The turbocharged petrol engines on offer include a 103bhp 1.2, two 1.4s with 120bhp or 158bhp (the latter is also supercharged), and a 2.0 in 208bhp and 261bhp outputs for the GTI and R. The lower-powered 1.4 is our overall favourite thanks to its mixture of flexibility and economy, but the more powerful units are more fun. Both the turbodiesel choices, the 103bhp 1.6 and the 138bhp 2.0, are sound buys for high mileage drivers.
Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet ride & handling
Chopping the roof off a car compromises its rigidity, and you can feel this in the Golf Cabriolet; sharp bumps send shudders through the body and the steering wheel. The handling isn’t as sharp as the hatchback’s, either, but it still feels agile and secure. Only the Golf R disappoints, suffering from scrappy, wayward handling as it struggles to transfer all its power through the front wheels. The GTi is actually more fun thanks to its less excessive power output.
Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet refinement
The Golf Cabriolet has a fabric roof instead of a folding metal one. Nonetheless, it’s pretty refined. There’s some wind noise from around the side windows at speed, but road and suspension noise are subdued and the 1.2-litre engine is smooth. With the roof down, but the side windows up and the wind deflector in place, there’s little buffeting.