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Volkswagen Cabrio



  • shiphroshiphro Posts: 62
    My wife and I got a 2002 Green/Beige/Beige 5-Speed Cabrio GLX last October.

    The purchase....

    We went to the closest dealer (North Penn VW in Pennsylvania) and talked to them about the Cabrio. They agreed to order one for us (Blue/Grey interior). We waited a couple weeks and then went to go pick it up. It was the wrong car. This one had a black interior which we thought was a bad idea for a convertible (scorched buns and all)

    Plus, they were jerks about the whole thing.

    We then went to Holbert's VW/Audi/Porsche. It was a little further away but the service was incredible. Our salesman got a printout of every Cabrio coming into the area and the details. We chose the one we wanted and drove it away a couple weeks later.

    The driveability (Fahrfegnugen?)....

    I drive (abuse?) a '95 200SX SE-R which I think has a decent amount of power and handles great. I was concerned that the Cabrio would be lacking from a driveability standpoint.

    It's not.

    The engine is small... but with the 5-speed I can rev it up to get moving quickly.

    The suspension is amazing on this car. There is a lot of body roll, but the wheels stay down. It takes bumps/manholes/potholes without a hiccup.

    The brakes are better than amazing. The rotors are huge on this tiny little car. This car stops better than anything else I've driven including Maximas, Aleros, Mustangs and my 200SX.

    The overall build is incredible. Everything is solid and the overall engineering is very thorough. The car is well thought-out and well-built.

    Now the maintenance....

    We've already had to replace the top once.

    My wife was using the power-washer at the local car wash and it damaged the cloth top. There was a patch below the rear window where the fibers were all bunched-up and deformed. After some conversations with the owner of the car wash and our contact at Holbert's VW the top was replaced free of charge. That's nearly $2000 in parts and labor that didn't cost us a dime.

    Other than that, the car has about 8k miles on it and we've had no mechanical/electrical problems.

    The wheels show a lot of brake dust, but that's a common drawback of high-performance brakes. The heated seats have allowed us to ride around with the top down on fall/spring days where it would've been too cold otherwise.

    The stereo is fantastic. Even blasting along at 80mph it cranks up loud without distortion.


    Don't power wash the top.
  • Production of all cabrio's ceased this past spring,5 speeds ended last fall.The cabrio is to be replaced by the beatle cabrio this fall.
  • Granted it is all about what you're used to, but I find that my '01 5-speed cabrio has plenty of pick-up. However, my friend with a '02 automatic does not feel the same way- but that might be a break-in issue. I originally wanted to buy a '02, but I ran into the same problem you are facing- brand new 5-speeds were non-existent, or only available in colors that I didn't like. My advice is to stick to your research and don't settle for an automatic- you'll probably regret it. Would you consider a pre-owned? I got mine for Edmund's True Market Value- and it had less than 4,000 miles on it- and I couldn't be happier. Good luck- and please let us know what you end up with.
  • halogenhalogen Posts: 20
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  • I am used to driving a 5 speed 318I BMW ('91) so when I made the decision to buy the Cabrio...the car I have always wanted I looked everywhere is So. CA for a 5 speed-Silver/Grey top....there was not one dealer that had I test drove the automatic probably 10 times....and I still wasn't sure...after a lot of thought and deliberation I decided to take the plunge and do it! I bought the automatic...and I love definitely has pick-up once you break it in....and with living in So. CA (San Diego area)...traffic is soooo bad here these days that I am glad I got the automatic....once you break it in the car moves...Good Luck :)
  • wdubswdubs Posts: 27
    My wife has a dessert wind 2001 Cabrio GLX 5sp. Since the cupholders suck, she uses the handle under the front seat to hold a bottle of water. Just stick the bottle between the seat and the handle and it works great.

    BTW we've put over 30,000 miles on it and it's been great. We have had 3 minor problems all covered under warranty. A bad sensor caused the engine light to come on, the seal around the driver's side window was deformed, and the muffler separated from the exhaust pipe. They fixed the exhaust even the it was 1,000 miles out of warranty. I'm glad they did because we only had the car for 1 year at that point.
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    i know they are not being made anymore. i MIGHT wait until winter, and pick up a new-used 2002 GLS for cheap :) hopefully, there will be one or two on the market at that point.

    anyone here had any oil consumption issues? i have a VW turbo, no probs at all, but i understand the 2.0 has some people upset.


    i saw a bright red GLX with black leather and black top the other day. BEAUTIFUL car.
  • adaveyadavey Posts: 30
    ...since the cabrio has been axed after this year, does this mean there will be no more additions to this topic?
  • I just bought a used 19991/2 Cabrio 5 speed.

    Great little car runs great plenty of power but one annoyance...when car is warmed up there is a skip in the engine at idle.
    Mechanic changed wires, plugs, distributor, filters and cleaned throttle plate....skip still there, mechanic says not valves so live with it!! anyone else experienced this? If so what was resolution?
  • clafondclafond Posts: 1
    Hi all!!
    this is my first time here but i think i might get some answers. i currently own a 98 passat ( which i love!) but am looking at purchasing a used 92 vw cabriolet from a private party. i'm trying to do some research on the car but i'm not finding much of any.
    what is the difference and how can you tell between the std style and the carat, and does anyone know about this year such as rating or any kind of problems? i've been looking for the last couple of days on the computer and at the library but i'm not able to turn up anything.
    it's a gorgeous car and runs great with 106,000 miles on it.
    please help with any info you might have!!!!
  • my leather on the steering wheel is peeling? Has anyone else had that problem? The door handles are peeling also and have had those replaced twice. i have a 2001 blue cabrio.
    my paint chips easily. Has anyone else had this trouble with the paint?
  • i do not own a cabrio, but i read this message board frequently. yes, lots of folks have complained about the door handles and the chipping paint.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    The difference between the standard Cabriolet and the Carat is easily seen on the outside as well as the inside. The Carat had standard 14" alloy wheels, a Wolfsburg emblem on the front quarter panels near the doors, a power roof, power windows, leather, and they usually came in what's called triple white (white paint, white leather, white top). As for reliability, VW was going through a rough time in the early 90s. The engine should be solid though as its the same exact engine that resides in my 84 GTI which has been flawlessly reliable even though it has over 200k. Just make sure it starts right up whether the engine is cold or hot. If it appears to have been taken care of mechanically and looks good, I say go for it. The Cabriolet is one neat convertible.
  • Hey all! First, thanks so much for all who have posted. I am seriously considering a cabrio and this discussion has helped point out some things to look for when purchasing (vinyl vs. cloth top, etc.)

    I live in Fairfield, CT. There is a Volkswagen dealership (Miller)just down the road from me, but a few trips there for info and from first impressions, Im not sure what kind of service I would get from them. (But really have no nput to go on) Anyone have any recommendations for mechanics or a good dealership in this area?

    Also, thinking about buying a cabrio on line - ebay. can get some good deals if your willing to travel and buy site unseen. But thats just it, buying sit unseen, car undriven. Anyone have any experience with this or know of anyone who has.

    Thanks again to everyone who posts. Im looking forward to buying this car as I think the love outweighs most problems.

    Take care -
  • Hi Carrie,
    I bought my '97 through the Excite classifieds. I asked the seller lots of questions via email and got financing ready before flying down to Arizona and driving the car back to Idaho. I got a great deal on the car (~$4000 under blue book) but it did have some mechanical problems that weren't disclosed to me before I bought it. I even had the seller take it to a mechanic for me to check the car out, but the seller chose the mechanic. I would still buy a car this way in a heartbeat, but make sure YOU pick a mechanic and have the seller take the car there. You might have to pay for an inspection but I would take that extra precaution if I had to do it over again. Also, you may want to do a Carfax lemon check. Research things to ask when buying a car and if possible, take someone with you that will know what to look for when you take a test drive. (I took a test drive in Arizona before buying it and figured if I found problems & decided not to buy the car, it would be a fun little trip anyway.) Good luck!
  • I have a friend with a new 2002 Cabrio and she has two problems. Her gas mileage sucks for a small 4 cylinder car. only about 300 miles for a full tank. is this right or should she have the engine checked? My saab is bigger, heavier and a turbo that gets 30mpg on the highway and has a 400+ mile range on a single tank.

    Second, does anyone know how to clean the tan colored headliner on the softtop. hers is covered with black soot from running with the top down and nothing seems to get it clean.

    thanks for any info or help you can provide.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    I would assume your friend has an automatic. If so, the Cabrio is only rated at 23 city/29 highway. The fuel tank's max capacity is 13.7 gallons. Let's assume she used 12 gallons over 300 miles. That means she got about 25 mpg, within the range that it should get. There is no problem with her engine and this is the mileage she should be getting. Keep these things in mind: the engine needs time to fully break-in (mileage should improve around 10k), the Cabrio is geared low in order to deal with the low power which leads to decreased mileage, and the car is heavy considering how little power it has. All these things conspire against good fuel economy.

    I'm not sure what will clean black soot off of the tan headliner. Is she using the boot? That should keep the soot from coming in contact with the headliner. She should be using it anytime she is driving around more than a few miles with the top down.
  • I have a 02 Cab, that came with the factory radio cassette. I am in the process of installing a CD changer and have run into a ton of problems. I have solved almost all but now this is what I have. I bought a Panasonic CX DP610 changer & a Blitzsafe interface cord. I found the ground cord to be not grounded so I ran a different one. I now have power to the unit and all I get when I hit the CD button on the head unit is "CHK MAGAZIN" Anyone here have any ideas Thanks
  • Hi All,

    I have a 97 VW (silver) with a vinyl top. Lately the top has started feeling sticky and is also showing minor cracks.
    Also, I don't know from where but there is a smell coming out of the car. I have had it detailed twice and also I showed it to mechanics for any problems they seem to think there is nothing wrong (mechanically) with the car.

    Any body in same shoes?.

  • Scroll back and see messages #127 and # 135,you should also the senders earlier posts.
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