Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet 2012 Review

Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet 2012 Review

Vitamin D: many of us are short of it. So rather than buying vitamin D supplements you can spend some more time in the sun. If you’re one of those unfortunate souls that spends an entire working day every week stuck in your car in rush hour traffic you are missing vital vitamin D absorption time.

With the Golf Cabriolet you can go from shaded to sun-drenched in just 9 seconds. That’s all it takes to drop the top on this convertible and you can do it while

driving at up to 30kph.

Want it back up again? Just push the button and it’ll raise the roof in 11 seconds. The Golf has rollover protection features that include two sturdy bars that deploy upwards from behind the rear seats in milliseconds if it detects you’re about to become upside down.

This is active even when the roof is up. The windscreen frame is reinforced to withstand heavy impacts along with structural strengthening to the underbody, side panels, sills, back panel and doors to compensate for the loss in roof rigidity. Airbags abound – front and side curtain, head/thorax and driver’s knee will deploy in an accident.

There’s virtually seamless power available from the 1.4-litre, 90kW TSI petrol engine through the 7-speed DSG gearbox. You barely feel the gear changes, and if you drive it sensibly you’ll get fuel economy in the mid 6l/100km range. Put your foot to the floor and it’ll get to a hundred in 10.5 seconds.

The steering is precise and well-weighted and there is excellent visibility forwards and sideways. The rear window is not as wide as hard-top vehicles but parking is not a problem, as all-round parking sensors (ParkPilot) and a convenient display on the in-dash touch screen warn you if you’re getting too close to an immovable object.

This screen is also used for the multimedia system which features a user-friendly radio interface, iPod integration and Bluetooth phone integration, too.

The interior is comfortable. There is even enough room in the back for two more non-professional-basketball-playing adults to travel in reasonable comfort.

One thing with a convertible is that winters can be cold. The Golf comes with heat-insulating windows and twin ‘scout’ fabric heated front seats that not only heat up extremely quickly but will get to the kind of temperatures that will bring on a nice sweat even in winter (which it was when we tested this car).

While many heated seats are a bit lackluster, these are probably hot enough to render guys temporarily impotent. Why not leather seats? Well, if you’ve ever left your top open in really hot sun then got back into a car with leather seats you’ll soon appreciate fabric because your legs won’t get burned on them; conversely, fabric seats are much warmer in winter. The seats also have convenient drawers under them to hide small items away from view.

There’s a lockable glovebox with cooling facility and a small storage area under the front centre armrest. The cup holders in front of that aren’t that well designed to hold water bottles, but do work.

For a cabriolet, the Golf runs fairly quietly. There was definitely no intrusive road noise that you can get with some convertibles.

Moving to the outside, the Golf looks pretty good with the roof up, but great with the roof down. The strong shoulder line becomes even more prominent when the roof is removed. If anything, the headlights look a little too soft for the rest of the body design, especially the fantastic 17-inch wheels, but the impression is that of a very tidy, well-proportioned vehicle.

Aside from the fact that the boot aperture is small (a function of having the folding roof), the only problem with the Golf is the accelerator pedal. Push it a bit and nothing happens; push it a fraction more and it’s all on – the car rockets forwards (or worse, backwards) and then you have to stamp on the brakes.

But overall this little Golf is a great little car. It comes with a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty and a 3-year unlimited mechanical warranty for those worried about potential higher Euro repair costs. While the small boot aperture isn’t going to suit everyone the actual boot size (250l) is not bad for a cabriolet. The roof will appeal to sun lovers and it’s extra convenient having two full sized seats in the rear with usable leg room.

If you’re looking to buy a VW Golf, click here to view Golfs for sale

Price: $43,000


  • Looks great
  • Sensible fuel economy for a petrol motor
  • Excellent sideways visibility – no B pillar to obstruct it


  • Small boot aperture (only around 12 inches tall)
  • Throttle pedal feel is bad


1.4 litre (90kW) = $43,000

Prices exclude on-road costs and effective Dec 01, 2011

Engine, gearbox, electrical system (90kW TSI)

Engine type 90kW TSI
Cubic capacity, litres/cm 3 1390cc
Max. output, kW(bhp) at rpm 90kW @ 5000 rpm
Max. torque, Nm at rpm 200Nm @ 1500 – 4000 rpm
Gearbox, standard 7-Speed DSG

Weights, kg

Min. unladen weight 1479
Trailer load limits
12% gradient, braked 1300
unbraked 730

Top speed, kph

with automatic gearbox 197

Acceleration, in seconds from 0-100 kph

with automatic gearbox 10.5

Fuel consumption, litres/100 km

with automatic gearbox:
urban 8.0
extra-urban 5.4
combined 6.3
CO 2 emission, g/km 147g/km – Euro 5

Safety and security equipment

• EuroNCAP safety rating – 5 star Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP) including driver steering  recommendation, comfort brake assist, Antilock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Diff Lock (EDL) and Anti  Skid Regulation (ASR)
• Airbags for driver and front passenger
• Front passenger airbag deactivation
• Combined curtain and side airbags at the front
• Safety steering column with telescoping element
• 2 rear head restraints
• 4 three-point inertia reel seat belts; front belts with height adjustment and belt tensioners
• Safety-optimised front head restraints
• ISOFIX mounting points on outer two rear seats for child seats
• Automatic activation of hazard warning lights if full braking is applied
• Warning tone and lamp if front seats belts are not fastened
• Electronic immobiliser

Wheels and suspension

• Alloy wheels, 17” Porto with 225/45 tyres and sports suspension
• Space saver spare wheel

Exterior Features

• Automatic driving light control with ‘leaving home’ function and manual ‘coming home’ function
• Electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors
• Green-tinted heat-insulating windows
• Headlights – Halogen with daytime running lights
• ParkPilot front and rear, with curb view on passenger side exterior mirror
• Rain sensor

Interior Features

• Automatically dimming rear view mirror
• Carpet mats, front and rear
• Central locking with radio remote control
• Climatronic two zone air conditioning system
• Cruise control
• Electric windows, front and rear
• Front centre armrest with storage box, 2 vents and 2 cup holders at the rear
• Glove compartment with cooling facility, lockable and illuminated
• Hill hold feature (DSG)
• Leather-covered multifunction steering wheel

Seats and upholstery

• ‘Scout’ fabric upholstery, comfort front seats
• Drawers under front seats
• Unsplit rear bench seat, with symmetrically split folding backrest


• 4 x 20 watts, 6 loudspeakers
• AUX-IN multimedia socket
• RCD 310 Radio CD system, single CD
• Media Device Interface (MDI) multimedia socket with iPod adapter cable
• Provision for mobile phone with Bluetooth (Hands Free Profile, A2DP profile), including Multi-function display ‘Plus’ 9Q5 and phonebook display.

Warranty and Assistance

• Galvanised body
• Cavities are given long-term protection with hot wax
• 3 year/ unlimited km mechanical warranty, 12 year anti-corrosion warranty


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