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New Golf Cabrio is big on cool ... so easy on fuel

TO say that we were blown away by the new Golf Cabrio is an understatement ... but not by what you'd expect.

Yes, we were more than impressed by the more chiseled, aggressive look which is refined by smatterings of chrome trim and piano black finish, especially around the grille where the two worked really well.

Yes, we relished the more luxurious interior with half leather/ swede bucket seats which were given an even more sporty feel by red mesh that hugged the sides.

We were absolutely tickled pink to discover the attention to detail with little luxuries like the door pockets covered in soft carpet-like material which continued into the glove compartment.

And one was positively reassured that the build quality of the cabin is typically Germanic -- simply functional, yet indestructible if not a little dull.

Delighted too by the level of spaciousness with plenty of leg room both front and back and because the roof isn't stored in the boot there is actually a place to put luggage.

And speaking of having fun with the top off? We (my son and I) had lots of laughs trying to gauge whether the look on other people's faces were that of sympathy (for the kid) or sheer disgust at the sight of a large bald man spinning about town like a rock star.

And that smile takes less than 10 seconds to break as the lid retracts and is safely stored behind the back seats -- all while moving at speeds of up to 30kph.

Nope, the thing which really put the wind in my sails (since I've no hair) was the 1.2 litre petrol engine which left me speechless, if not a little confused.

You see, a 1.2 litre powerplant in a car this size should be massively underpowered, sluggish and downright thirsty.

Not here. In fact, the 105bhp Bluemotion engine is punching well above its weight and had me checking under the hood in case someone badged her up wrong.

She was packing more than enough grunt for city driving and absolutely purred like a kitten on the motorway. It sips the juice too and over the week I clocked up an astounding 700kms before I got the nod to refuel.

Thanks to Stop/Start technology and six speed box I averaged well over 42mpg and with emissions of just 134g/km, the 1.2 TSi resides in Tax Band B meaning annual duty of €225.

There was plenty of kit but most as optional extras like black high gloss inlays, sports seats, Bluetooth, leather multi-function steering wheel and on-board computer.

A very welcome return after a 10-year absence and the good news is a GTi Cabrio has just been launched which is packing 207bhp a 0-100kph of 6 seconds an a top speed of 250kph.

Prices for the Golf Cabrio start at €29,775.