Volkswagen revives its Cabrio
"After nearly a decade, the Volkswagen Golf line-up welcomes a new Cabriolet."
The last soft top Golf (nameplated Cabrio) went away in 2002, to be replaced in the Volkswagen stable by the New Beetle convertible and, at the higher end, the hard-top convertible Eos.
The new Golf Cabriolet has a top that opens completely in nine seconds, at the push of a button, at speeds up to 30 km/h. Unlike previous generations, the top stows just behind the rear seats, even with the trunk lid (rather than on top of it), which means it doesn’t impact on the 250 litres of trunk space when the cabin is open. The rear bench seat is split 50/50 to increase longitudinal cargo room.
Also, the new Golf Cabriolet does not have the structural hoop of past models, behind the front seats (which theoretically should also make getting in and out easier), but rather uses a fast deploying roll bar behind the rear seats. A full complement of airbags (dual front, full side curtains and a driver’s knee) is on board for occupant protection. Electronic stability control is also standard.
To keep manners in line with other Golfs, the Cabriolet uses the same MacPherson strut set-up up front and an innovative multi-link rear configuration Volkswagen claims will mean seldom activation of the stability control system.
With the top up, the Cabriolet has a distinct family tie to the full-bodied Golf two-door hatchback, but with a faster appearance (created by moving the top of the windshield farther back for roll-over protection purposes. The soft-top created C-pillars and slight trunk lid are also reminiscent of past Cabrios.
Standard features include 16 inch wheels with 205 series tires, air-conditioning, power windows all around and an easy-entry feature for the front seats (for rear seat access).
Power is supplied by a line-up of six turbocharged four-cylinder engines (four gasoline and two diesel), ranging from 1.2 litres in displacement up to 2.0 litres. Transmission choices are the standard six-speed manual and optional six-speed and seven-speed direct shift gearboxes (depending on engine choices), with a five-speed manual as the standard link-up with a 1.6-litre diesel.
If the car is cleared for North American roads, the most likely choices would be the 2.0-litre fuel engine used in the Golf GTI models (and linked only to the six-speed sequentially shiftable automatic), with an outside chance the 2.0-litre turbodiesel from the Golf might also be available (with either a six-speed manual or six-speed DSG).
The Golf Cabriolet also benefits from Volkswagen’s fuel-saving technology, called BlueMotion, for its diesel engines – it uses energy capturing during braking and engine stop/start at idle to reduce emissions and improve economy.
Like recent VWs (Eos, Passat CC, Touareg and Phaeton), the Golf Cabriolet comes in only one trim level which can be packaged up in different ways (Performance, Comfort, Technology, etc.). Whether Volkswagen Canada brings the one-trim Cabriolet to Canada remains to be announced.
- Price range: Not yet set
- Year/Make/Model: 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet
- EnerGuide fuel economy ratings: not yet rated.
- Competitors: Chrysler 200 Convertible; Mini Cooper Convertible; Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder.
- Options: navigation system.