still put the effort in when they were making the foldable roof. It folds down in under ten seconds and it doesn’t feel extremely cold and windy when you’re cruising along (even though it’s Ireland), especially when the heat is on full blast.
The Golf Cabriolet, or any drop-top for that matter, might seem like the posers choice, but you instantly forget about that when you see a good-looking female staring into the car and smiling. It’s certainly a bit of a confidence boost. However the challenge there is figuring out whether she likes the car or whether she thinks you’re just a smug p***k. Lets just stick with the former.
The car runs on a sports suspension system that gobbles up the jumps and bumps in the road giving you one of the smoothest rides you’ll ever have… ahem. The superb suspension is coupled with some other high tech driver aids that makes driving the Golf Cabriolet one of the easiest things you’ll ever do.
The cruise control system in the car couldn’t be simpler and in fact, I don’t think I’ve come across an easier system to use in all my time behind a wheel. The cruise controls are found on a little stick underneath the indicator and a simple push of a button sets the cruise control in motion. Another quick flick will see you speed up or slow down without ever touching the accelerator. If they could only nail computer controlled steering then this would be the ultimate ‘sit back and relax mobile’.
Another great bit of tech in the Golf Cabriolet is the BlueMotion technology, which can be found in most new VW’s. The BlueMotion technology turns the engine off when you’re sitting in heavy traffic or you’re stopped at the lights.
With the BlueMotion technology you'll save a small fortune while being friendly to the environment
Sadly for me, I didn’t figure this out until the car randomly died coming out of town on the Quays. After I had a little panic attack, thinking I had just broke the car after having it for less than 15 minutes, the BlueMotion became my new best friend - to the point where later on in the week I was shouting ‘I LOVE BLUEMOTION’ as if I was Brick from Anchorman. Seriously, it will do that to you.
All in all the Golf Cabriolet is honestly a fantastic car. The 1.2TSi petrol version sits in the B tax band and it will set you back a cool €27,715. It ticks all the boxes and there’s nothing really negative to say about the car itself. The one bad thing you could say about it is the fact that we don’t have the weather to justify spending €8,000 more just to have the roof fold down.
Still, if you’re buying a new car and you have a bit of extra cash to spare then make sure to at least take the Cabriolet out for a test drive. You won’t regret it.