Stuart Milne
18 May 2012

What is it?

The Golf GTI Cabriolet might sound familiar to British buyers, but the drop-top version of the Mk6 represents the first time GTI and Cabriolet have come together globally. GTI versions of the Mk1 Golf Cabriolet were only destined for the UK market.

The current Golf Cabriolet represents a good starting point for the GTI. It offers impressive torsional rigidity, but any failings in this regard would fall under close scrutiny with the 208bhp, 2.0-litre TFSI engine.

What is it like?

In the main, the GTI Cabriolet performs well. Scuttle shake is evident over high-frequency abrasions. With the roof-up, the frame tightens a little more. Ride is better than anticipated. There is a tendency, as with the standard Cabriolet, to crash over bumps but the primary ride is acceptable. Secondary vibrations can be felt through the standard-fit 18-inch alloys.

The steering is carried over from the hatchback, so is well calibrated, although it could use a touch more feel. Occasional kickback through the wheel is evident too. Adaptive Chassis Control, available on the GTI hatchback, isn’t offered on the Cabriolet, even as an option. The standard-fit XDS differential provides decent grip levels, and the Cabriolet corners flatly at speed.

Power delivery is smooth, and it feels as quick as its 7.3sec 0-62mph time suggests. The standard-fit six-speed manual box lacks precision, but the ratios are perfectly matched. It carries the same sound generator as the hatchback, and with the roof-down the noise is pleasing but not overbearing.

The GTI Cabriolet is sleeker than the hatchback thanks to a more steeply raked windscreen. All the usual GTI styling paraphernalia is supplied too, including comfortable bolstered seats trimmed in the GTI’s iconic tartan upholstery.

Should I buy one?

Volkswagen has done an excellent job of turning the Golf Cabriolet into a very fast four-seat convertible. But with a price tag £3600 more than the hatchback, it is also an expensive one.

There is an undeniable appeal offered by the GTI Cabriolet, but those chasing the many and varied skills the GTI badge is known for would be better served by the hatchback.

Volkswagen Golf GTI Cabriolet

Price: £29,310; 0-62mph: 7.3sec; Top speed: 147mph; Economy: 37.2mpg; CO2: 177g/km; Kerb weight: 1533kg; Engine type, cc: 4cyl, turbocharged, petrol, 1984cc; Power: 208bhp at 5300-6200rpm; Torque: 206lb ft at 1700-5300rpm; Gearbox: 6sp manual

Join the debate


Desirable Product

2 years 26 weeks ago

VW have produced a desirable product with this car but they know it and have priced it accordingly.

Personally I would take this over the EOS any day but I would have to think long and hard if I could justify the price, even if the residuals are bound to be rock solid.  There are plenty of other desirable drop top cars out there, both new and nearly new that could be bought for the same money.



It's all about the twisties........


Not My Thing

2 years 26 weeks ago

Much as I am a huge Golf fan, I really can't take to the idea of a GTI Convertible.  I like the Golf Convertible as it is and I love the GTI hatchback (Edition 35 in particular) but for me this model just doesn't work.  I don't really think it is a man's car as such, appearing a bit too girlie (even as a GTI).  I really hope they won't do a Golf R Convertible.

It's also very late in the day for VW to be launching a new model considering the Golf MkVII is just around the corner.  If Car magazine are to be believed VW are planning a Golf RS as a new flagship model with the 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine from the TT RS.  Much more my kind of Golf.


Nice, but pricey

2 years 26 weeks ago

I do really like the look of this, but boy that's a price tag.  And that's before speccing it up.

If you really must have a

2 years 26 weeks ago

If you really must have a convertible it would probably do nicely, but if I was investing that kind of money on a new VW I think I would be tempted by the Golf/Scirocco R for the same money.


That's just way too

2 years 26 weeks ago

That's just way too expensive. The hatchback is overpriced in GTI guise, but this is just crazy!

"It carries the same sound generator as the hatchback"

2 years 26 weeks ago

Is "sound generator" just elegant variation for engine/exhaust?

i think i'd rather have a 18

2 years 26 weeks ago

i think i'd rather have a 18 month old 335i cabrio...30k is a lot of cash!

I do prefer convertibles to

2 years 26 weeks ago

I do prefer convertibles to have a soft top, and so this is probably the pick of the family car/convertibles, but i dont think the Golf shape really suits having its roof cut off, it looks wrong both up and down.

I really like the looks of

2 years 26 weeks ago

I really like the looks of this new convertible, but I too wonder whether they should have bothered with a GTi version, maybe a  GLi would have been more appropriate for a soft top (as in previous models).

It has been mentioned that the Golf VII is just around the corner. Previously VW have spanned a couple of generations with the Cabriolet, but with the much vaunted new chassis architecture coming along I wonder if they'll hang onto this model for as long.

How much....?

2 years 26 weeks ago

Saw one in grey with 19"s today - looked smart, tho' rather feminine.?..however that price tag is unreal!

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