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by Tim Beissmann

The 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet is now on sale in Australia. The Cabrio returns to the line-up after a nine-year absence in Australia and will fill the hole left by the New Beetle Cabrio, which is unlikely to be replaced in Australia by the all-new model until at least 2013.

The Golf Cabrio is priced from $36,990 (before on-road costs), undercutting the hardtop Volkswagen Eos by $13,000.

The Golf Cabriolet will have a nice little niche to exploit in Australia. From a price perspective, its nearest rival is the light-sized Peugeot 207 CC hardtop, which ranges from $33,490 to $38,190. The MINI Cooper Cabrio and Mazda MX-5 soft-tops both start over $40,000, while the Peugeot 308 CC and Renault Megane CC compete more directly with the Eos.

The Golf Cabriolet has been launched with just one engine: the 1.4-litre twin-charged (turbocharged and supercharged) 118TSI. The engine – also found in the Golf hatch and Golf Wagon line-ups – produces 118kW of power and 240Nm of torque, launching the Cabrio from 0-100km/h in 8.4 seconds. Combined cycle fuel consumption is 6.6 litres/100km when teamed with the six-speed manual and 6.5 litres/100km with the seven-speed dual-clutch DSG.

The Golf Cabriolet’s fully automatic three-layer fabric soft-top opens in nine seconds – even when the car is travelling at speeds of up to 30km/h – and folds away in 11 seconds.

The Cabrio’s 250-litre boot volume is unchanged whether the roof is up or down, and the rear bench splits 50:50 to free up even more space. There are only two seats in back, which means you will probably have to make a few extra trips over summer to keep your friends happy.

On the outside, the Golf Cabriolet scores 17-inch alloy wheels (space saver spare), front and rear fog lights, LED taillights (similar to the Golf R) and tinted windows.

Inside, the Cabrio comes standard with dual-zone climate control, cruise control, automatic headlights and rain-sensing wipers, multi-function trip computer, and a six-speaker audio system with AUX/USB/Bluetooth music streaming connectivity. The seats are cloth, the steering wheel and gearstick are leather-bound, and the rest of the cabin is finished with soft-touch plastics and matte chrome, chrome, and aluminium trim highlights.

The standard five-star Euro NCAP safety package includes five airbags (dual front, side and driver’s knee), active rollover protection, electronic stability control, Hill Start Assist and a number of other active and passive features that make it one of the safest cars in its class.

2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet manufacturer’s list prices (excluding government and dealer charges):

  • 118TSI six-speed manual – $36,990
  • 118TSI seven-speed DSG – $39,490

Major options:

  • Metallic/pearl effect paint – $500
  • Satellite navigation – $3000
  • Rear-view camera with parking sensors – $1400
  • Bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights – $2100
  • Leather upholstery – $3300

CarAdvice is at the launch of the 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet. Stay tuned for our full first-drive review following today’s drive program in Adelaide.




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