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Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet GTI (DSG) 2.0 Review: Topless Golfing

We’re all in agreement that the previous MK6 Golf GTI is a spanking great hatch but does it retain that GTI spankiness even when topless? We find out…
OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
20 Oct 2013
What we like:
Pop and burbles from the exhaust never sounded better. Sound insulation of fabric roof is impressive.
What we dislike:
Slightly muted performance over the hatchback.

The cabriolet shares the same EA888 210bhp 2.0-litre inline four pot as the hatch with similar power figures. Power comes in 5,300rpm while the 280Nm of torque arrives as 1,700rpm.

One of the most enjoyable attributes of the GTI is its acceleration off the line and the cabriolet doesn’t disappoint. Zero to hundred takes just 7.3 seconds. The six speed wet clutch DSG keeps its stellar reputation for delivering smooth rapid shifts.

Inevitably, losing the roof does equate to some weight penalties as the engineers add additional stiffening to the chassis to make up for the missing roof. In the case of the GTI cabriolet, it gains 180kgs over the hatch.

It becomes immediately obvious that the cabriolet feels less eager when compared to the hatch but it is no less potent. In the bends, the additional stiffening shines through with no scuttle detected. The same sharp steering continues to live on in the cabriolet while the steering weight maintains adequate feel. The Dynamic Chassis Control system remains and in sport mode, the car maintains its stiffness diving into the corner.

In comfort mode, the GTI cabriolet is more lifestyle than dynamic and maintains a serene ride comfort. Most impressive though is when the roof is up. Sound insulation is excellent with the multi-layered fabric roof and hardly differs from the hatchback. The last time we were so impressed with a fabric roof was in the Audi A5 cabriolet that sits slightly higher in the price bracket which speaks volumes about the Volkswagen.


While the GTI cabriolet retains the excellent lightning quick shifts of the DSG and the sharp steering from the hatch, it does lose some of the blistering performance. Mostly due to the additional weight it carries.

The GTI cabriolet doesn’t present itself as a direct topless derivative of its hatch sibling but is an excellent topless Golf that can seize the pleasure of a twisty tarmac when the mood strikes.

Credits: Story and Photos by Benjamin G. Kline

Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet GTI (DSG) 2.0
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Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet GTI (DSG) 2.0 (A) 2013

Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet GTI (DSG) 2.0 (A) 2013

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