2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet Review - Official photos, features, specs

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Volkswagen presented one of the first signs of summer at the Geneva Motor Show: the new 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet.

Photo: 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet -Photo: 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet -Check out more new 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet pictures in our 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet photo gallery

The four-seater has a stylish soft top roof and its electro-hydraulic drive is a standard feature. The Golf’s soft top opens in just 9.5 seconds; it may even be opened while driving up to a speed of 30 km/h.

Photo: 2012 Volkswagen Golf CabrioletPhoto: 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet

When the top is up, this Volkswagen is one of the quietest convertibles. As can be expected in any Golf, the new convertible also embodies the highest levels of quality and safety. An automatically deploying roll-over bar, front airbags and side curtain head/thorax airbags, a knee airbag on the driver’s side and ESP are all standard.

Photo: 2012 Volkswagen Golf CabrioletPhoto: 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet

In addition, the 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet offers the most interior space in its class, and – thanks to its soft top – it also offers a fully utilisable bootspace (250 litres) even with the top stowed.

Photo: 2012 Volkswagen Golf CabrioletPhoto: 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet

Open top cruiser with 4.4 litre fuel consumption

Ideal for cruising in a convertible are the six direct-injection turbocharged engines with a power range from 77 kW / 105 PS to 155 kW / 210 PS. Also fun to drive are the fast and efficiently operating high-tech dual-clutch gearboxes (DSG) that are available with four of the engines. There will be three petrol engines (TSI) and a diesel (TDI) with the energy-saving BlueMotion Technology modifications (battery regeneration and Stop/Start system). Just how efficiently the new Volkswagen handles its fuel is illustrated by the 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet 1.6 TDI with 105 diesel PS and BlueMotion Technology; its combined fuel consumption is just 4.4 l/100 km (equivalent to 117 g/km CO2). An overview of all engine versions debuting in the 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet in 2011:

1.2 TSI – 77 kW / 105 PS (6-speed)
1.4 TSI – 90 kW / 122 PS (6-speed, optional 7-speed DSG)
1.4 TSI – 118 kW / 160 PS (6-speed, optional 7-speed DSG)
2.0 TSI – 155 kW / 210 PS (6-speed DSG)
1.6 TDI – 77 kW / 105 PS (5-speed)
2.0 TDI – 103 kW / 140 PS (6-speed, optional 6-speed DSG)

Photo: 2012 Volkswagen Golf CabrioletPhoto: 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet

One of the world’s most successful convertibles

Open-air automobiles have never been niche models at Volkswagen. The Beetle Cabriolet, arguably the first car in the world to transcend class boundaries, was made a cult car by over 330,000 buyers. Its successor – the 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet – was even more popular and was chosen by over 684,000 drivers. This was followed by debuts of the New Beetle convertible and the Eos; both of these models became bestsellers that have long surpassed the hundred thousand mark. The fact is that with about 1.42 million convertibles sold, Volkswagen is one of the most successful producers of convertibles in the world.

Photo: 2012 Volkswagen Golf CabrioletPhoto: 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet

Convertible with an innovative high-tech body

Until now, all generations of the 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet had a fixed roll-over bar. That was necessary, because the automatically deploying roll-over bar had not yet been invented in the early years of the Golf convertible. When initial systems of this type then appeared at the end of the 1980s, they were hardly suited for use in affordable cars like the 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet. This changed when, in 2003, Volkswagen introduced the New Beetle Cabriolet with a deployable roll-over bar located behind the rear seats. The system was adapted for the Eos, and in its latest development stage it now also protects occupants of the 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet.

Its body offers maximum safety all-round due to extremely fast roll-over protection that deploys in milliseconds, a reinforced front window frame and numerous other structural modifications (underbody, side parts, cross-members, doors). These numerous strengthening modifications have also given the 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet – which is 4.25 metres long, 1.78 metres wide and (top up) 1.42 metres high – an extremely high level of torsional rigidity.

Some of these reinforcements can be seen when the convertible stands next to a “normal” Golf. By comparing the two, the observer can recognise distinguishing features in the underbody. In front, the convertible has an engine capsule made of aluminium; together with their mounting brackets, they contribute to a gain in overall rigidity. In addition, the engine bearing acts as a vibration damper to make the front end notably more quiet. Two lateral reinforcements in the area of the sills and two diagonal straps, both front and rear, as well as the reinforced rear subframe connection, lead to a further gain in rigidity and a significant reduction in resonant vibration in the car body.

What is referred to as the coefficient of static torsional rigidity reaches over 13,500 Newton metres per degree, and the first torsional resonant frequency lies above 17.5 Hz – first class for a convertible. And this rigidity, which is one of the crucial factors in attaining optimal driving stability and comfort, is quite noticeable.

Photo: 2012 Volkswagen Golf CabrioletPhoto: 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet

Fabric roof has first-rate acoustic properties

In addition, the 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet is very quiet. This soothingly quiet ride is largely attributable to advanced development of the fabric roof as well as new window and door seals. Wind noises in the high frequency range above 5,000 Hz are perceived as especially annoying, since they make it difficult to have a conversation when driving (articulation index). Volkswagen specifically studied this articulation index and evaluated experience in other vehicles. The results: the 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet sets new standards for interior acoustics in convertibles.

The soft top itself consists of a linkage and exterior skin. Perfection in the details: the development team designed the joining longitudinal seams of the exterior skin fabrics (centre panel and two side panels) such that they serve as an additional drip rail. The heated rear windscreen is integrated in the soft top with high-frequency welding. When the top is down, the upper side of the “leading edge” (the soft top segment that directly connects to the windscreen frame) covers the entire top surface of the roof storage box. This eliminates the need for a separate cover. The results: the standard electro-hydraulic soft top opens faster (9.5 seconds) and does not need to descend as deeply into the larger bootspace.

Like on the Eos, the soft top is operated via a central switch on the centre console. Opening and closing is even possible when driving – at speeds up to 30 km/h.

Photo: 2012 Volkswagen Golf CabrioletPhoto: 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet

2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet styling for a new era

In many aspects, the styling of the new 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet follows that of its three-door hard top counterpart, but it shows just as much independence of design as earlier versions of the open-top bestseller due to its new rear section, lower-profile roof line and larger front windscreen frame inclination.

Front end: When viewed from the front, this convertible is of course a typical Golf. From this perspective, the convertible has a more sporty appearance with a more inclined windscreen. The effect is especially dynamic when the convertible is ordered with the optional bi-xenon headlights, as they were originally introduced in this form on the Golf GTI.

Rear section: The LED rear lights were also adapted from the Golf GTI. Naturally, designers and engineers redesigned the rear section itself. The convertible’s bootlid extends deep down to the bumper bar, and it swings very high for greater convenience in stowing luggage or shopping. In the side walls of the 250 litre bootspace, there are practical bag hooks; next to the hooks are the remote unlocking latches for folding down the 50:50 split rear bench. When the seatback is folded down, the large cargo pass-through (52 x 38 cm) increases cargo capacity. An elegant decorative chrome strip forms a visual contrast between the lower edge of the soft top and the bootlid. This wrap-around trim extends to the A-pillars.

Side profile: In side profile, three styling features of the convertible are especially distinctive: the swept-back inclination of the windscreen, the visually very short bootlid and the soft top integrated in these lines. When the soft top is down, the 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet assumes an elegant appearance. When the top is up, the compact and crisp lines in the area of the C pillars and bootspace reflect the unmistakable character of the previous model once again; but they transfer it to a new era, spanning an entire decade.

Photo: 2012 Volkswagen Golf CabrioletPhoto: 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet

Interior look of significantly more expensive convertibles

Very clearly – in the interior, the soft top Golf’s high-quality design and materials correspond precisely to those of the classic hard top version. The result is a high-end interior that is otherwise only offered on considerably more expensive convertibles. In relation to a convertible’s interior properties, the Golf stands out – just as the New Beetle and Eos did previously – in an important aspect of many other cars in the compact class: the windscreen frame is pleasantly short, optimising the car’s convertible feeling. The 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet also offers the largest interior length in its class. Occupants in the rear especially notice this with 833 mm of effective legroom.

New design concepts include integration of the switch for operating the folding roof in the centre console between the driver and passenger seats, the rear bench seat and seat upholstery materials. The 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet also comes with a standard Easy-Entry function for the front seats, which is practical and simplifies entry and exit for passengers sitting in the rear.

Standard and optional features

The new 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet – like the Eos – is available in one equipment line that can be customised with various packs and individual options. Even the base trim level is very extensive. When it comes to safety, the 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet is delivered with standard systems such as the active roll-over protection system, daytime running lights, airbags specially tuned for use in a convertible and the latest generation of ESP. Exterior features include smoked LED rear lights, 16-inch wheels with 205 tyres, chrome strips in the radiator grille and body-coloured mirror housings. Interior and functional features that underscore the car’s sophisticated nature are fully automatic operation of the soft top, air conditioning, height-adjustable front comfort seats, electric windows all round and interior accents in “Brushed Chrome”.

The next step for further customisation is to choose between the “Performance” and “Design & Style” packs. Both packs are offered in conjunction with alloy wheels.

“Design & Style”: Customers who choose the “Design & Style” pack get sport seats with a new seat cover design in Alcantara and lateral fabric inserts, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, pedals in stainless steel, black aluminium accents with chrome borders as well as upgraded chrome switches for the lights and door mirrors.

“Performance”: The “Performance” pack contains all of the features of the “Design & Style” pack with the exception of the sport seats. In addition, it upgrades the 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet with a “Vienna” leather interior, RCD 310 radio system, fabric floor mats, the “Light and Sight pack” (includes rain sensor and automatically dimming rear-view mirror), other chrome details on the exterior and bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights.

“Comfort” and “Technology” packs: A “Comfort pack” and/or a “Technology pack” may also be added. The “Comfort pack” consists of a wind deflector, cruise control system, front centre armrest and 12-Volt electrical outlet in the boot. The “Technology pack” extends the range of features by adding the Park Pilot (parking assistant), the main beam dimming system Light Assist, Multifunction Display Plus and the “Light and Sight” pack.

Photo: 2012 Volkswagen Golf CabrioletPhoto: 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet

Essentially, all of the features offered in the classic, hard top Golf are also available in the new 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet. Other versions in preparation are the especially sophisticated “Exclusive” equipment options that Volkswagen R GmbH offers for other brand models as well. The only feature that will definitely not be offered is a sunroof …

Check out more new 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet pictures in our 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet photo gallery:

New 2012 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet specifications, review, photos and images courtesy of Volkswagen.

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