VW Golf Cabriolet: Joins the fleet

  • New droptop joins the Parkers long-term fleet
  • Just in time to celebrate the great British summer
  • Comes with frugal diesel to keep costs down

Here comes summer. With the wettest April on record, major storms in May and severe flooding in June, this summer is shaping up to be the perfect testing ground for our new long term test car, a VW Golf Cabriolet.

The British love their convertibles but does the appeal match the reality? Given that the sun is an infrequent visitor so far this summer what opportunities are there to go topless? And with these tough austere times, is a convertible a frivolous purchase or can a car that goes roofless be a genuinely, practical day-to-day vehicle that ticks all the boxes as a medium family car?

Stepping into the breach is the VW Golf Cabriolet 2.0TDi Bluemotion Tech SE. This is the mid-spec trim and comes with a good level of kit including USB connectivity, alloy wheels, multi-function steering wheel, parking sensors front and rear, and steering wheel adjustment for reach and rake.  

And yes, it is a diesel, and the frugal version at that - the BlueMotion. Go back a few years and fitting a diesel to a convertible was not really the done thing. Petrol engines were considered the default choice as it delivered driving fun as well as wind-in-the-hair motoring. So can the diesel do likewise and save money to boot.

Talking of which, just how practical can a convertible be given boot space is compromised thanks to a folding roof? The VW Golf tries to alleviate some of that problem by going with a fabric covering that takes up a lot less space than a folding metal arrangement. So a weekly shopping trip to the supermarket is a breeze but what about a trip to DIY stores for bigger, bulky items?

That boot space is reasonable and that's the upside, but the downside is that the opening is like a letterbox so threading in large boxes or large bags in is not easy. In fact, a couple of times I have to resort to either putting them on the back seat or dropping the rear seats to feed through the boot.

A neat touch here is the remote seat releases in the boot so you can drop the seat backs without having to open the doors, reach into the back and release the seat backs to drop them down. Makes life so much easier.

Initial driving has revealed that fuel consumption according to the car’s on-board computer has been as high as 61mpg when cruising on dual carriageways and as low as 35mpg on back roads. That means on average a tank is delivering between 500-600 miles so visits to petrol stations are infrequent.   

Over the next few months I will be testing just how practical the Cabrio is, how it compares to its rivals and can a diesel engine provide driving fun as well being easy on my wallet.

Don't forget, if you have a VW Golf Convertible or any convertible then we want to hear what you think about your car. Your opinion matters so let us know in owners reviews.

VW Golf Cabriolet 2.0TDi Bluemotion SE Tech exterior

VW Golf Cabrio joins Parkers test fleet. Hope the weather improves...

VW Golf Cabrio boot with rear seat release levers

Boot opening is restrictive but release lever for rear seats is very useful

Current mileage: 5,543 miles

Average mpg: 49.7 mpg