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Volkswagen Cabrio



  • hello-about 2 months ago i test drove the jetta 1.8t and loved it!I am turning 17 in January, so this will be my first car.I liked the jetta because it had the power, but I also think the Cabrio is cute-I would get the GLX in black =).I want to take a test drive in the Cabrio first of course.I hope it feels like it has more then 115 hp because it's so cute!My neighbor has the 01 gl and she zips around in it so i guess we'll see.can anyone tell me anything about it?? thanks!!
  • Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Cabrio,

    My 2001 Desert Wind GLS (manual) is everything I dreamed she should be. We are having way too much fun together. Yesterday's seven hour trip home (topless under mostly sunny skies) from a wedding was hardly as dreadful as what all of my hard-top friends had to endure. I'm with you, Foxy Sox- when I see her parked outside I always smile and I still can't believe she's mine. (I'm also just above five feet tall- and I agree that she is very petite friendly!) My boyfriend even loves to drive her. My only complaints are about the massive amount of sunscreen I go through and the defrost system (and not to mention when it rains and the top HAS to stay up). Does anyone else find themselves scrambling around to make the windows de-fog? I bet with a little more time, I'll figure out what works best- so far I've been blasting the heat for a few seconds.

    Anyone slightly interested in this car should buy one. Within this past month a co-worker of mine bought a 2002 cabrio due to my convincing!!! You'll never be in a bad mood with the top down, believe me!

  • sillyg13sillyg13 Posts: 2
    I haven't seen this here yet, but a friend on mine has a Jetta and has had the exact same problem. The rubber strip of molding on the driver's side door came loose and flew off driving down the highway. Has anyone else had problems with this on their Cabrio? I haven't gotten a chance to call the dealer about getting it replaced, though. Any ideas on the cost of replacing this and how to make sure it won't happen again?
  • glewweglewwe Posts: 2

    Well, I was afraid of this- the pulling-apart seam that was 'just a cosmetic thing' (why I thought that sounded reasonable when I purchased my car- which I love, by the way- I have no idea) has finally turned into a full-blown hole on the seam. It's just now moving past ugly and slightly embarassing to potentially a real problem. I have a 97 cabrio- has anyone had to replace their top and have any words of advice? I have been quoted $1000 for top/labor. Once I got over the sticker shock, I figured that was pretty standard. Thoughts?

    Thank you!

  • foxysoxfoxysox Posts: 7
    yeah, i found myself inthe same predicament the other day. It had rained BAD and I come out all ready to zip off in coco...and low and behold, I cant even pullout! the windows were so fogged up, i felt like someone had put a smog machine under one of myseats! i rolled one window down, the passenger, then i blasted and i do mean BLASTED the heat for like 3 minutes! poor coco, she was imobile! so we took that time and sat there and listened to a little Portishead, kinda rainy day music anyway, and after a few mintues i was on the road and once again the envy of all the other female drivers who passed by wishing THEY had a cabrio! *one good thing, i did get to use my awesome looking fog lights since it was all murky out!*....hey, when you own a cabrio, you ALWAYS find something good about any driving situation!
    and for Princess 786, there are lotsa lotsa really good and bad posts on this board alone, simply scroll thru, i think after driving one, with top up OR down,, you'll be impressed....dont ask me, cuz i am so biased, i have vowed that I will never own another hard top car...i told my hubby, "i will always have a convertible" so hopefully they will have that jetta coupe hardtop convertible out by the time i am ready to retire coco....but that s a few years away.;...!!!!
    keep on keepin on!
  • sgerlachsgerlach Posts: 17
    The manual for my 2000 cabrio tells me to close all air vents when I turn on the defroster. Since I've followed the instructions I have not had a problem. Check your manual!
  • aer007aer007 Posts: 1
    Please read the following complaint against VW to explain this recall/lawsuit:

    To all 98 Cabrio Owners with a "light colored/creme or white top":
    Myself, as well as 4 other owners of this year/color convertible top,
    were recently interviewed last Friday by a TV reporter for a consumer
    action show. The vinyl tops on our cars are defective, VW is aware
    of the problem, and we are fighting the corporation to get 100% free
    replacement of these disintegrating tops. VW is currently only
    offering a 50% reimbursement for replacement and claim that it was
    covered under the two year warranty. It might have been covered, but
    I took my car in before that time and they were unaware of the exact
    problem and not suggesting that it was a "warranty issue". If you or
    anyone else knows of anyone with this light color top, 98 model,
    where orange and black marks are developing (along with ripping and
    tearing, please email me at There is a
    good chance that we will win this fight over VW to get a full
    replacement since they used a vendor and sold us a defective
    product. If you want to join the growing list, please email me.
    Thanks. Anne

    My email is
  • halogenhalogen Posts: 20
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  • halogenhalogen Posts: 20
    just turn on the A/C for a few minutes which will take all of the moisture off windows... :)
  • Hi! I am so happy to have found this discussion group to exchange information about my Cabrio and to just gush. I am so in love with my car. I bought it last September and have had really good luck with it so far. I drive a lot and it really takes the curse off of my 60 mile roundtrip daily commute. Only 10 months old and I'm pushing 12K. I have had really good luck with the dealers here in Massachusetts that i have been to. I bought it in Brookline and had just the best experience. I wish it wasnt so hard to get to because id love to have it serviced there regularly. But my other dealer (in Amesbury) where i have gone has been great. I have had only one unexpected problem... one week after my 10k check up my water pump broke and i had to get it replaced... but it was done really quickly and still under warranty so... no biggie. Just out of curiousity i was wondering if other people had their water pumps go at an early age...

    Other than that...I also have to say that i have that same experience, almost daily... when i approach my car from a distance... i think ... my God... is that really mine? its SO unbearably cute! Happiness is my cabrio!
  • Hey Cabrio Family!

    Alanna1122- I just wanted to commend you on your cabrio-induced enthusiasm. I can tell that you're my type of person by your love for the cabrio. The blue is such a pretty color- definitely my next choice (mine's a 2001 Desert Wind GLS). Coming up soon my CabRIO-driver friend and I are hosting a dueling cabrio day trip- two cabrios filled with 8 eight girls looking for trouble. Should be fun.

    I wanted to report that ever since I wrote about my defroster problems, I have not since been in a foggy situation- not that I've had the occasion to try any of y'all tricks, it's just that it hasn't rained all that much here. Nevertheless it's good to know that I'm prepped for the worst. Thanks!

    I also wanted to report one small annoyance: one day I turned on my radio to find out the safety feature had clicked on (for no apparent reason) and the system was locked and read "SAFE". I followed the manual's instruction and entered in my secret code, but to no avail. I called my nearest dealership for assistance and the earliest appointment they offered me is at the end of next week. Are there any vw stereo smarty-pants out there who might know what can be done to get me cruising with tunes again?

    Happy trails to all!
  • halogenhalogen Posts: 20
    My e-mai address is :
  • rusberlinrusberlin Posts: 1
    I own a 97 Cabrio with the tan/grey top. Over the past two years the top became sticky, then black and orange discolorations started to appear. What I first thought was dirt and mildew is actual the vinyl breaking down - and there is no way to stop the process. Next, the roof became hard and brittle and started to rip all over. I've read posts on PlanetFeedback and Yahoo Groups of many other Cabrio owners with the same problem. However, VW claims there is no widespread problem. I've contacted the member who posted at #127, and this group of owners is already at 21 people from all over the country. If that isn't widespread, I don't know what is. If your top is disintegrating at such a young age, you need to get in touch with this group!
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    i am looking for a four seat convertible, and I am a VW owner (Jetta Turbo) now. I can't find ANY 5 speed Cabrio's anywhere (2002).

    I drove an automatic 2002 GLS on a 100 degree day. It was SLOW. I felt like I had to force it to downshift. Is that normal? Or does the fact that it was so hot, and I had the A/C blowing, have anything to do with it?

    I really like the style. And yes, I am a MALE ;)
  • sgerlachsgerlach Posts: 17
    I have a 2000 automatic cabrio. I think it's a matter of what you were use to when it comes to power. Before this I had a 1986 Toyota 4Runner 4 cylinder so this is a big improvement. I haven't had any trouble with lack of power. I just went from LA to San Diego on Friday. I was averaging 75-80 miles a hour with no problem (except looking for CHIPS). When I go over 85, I can hear the difference in the engine (which is good because that would really be a high ticket). I was told when I bought it that the automatic would adjust to my driving style. The biggest dealer for cabrios in the L.A. area is Santa Monica. They told me that they sold the most cabrios in the nation. If you are in the area, you might want to check with them for a stick.
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    i am on the other coast (dc). i have driven slow cars before. i think you are right - it matter what you have before you get the Cabrio.

    i would think i wouldn't notice the difference after a day or two of driving.

    no sticks are being made, from what i understand.
  • sgerlachsgerlach Posts: 17
    Are you sure there are no sticks being made? I just tried the VW web site and the default is stick. There is an additional charge for automatic. You might want to call the VW 800 number to verify what the dealers tell you. I found that the dealers would tell me anything that would sell the cars in their inventory.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    They did restrict 02 Cabrio 5-speed production, and I have heard rumors that the last ones being made only have the automatic since its the most popular combo by far. However, my local dealer in Tallahassee, Florida, had a white GLS 5-speed back in February so some were made. Try extending your search to south Florida as that is a popular market for the Cabrio; you could make the buying process into a fun vacation. That said, I think the auto Cabrio has plenty of power for around town driving up to about 60mph (I didn't notice much of a difference in power over my 92 Miata with a 5speed as long as the revs were kept below 3500). After that point, I would imagine it runs ouf of steam quickly. Compared to your turbo Jetta, it will feel like a diesel. The joy of open air cruising often times can make you forget all about horsepower though :)
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    i have heard those rumors too. thanks for the info.

    i also hear that 2002 is the last year, but some say 2003 still has the Cabrio on the docket. i don't mean the Bettle Cab - but the regular one.
  • 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!!!!
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