VW Golf Cabriolet: Autumnal driving

  • Rear windscreen suffers with morning dew
  • Reversing is a challenge but parking sensors help
  • Auto main beam can see itself coming

So autumn is hardly the month to get all excited about driving a convertible. That hasn’t stopped the VW Golf Cabrio from proving itself as an incredibly capable mile-muncher, though.

From long-haul trips to Farnborough and Heathrow, through to transporting nephew and niece to a birthday party the VW Golf has been proving itself as a dependable day-to-day transport.

Autumn has brought its own particular challenges for the droptop Golf. Early mornings leave condensation all over the wing mirrors, windows and rear windscreen.

Dropping the side windows soon clears those and a few minutes after hitting the heated rear-screen button rearward visibility is granted. The wing mirrors are heated but I need to twist the knob round to the heat setting to toast the dewy beads off the glass mirrors.  

None of it takes long but if you are in hurry then yesterday is never soon enough. Also given the small size of the rear windscreen compared to the standard hatchback, plus the sheer size of the rear roof pillars, rearward vision is at a premium.

Parking sensors really help here but I’m always nervous about reversing out of or in to my drive in case of mowing down pedestrians, dogs, cats, etc.

The optional rear-view camera, as tested on the VW Golf GTi Cabriolet (see pic below), is even better as it delivers the view you would have if the roof is down.

The joys of driving in the dark are few and far between, but the Golf has a couple of neat tricks. First is swivelling headlights when you turn the steering wheel so you can see what you are turning towards. May seem like frippery but it’s very useful as you aren’t straining eyes to peer into the dark.

Second is the auto main beam. Set it on full and if the car detects an oncoming vehicle or when you are closing on a car in front it automatically dips the headlights. Neat trick. While it isn’t a lot of effort to dip the headlights yourself it does mean the beam is dipped when needed even if you forget as a driver.

The only curiosity is the way the system can fool itself. Big reflective road signs appear just like oncoming cars so the headlights dip. Several large road signs in a row can instigate a disco effect.

I guess there are times when you are better at doing it yourself.

VW Golf Cabriolet parking sensors

Parking sensors help as view is poor thanks to small rear screen

VW Golf Cabriolet optional rear view camera

Optional rear-view camera is even better as provides clear view

Current mileage: 10,544 miles

Average mpg: 48.5 mpg