Road Test: Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet 2.0 TDI 140 GT
Sector: Lower-medium Price: £28,910 Fuel: 62.8 CO2: 119g/km
Sitting on my driveway with the sun beating down on its glistening metallic purple paintwork, the Golf Cabriolet on test attracted plenty of admiring glances.
Several neighbours popped by to have a chat about it and were all very impressed… until I told them how much it cost. And that’s this Golf’s biggest problem – at £28,910 it is a) very expensive for a Golf, and b) almost identical to the newer, more powerful and bigger Audi A3 Cabriolet.
While close cousins, the differences between the two open-topped models is quite wide. The Golf is based on the previous Mark VI version while the A3 is based on the new platform that underpins most new small VW Group cars.
As a result, the newer A3 is better packaged and offers more room inside and in the boot. While the rear seats in both models are for occasional use at best, it is the A3’s that you’d be happier to use more occasionally than the Golf’s. Boot space is better in the A3, too, with 70 litres extra storage capacity.
The A3 also uses a newer generation of diesel engine than the Golf, offering more power yet fewer emissions. The Golf’s 140bhp 2.0 TDI diesel returns an impressive 62.8mpg and emits 119g/km, but the A3 TDI with 150bhp pips it with 67.3mpg on the combined cycle and CO2 emissions of 110g/km. As a result of the latter figure, the A3 falls into lower benefit-in-kind tax band than the Golf.
On the road, both offer an unbeatable feel when the sun is shining and the roof is down (a simple and quick process in both cars), and with the roof up both are well insulated from wind noise and the worst of the weather.
While both cars are on the fringes when it comes to fleet choice lists, it is the Audi which should attract more user-choosers picks – it’s a newer car and feels it, being peppier and more refined than the older Golf.