This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet (11-16) review.

Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

The 75bhp 1.8 S is the tamest (and cheapest) engine in the line-up, as it feels sufficiently powered around town but lacks conviction when overtaking on A-roads. For something more capable, the 100bhp 1.6-litre SE and 115bhp 2.0 are better all-rounders; both come with a choice of five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission and can cruise at motorway speeds without straining.

No diesel means the range is not as frugal as it could be, although no car manufacturer produced a diesel until 2002.

Golf Cabriolet is fun to drive and handles well on twisty B-roads. It grips superbly on corners and feels composed at speed, even though bodyroll is noticeable if it’s thrashed around tight bends. There is little body flex - which is often an issue with soft-tops - due to the stiff body and reinforced anti-roll bar. Parking is easy, as the convertible is easy to manage at low speeds, plus the 10-metre turning circle is in keeping with the class average.