THERE was a famous flavoured alcoholic beverage commercial back in the 1980s featuring a moussed-up model bragging about how The Face was the world’s coolest magazine and the VW Golf Cabrio was the world’s coolest car.
You may not remember it, but it gives you some idea of how iconic the nameplate has been over the last 30 years, and why the Germans are trying again with the (rather belated) version, based on the acclaimed Mk6 Golf.
Is it any good though?
Hint: oh yes!
Model release date: November 2011
DON’T be fooled by the ‘Mk4’ prefix – the last Golf Cabrio was based heavily on the Mk3 Golf body and platform released in 1993, and even used much the same drivetrain offerings.
Only the nose, tail-lamps, bootlid and some interior fittings were updated to make the old-timer look more like the high-flying contemporary hatch.
Two petrol-powered models were sold in Australia from late 1998, the CL with a 66kW/145Nm 1.8-litre SOHC four-cylinder unit (discontinued in June 2000) and the more popular GL, employing VW long-lived 85kW/166Nm SOHC engine.
Both were available with four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmissions.
Sales bubbled along rather than soared due to stingy equipment levels and high prices, reflecting the era of independent importers that variously looked after the VW franchise in the 24 year period immediately after the German factory pulled out of Australia in 1977.
Anyway, the Beetle Cabrio directly replaced the Golf Cabrio in 2003, while the Golf-based Eos folding hardtop convertible also came along from late 2006.