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Volkswagen Cabrio



  • Last spring, I moved from NYC to Virginia and needed to buy a car. I knew I wanted a convertible so I began hunting around the internet for recommendations. I ended up getting a Cabrio because of the good things people here were saying. I LOVE MY CAR. It's a '97, had 32K miles on it when I bought it. It's been great. It's amazingly quiet when the top it up, I haven't had any work done on it except routine oil changes, etc. The only complaint I have it that one of the rubber things on the sides of the driver door came loose and fell off. I know I need to call the dealer to get a new one. Has anyone else had this problem? Any idea how much it will cost to replace?
  • I am reluctantly selling my 98 Cabrio because I needed an SUV type vehicle. The Cab is black and has a new black fabric top. 52,000 miles. The cabrio is in perfect condition. If anyone on this board is interested please resond before I advertise it on the used car market. It is located in Maryland.My email address is:

    Responding to the recent question about the Cabrio top: Be wary of Cabrios' with a tan vinyl top. Mine literally disintegrated. It became sticky in places, attracting dirt, and then started to develop holes. I called VOA and complained. Even though the vehicle had 45,000 miles on it they paid for the parts for a new fabric top. My cost was only for labor. The new top is a VW replacement top and is perfect and does not balloon on the highway. When researching the tops I find that some of the aftermarket tops will balloon.
  • I'm also thinking of buying a new or used Cabrio and have appreciated the comments posted to this board. I visited my local VW dealer in Madison, WI and asked about ordering one. The salesman was more interested in selling me one from his inventory of 3, telling me he did not know if I could order one and advising the wait for a new one would be 3 months if I could order it.

    He also advised that this was the last year VW was making the Cabrio, that they were coming out with both a Beetle and Jetta rag top and would no longer be making the Cabrio. Anyone else hear this?

    Would appreciate recommendations on the following:

    1. Buying new or used (If used, what year)
    2. For 2002, recommendations for GLS Vs GLX
    3. Is the new 4 year warranty sufficient or is an extended warranty needed.
    4. Have any 2002 purchasers had problems that I should know about?
    Please post comments to the board or email them to me at
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    My friend loves her 02 Cabrio GLX. The only problem she has encountered in her first 700 miles is a remote keyless that periodically refuses to work. She took it to the dealer once but they couldn't reproduce the problem. Otherwise, no other problems. I would definitely buy an 02 over the 00-01 models as it has a much longer warranty. I personally would choose the GLS because leather doesn't work well in the scorching heat and high humidity of Florida, however, the GLX might suit your needs better since it comes with heated seats which would be nice in Wisconsin. I would think the 4 year warranty is plenty long, but you never know with newer VWs. My friend bought an extended warranty that covers things for another 2 years just in case, but I wouldn't waste the money.
    02 is the last year for the Cabrio, so if you want to order one, you need to do it before they stop making them. It is being replaced with a Beetle convertible sometime in the spring of 03. I think the Cabrio is a nicely tailored well thought out convertible with an amazing amount of room considering its small size. Its only main downside is the slow acceleration. Definitely get this car with a 5 speed. I wish VW had put the turbo engine in as standard a long time ago.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    The current New Cabrio (Golf based) is still in production but has been cut back to just the GLS and GLX models and only in automatic transmission.

    It is also available in a limited palette of 6 colors.

    As far as I know it will continue for a while alongside the NBC until there is no longer any inmterest in it. It will be available as a 2003.
  • adaveyadavey Posts: 30
    i have not seen anything about the availability date of the new bug convertible. has vw.usa given a release date?...
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    The new Beetle Convertible will be a fast selling car. I can already see VW charging OVER MSRP, and getting plenty of buyers anyway.
  • starryckstarryck Posts: 2
    Hi everyone,
    I'm so glad my friend referred me to this site, so I can find others wrestling with similar issues. I have had a host of problems (lots that people have mentioned -- engine light, airbag light, peeling door handles, radio in safe mode, and window rolling up when i push down) on my 2000 Cabrio but I haven't had enough repetitions of ONE problem or a severe safety problem to qualify for the lemon law (Thanks for all the help though Beth!). Currently I am proceeding with requesting an extension on my warranty because I refuse to pay for problems that I believe are inherent design flaws. The other thought that has been entering my mind is forming a group to make a legal case against Volkswagon. This latter method feels like it would be too much work. But wish me luck with the warranty extension request!
  • whtcab97whtcab97 Posts: 5
    I share what looks to be a repetitive problem on a number of vw products,the engine warning light.I would be interested hearing what reasons you were given for the light when the dealer checked the system with the computer.
  • halogenhalogen Posts: 20
    I have a 2001 GLX.
    The engine light problem is very quickly and easily fixed by letting VW replace the faulty
    relay(this is probably in a service bulletin by now, as VW knows that alot of it's cars went out
    with faulty relays)It takes 15 minutes to replace.

    Regarding any other VW Cabrio convertible complaints...check out the literally thousands
    of complaints(of a more serious nature) on the
    BMW convertibles !!!!! Then be happy that you
    didn't pay for one of those headaches !!!!
    VW Cabrio problems amount to next to nothing
    if you start reading the BMW bulletin boards/
    Town Hall comments.
    Peeling door handles ? Please !!!
  • I absolutely LOVE my car....but I have a 2000 GLS with vinyl beige top. After a few months of having the car, the top kept getting sticky with black lines running across the top of the car in a few places. I took it to the dealer and he said that it was just dirty and to use this yellow all-purpose cleaner they sell. That stuff worked great on the interior, but did nothing for the top. Since then, my top has gotten all sticky in places and has even turned colors (brown/orange). Two questions.....what happened? And does anyone know the cost to replace a top? It drives my crazy and it just looks awful. My car is in otherwise great shape (besides the leather that seems to be turning on the edges of the drivers seat...but that I can take).

    Other problem.....the steering wheel makes a terrible noise when it turns. It has done this since day one and the dealer has said nothing is wrong...although they said they replaced the steering pump to appease me. It still makes the noise. Has anyone else had this problem?
  • sgerlachsgerlach Posts: 17
    My top was replaced due to a break in where the window glass pierced the canvas top. Cost insurance company approximately $1,000 (hard to get numbers out of them; labor, top and rental car). Look in the yellow pages of your phone book and get a quote from them. Other method is to ask anyone driving an older vw cabrio with a good looking top and ask them where they got it done.
    Had problem with steering wheel making noise after dealership replaced ignition switch. Took car back and complained. Mechanic forgot to put lubricant between two pieces of metal. They lubricated the steering column and no more problem.
    Incidentally, I'm on my second set of door handles (2000) and noticed that the driver's handle is peeling again. Since I usually keep my cars in excellent condition, I DO find this irritating as assume I will have to argue with VW that they should replace them again...I assume this would effect the vehicle's resell value VW needs to find a different material for the door handles.
    Incidentally, I don't consider problems that require multiple trips to the dealership, time off work, towing (three times in two years) and the expense of renting a car minor. At least with the bmw, my friend gets provided a vehicle and they get her out of the dealership fast! The vw dealership is always crowded and I've seen them turn people without an appointment away....even when they had an extended vw warranty. Not all mechanical problems allow for the luxury of making an appointment.
  • halogenhalogen Posts: 20
    There are thousands of serious and complex
    customer complaints about BMW convertibles that
    far outweigh anything that I've seen about the
    VW Cabrio.
    IMHO,If you don't buy a totally Japanese vehicle,
    then you are going to have to deal with at least a few
    reliability, quality, and/or repair issues with
    one of the other maker's autos.
  • starryckstarryck Posts: 2
    The fix to the engine light problem may be a any one of a myriad of over 200 solutions. At least this is the information I got from the VW dealer when the 2000 Cabrio owner next to me had also had incidences with her engine light. Of course he didn't think there was anything interesting either about the fact we were both in there with air bag light problems too. (My engine light happened to be triggered by the coolant temp sensor.)
    Anyways, VW is offering to extend my warranty, but not for the duration of my original request. I am debating on whether to accept the offer or not.
    Also, a comment on the remote keyless entry - I had that problem too. I had vw replace the alarm control unit -- and now it works w/o a hitch. It did take some extra persuading (couple trips and a letter), but it was well worth it.
  • foxysoxfoxysox Posts: 7

    I have come by this board for the last few months just to check out 'real life' pros and cons about the cabby. As of Monday I will be the proud owner of a new 2002 Reflex silver/gray cloth top/gray leather interior GLX. I am turning 30 in April and this is my Birthday gift from my husband. He is keeping his 2000 Toyota Truck and company vehicle, so this will be my 'run around car' (we live in florida) I have loved the look of the Cabrio since Can't Buy Me Love but I just never looked at them when it came time to buy a new car. Last April we purchased a new home and two months later the home two doors down sold and much to my dismay what should appear in the driveway?? YES! The Green/Tan top Tan leather interior....(the one I wanted originally) the husband pulls up in a new SUV and there is his ALSO childless wife *same as myself* zooming in MY CAR! ARRRRGHH! but, needless to say it worked out GREAT! she has the 2000, we became fast friends and she let me test drive her Cabrio instead of at the dealer, she also taught me how to put the top down and the boot on and just showed me around the car so that when going to the dealer we could simply haggle and purchase...also by seeing her green machine parked there every day I slowly changed my mind about owning that color...although I still pant when I cruise by her driveway, the green just does not do it for me anymore, so in that respect I am so glad she had "my car" first...becuz I may have purchased it and gotten tired of the green.??!! who knows well anyway, I am glad that i found this board and i have read every post here, thank you all for the information both good and anyway I pick up 'Co-Co' on monday!!!! I have a constant smile plastered to my face, wish me luck and now the countdown begins! only 20 hours left till I am topless! whoo hoo!
  • halogenhalogen Posts: 20
    A very fun car ! I would enjoy seeing a photo
    if possible . :-)
  • foxysoxfoxysox Posts: 7
    well, she is being deliverd on Wedneday,,,till then they gave me a Black Cabrio...pretty darn nice of them..we drover her ALL day with the top down!!! can you say 'crispy'??? I think I'll go tomorrow and buy all my 'car goodies'...cleansers, air fresheners, things of that sort...then I'll go show her off! My stereo is being installed Friday morning!! CD/MP3 player!! whooohoooo! I have Sunday off,,,so guess what I'll be doing????

    thanks Halogen...I'll post one asap!
  • localpallocalpal Posts: 2
    I can only purchase an automatic from my dealer.
    What I am reading here is that the automatic lacks
    some punch. I drive a '94 Jetta with an automatic
    and the 2.0 engine and my car flies. Is there any reason why this is? Maybe different gear ratios or something? I really do prefer the automatic with all the traffic in San Diego. Can anyone help me?
    I want to purchase an '02 GLX with CD changer, cloth top, and the automatic for $25,000 out the door. does this sound reasonable
  • foxysoxfoxysox Posts: 7
    Hey localpal..!

    I just got the 2002 GLX in reflex silver...I can not understand why everyone keeps saying that the cabrio lacks power..or dont pull out in front of car has quite a little zip to it....I feel quite comfortable pulling out into traffic and in front of cars,,* I mean reasonably* of course!!
    Also, about that price you want to pay,,,The MSRP on the cabrios here in Florida were 24,725.00 that was automatic loaded,,,we paid 2.3 percent above husband and I did alot of research and went to a few dealers and started OUT at 3 percent above invoice,,,nothing NEAR MSRP!!! then we went to another place and they said they could do 2.5....then we went back and they did 2.3 we didnt even go anywhere after that, cuz we ended up with a carpayment of 345.00 with only $500.00 trade in, no nothing! the finance manager had to go ask the salesman if the numbers were right on the papers, cuz he said he had never seen one let go for so little...Also, we bought some software that had everything we needed to know right in front of us when we went in..we took our laptop and the printouts of all the information that I had printed out. We went in knowing quite abit and I do think that it helped us out. They were super nice and even gave us a demo 2002 GLX to drive since mine was in transit...The only thing that I didnt get was the cd changer, cuz I wanted a cd/mp3 player in the dash, but even if you get that,,,you should NOT pay $25,000.00. trust me, you can get it ALOT cheaper,,,just find out the true dealer invoice and go in and tell them you know what it is from Edmunds and say you are willing to pay 2 to 3 % above that,,,they are still making cash and you are saving alot!
    ps...THE car is fun to drive and gets alot of attention!!!
  • localpallocalpal Posts: 2
    Thank you Foxysox for your information and encouragement. The funny thing is I've been to the dealer twice, and haven't even test driven the darn thing yet. I was assuming that with the same engine in the smaller Cabrio I would get the same punch that my Jetta gives me. I'm gonna test drive one tomorrow.
    As far as the price is concerned, if I get the car for $25,000 out the door I am paying roughly $22,700 before taxes, licensing, and the C.D. changer. Is this anywhere near your price? The sticker price is $23,850.
  • wrayroadwrayroad Posts: 1
    I am thinking very seriously about purchasing a new/barely used Cabrio in the next few weeks. I have always heard great reviews about VWs and then I found this page. Now I am very nervous about spending my money on a Cabrio. I want something that is going to last me through Graduate School (and beyond)! This discussion board highlights all the negatives about the car, but are these 'defects' the majority or minority among Cabrio owners? Would you dissuade me from purchasing a Cabrio? I have driven Honda's since I was 16 and I am accustomed to having no problems other than bugs chipping my paint. Will I regret this decision? Brutal honesty welcomed.
  • dvdfan98dvdfan98 Posts: 2
    Hi all,

    I am definitely interested in a new 2002 GLX Cabrio. My final test drive and decision will be tomorrow night. I have read with much interest the article by Foxysox ref her purchase price. My local VW dealer has offered me a new car at invoice ($22,400) plus Tax, Tag, and Title. In order to get my payments down to a modest $345.00, I have to plunk down some $4500. This is with the 4.9% rate at 60 months. How on earth did she get the same deal for only $500 down? Please let me know who the delearship is and I will drive there myself to save $4000. I salute your arbitration skills. Want to be my broker for an afternoon?

  • Hello All,

    Just over a month ago I purchased a new GLX for $22,400. It was on the show room with 53 miles on the odometer. It had been at the dealership for several months so they wanted to move it before the floor planning costs became excessive (or so I was told.) For what it's worth, list was $23,725.

    It does not have the CD player but I plan on putting one in myself. Anyone have suggestions on brand name and model?

    I also have a question concerning gas mileage. It has the automatic and does not seem to be getting anywhere close to the advertised 22 mpg in city driving. I'm open to suggestions.

    I too have had an engine light experience at 400 miles. This was corrected by replacing a heat sensor. Was a bit disappointed to have to have warranty work done with only 400 miles on the clock.

    That's my 2 cents for today.
  • jjp1980jjp1980 Posts: 2
    I recently purchased a used 1997 VA Cabrio Highline with 59,000 miles on it in October. The car has been to the service center 4 times in 5 months. Good thing they give a 2yr 24,000 mile warranty on there used cars. 1 month after owning the car the Engine light comes on, 2 sec later the car stalls. I bring it to the dealer and they had to replace the Oxygen sensor, Mass Air flow sensor, Distributor cap, and distributor rotor. The next problem (Nov 28th). Not such a big deal, the central locking switch popped out. Bring it to the dealer, they fix it no problem. Then I take it to get my oil changed at JiffyLube. The service man tells me that my oil has a milky substance (water) mixed in. I take it back to the dealer on DEC 26th. They check everything out and determine that it is normal condensation. I take there word on it. Then on March 6th My car goes back again to the service center. This time for a more serious problem. The car will not switch into last gear until I take my foot off the gas for about 3 sec. Or until the car hits about 5000-5500 rpms. They do some electrical wire repair and replace some fluid. At at steady 5500 rpms in a 4 cylinder car you feel like it is going to fall apart on the highway. It still gives me the same problem once in a while. Now it is the end of March and I have yet another service appointment in April. Again the car has a hard time switching gears. It will not switch gears going around corners, instead it reves to about 5000 rpms going 15 miles an hrs. It will not switch gears going up small hills, instead it will wine at out 5000 rpms going 25 miles an hr. It is very dangerous when your car wont accelerate faster that 15 miles an hr and people are behind you. Once in a while it will buck back and forth when it finally decides it is time to switch gears. Like many others the car has no power what so ever. I purchase the car I have always wanted and ended up with nothing but problems and disappointments. If anyone decides to purchase a VW I strongly urge you to purchase some type of warranty.
  • Good morning! Thanks so much to those of you who've been posting messages! I've been watching your comments for the past few months..... it's been very helpful! I'm picking up my BRAND NEW (WOO-HOO!!!) red/black automatic Cabrio GLS tonight! Though a few of you are asking about fair pricing for the GLX, hopefully sharing the pricing on my GLS will be a bit helpful. I'm paying $22,800 OUT THE DOOR! Taxes, licensing, etc all included. I requested pricing from the following internet sites (and the 'out the door' quotes): ($22,650.00 - $23,064.64 - 3 different dealers responded); autobytel ($22,650.00); carsdirect ($22,722.00); autoland ($22,800.00); and automall (didn't respond). I really wanted to buy my car from the great salesman that first spent time with me and took me for a test drice (Nathan Lloyd at Volkswagen of Santa Monica, CA). He was (finally!) able to match the $22,800 price. I did all the pricing inquiries on Friday, and had the salesmen/dealers bidding against each other - all over the phone and e-mail in one day! Though a few prices were lower, I did not feel comfortable with the legitimacy of the lowest prices. I think $22,800 is fair to me and the dealer. The dealer tried to disparage the on-line companies, but because I bought my '88 Honda Civic through Autoland in '88, I felt absolutely confident that they would honor the quoted price. If the dealer did not match that price, my backup plan was to purchase from Autoland again. My credit union was going to finance $20,000 at 5.49% (with 10% down); but VW beat the rate with 5.4%. I opted FOR the gap insurance coverage; but declined the extended warranty. My payments will be $391 for 60 months. I'm hoping to only report back with good news and how much fun I'm having - no snaffus or complaints! Good luck to the rest of you!
  • I just recently traded in my 1998 Cabrio because of the service problems I'd been having. I had an acceleration problem similar to yours. On my way back from Denver, I couldn't accelerate going up the mountain. When I got back, the dealer told me it was my catalytic converter (?). It was under manufacturer's warranty and my acceleration problem was corrected. You definitely need an extended warranty on this car. All my problems occurred AFTER I had the car for 3 years.
  • pdonopdono Posts: 1
    Boy oh boy, how fast can a bubble burst after reading a message board. I want a little cabrio after searching for a convertible around 20,000. I'd go for the eclipse GS but I think the antilock brakes on the cabrio are the deciding factor. Besides, it's so cute and seemed fun to drive. There are no manual transmissions available at local dealers at this time and the 99 standard (used) that I test drove was horrible in the lower gears. I was quite surprised to find the 02 automatic so peppy and responsive after reading many reports criticizing the sluggishness of the auto tranny. What I won't be able to deal with is a car that constantly has little things going wrong with it. I have a very boring but extemely reliable corolla standard 98 and it is peppy, responsive and it never breaks. 80,000 miles right now. But girls they want to have fun..... so what to do????My local dealer also just told us that they were discontinuing the cabrio in favor of the beetle ragtop. He didn't mention the jetta as well. He also said that he believed that they would begin seriously marking down the price on the cabrio in about six weeks to get rid of them and that I should wait to buy. My husband is about to buy the 02 GTIV6 all decked out. Is he making a wise choice??? So I have 5 more weeks to figure out what to do about the cabrio and after reading all the posts I'm about 50/50. We owned a Ghia years ago that was fun but you froze or sweat to death. It was used and we didn't own it for long but not because of problems. We have had a Saab 87 (lots of problems for the first 50,000 miles) and several faster than the average corollas that just never die and don't break. Also a dodge caravan that is a very comfortable ride(97) but has required that many things be fixed. Transmission, check engine light, auto door locks, air conditioning.... some several times. Dodge has been receptive but what a pain when your car keeps breaking. Do you have to rely on luck or is there a way to spot a lemon. Also, how do you get extended warranty coverage that allows you to go out of the dealership? Thanks very much for listening.
  • sgerlachsgerlach Posts: 17
    There are a number of ways to located extended warranties. Example; look for extended warranty information on under Topic Finance/Warranty/Insurance. For me, I just went to my old mechanic and asked what extended warranty companies he had had experience with. He recommended one that he felt was good. Since he was the one going to work on the car, I got an extended warranty with that company. It covers everything even a rental if the car is in the shop over 24 hours. I have a 2000 cabrio with approximately 24,000 miles on it (it will be three years old on Halloween). All the minor problems occurred after 14,000 miles. However, I felt that some of the problems were caused by inexperienced VW mechanics. Check out your dealership's reputation. For the last 5 months the only problems I have had was that on the driver's side the light cover and light kept popping out. I went into VW yesterday and got a replacement part (original had been superseded (their word); I expect from this problem). New part had better connections. Oh and my door handles are peeling again.
    As a former Toyota 4-Runner owner, I can predict more problems with a VW than a toyota. However, the Toyota Solara convertible was more expensive and didn't have all the safety features that I wanted. On a sunny day with the top down, I'm still not sorry that I bought the car. It is fun to drive and responsive. And I feel safe in it! And with the extended warranty and a great mechanic I don't have to worry about car problems for another 61,000 miles (my extended warranty).
  • heimesheimes Posts: 1
    I have a 96 Cabrio with a passenger side window that only goes up or down on rare occasions like when it is raining. Can anybody help me fix this problem without taking it to the dealership?
  • foxysoxfoxysox Posts: 7
    sorry I have not posted in while...but hey, I have been out enjoying my new CoCo Cabrio! She is a silver dream! I love her,,,people driving by love her, hell even a police officer parked at the local gas station complimented me on my choice of cars!!*then I sped off and left a trail of dust* anyway, she is a week and two days old, I just put gas inher today and all is going well! yeah, we negotiated the price between 3 different dealers and and had at one time 3% above invoice, then one droped to 2.7 , 2.5 then 2.3,,,thats when we struck! they also threw in a demo to drive until mine was truck delivered a week later. I guess all the research we did payed off, cuz we did get an awesome deal. we had lease/own wizard software on our laptop when we went in...and i had a stack of paper work from the internet that i had printed out and i just kept referring to them and we went in knowing our beacon scores which were good, so i guess all this together enabled us to get a good deal. good luck i hope everyone enjoys their cabby as much as i do!!
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