Best Convertible: VW Golf Cabriolet

The best convertibles need to be as good with their roofs up as they are with them folded, and the Golf Cabriolet is exactly that.

Why it won...

The best convertibles need to be as good with their roofs up as they are with them folded, and the Golf Cabriolet is exactly that.

As drop-tops typically spend most of the time with their hoods in place, the Golf’s high-quality fabric roof really comes into its own during the long winter months.

From the inside, it feels just as quiet and refined as its hatchback cousin, and when you want to experience the wind in your hair, the Golf is happy to oblige. Its automated hood retracts in only 13 seconds, transforming the VW from a sensible everyday car into a fun convertible at the press of a dash-mounted button.

The soft-top is more compact than a complicated folding metal design, and doesn’t eat into boot space when it’s down, so you don’t have to rearrange your luggage every time you want to catch a few rays.

And there’s no compromise from behind the wheel, either, as the super-stiff chassis feels every bit as solid as a five-door model. Even bumpy roads fail to reveal any unwanted creaks or vibrations, and the traditional Golf driving experience is undiluted as a result.

So you get to enjoy all of the characteristics that have made the hatchback such a hit, with neat handling and sharp responses allied to impressive overall refinement. Its high-quality interior, decent driving dynamics and efficient engine range promise to make this convertible even more attractive to own than it is to look at.

Our choice: 1.4 TSI SE

We love the 1.4-litre TSI engine and it suits the Golf Cabriolet to perfection, delivering smooth-revving and lively performance, decent economy and a raspy soundtrack. Go for SE spec to get the best combination of price and kit.

Commended

Audi A5 Cabriolet

While rival car makers have taken the folding hard-top route, Audi has stuck firmly with old-fashioned fabric hoods – and the classy A5 Cabriolet is all the better for it. The sleek design, high-quality roof and sparkling interior make it a great way to experience wind-in-the-hair motoring.

Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

The 911 Cabriolet used to be a car for posers – but not any more. The latest example features an exquisite hood that doesn’t demand any styling, refinement or handling compromises. Now you can buy the soft-top 911 safe in the knowledge that it’s every bit as good as its coupe cousin.

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