A great drive for sunny days

THE summer weather was a disaster for topless motoring so I took a calculated gamble when booking a convertible test car several months ago for the first week in October because last year the temperature in this period reached 30 degrees.

Well, the temperature did not reach 30 but there was plenty of warm sunshine that made for pleasant autumnal open top motoring in the Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet which made the seven day test period that bit more enjoyable.

There is no doubt that driving with the top down in pleasant weather conditions provides a special ambience to motoring and so it was when I drove the Golf Cabriolet SE 1.6-litre TDI Blue Motion Technology 105PS costing £23,420.

Going topless was a simple and quick operation achieved by holding a lever to the left of the driver.It only takes 9.5 seconds and can also be done at speeds up to 18mph.

The Cabriolet styling makes it the best looking Golf model in the range.

Golf Cabriolet is available with a variety of engines but the diesel power unit in the test car is the most economical having a combined fuel consumption of 64.2mpg and this is the one I would go for - there are 15 models of the two door cabriolet starting at £20,890 and rising to £30,610.

Other stats for this particular model which has a five speed manual gearbox are a top speed of 117mph, zero to 62mph in 12.1 seconds and CO2 emissions of 117g/km - the acceleration figure does not seem very impressive but I found the car provided quite lively motoring.

The soft top has a hard glass rear window that incorporates a heating element which is ideal for clearing early morning mist.

The Golf Cabriolet is a full four seater with reasonable access to the two rear seats but I expect the car will mostly be driven with just one or two up front and space in the boot is reasonable for this type of car.

My Verdict: The definitive cabrio.

Fact File:

VW Golf Cabriolet SE Blue Motion Technology.

Engine: 1.6-litre TDI.

Output: 105bhp@1500-2500rpm.

Transmission: Five speed manual.

Top speed: 117mph.

Acceleration: 0 to 62mph 12.1 seconds.

Fuel consumption: 64.2mpg combined.

CO2 emissions: 117g/km.

Price: £23,420 on the road.

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