VW Golf Cabriolet: Open-top reveals its practical side

  • Can a convertible prove practical?
  • Practical touches shine through
  • Every convertible has its limitations

Just because convertibles appeal to the heart does not mean they shouldn’t make sense as everyday transport.

And it is clear that VW has worked hard to ensure the Golf Convertible has plenty of practical touches to make day-to-day living as easy as possible.

There are simple touches such as the plastic hooks recessed in the boot to hang bags of shopping on as well as the two rear seats that fold flat to increase the luggage space.

Now that the summer is behind us, the roof is spending a lot more time up than down, which leads to the tricky business of reverse parking. The Golf isn’t a big car but the fabric roof does a fine job of obscuring the rear view especially as the back window isn’t big either.

Luckily this SE comes with standard-fit rear parking sensors that, along with the display and audible warning tones that get more hysterical as you near an object, help make parking a lot easier.

It is worth noting that the base-spec S does not come with parking sensors as standard. On the options list is Park Assist (steers the car into a parallel space), or parking sensors, or rear-view camera or a mix of all of them for a belt-and-braces approach. You cannot specify Park Assist on its own on the S model, or Park Assist with rear camera, however.

The rear-view camera I tested on the GTi Convertible does provide useful extra guidance as it is easy to see what is behind you but confident parkers will find the sensors provide enough of a back-up.

The SE also comes with a wind deflector as standard – again, if you go for the S you need to choose it off the options list.

Sadly no flick of a switch to raise it – this is a manual job as the deflector is stored in the boot in its own protective zip case. The good news is that unfolding it is easy and slotting the pegs into the relevant holes in the rear window sills is the work of seconds.

Out on the road there is a noticeable reduction in wind noise and buffeting. I can keep the radio volume level down a notch or two compared to not having the wind deflector in place.

What it doesn’t do is make it any warmer to drive with the roof down and it renders the rear seats useless unless you’re carrying bags or very short children.

The boot is a good size but the enlarged pillar box opening and the narrow rear hatch through to the rear seats means you have to forget carrying any large bulky items like my garden rubbish bags or my bicycle.

A family's worth of grocery shopping, a collection of saucepans and a large cuddly toy will all fit in but that’s the limit. Maybe the only solution is a tow bar and a bike rack.

What do you think of the VW Golf Cabriolet? Get your opinions published in our Owners' Reviews section here.

VW Golf Cabriolet wind deflector fitted

Deflector fits in seconds and reduces wind buffeting and noise

VW Golf Cabriolet boot

Boot good size and plastic hooks useful to hang grocery bags from

Current mileage: 9,762 miles

Average mpg: 48.5 mpg