1999 Volkswagen Cabrio Reviews from North America

1999 Volkswagen Cabrio

Year of manufacture1999
First year of ownership2011
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.7 / 10
Most recent distance135000 miles
Previous carVolkswagen Cabrio


Loved every minute, but maintaining it is just too expensive


I have had this car for just over a year, and in that time, we have had to replace the muffler, struts, brakes and brake pads, and our newest addition to the list is the window regulator, which I am currently having serviced.

This car was my first, and I have loved driving it. I learned how to drive standard in this car, and I wish I did not have to part with it. Unfortunately, due to the fact that it costs anywhere from $300-$600 to replace each part, it has to be done. As much as I hate to admit it, this car is a money pit. Not one of their better models, but like I said, I loved every minute in this car, besides the cost of maintaining it. I figure, it's better to get out before I need to replace a clutch, or something even more costly.

I don't regret buying this car, as it was a great first car, despite all the issues we had. It is fun, it's adorable, it suited me perfectly, and it has a GREAT turning circle, which helps me a lot :)

Overall, I would perhaps purchase this car again, and just have it as a summer ride.

General Comments:

I will for sure miss my Edith, but it will definitely save us a lot of money. If you have the time and $$, I highly recommend this car, either for a daily drive, a project car, or just a summer car. It took me a long time to admit that I would be better off giving this car up.

It's wonderful on gas. I couldn't have asked for a better, more fun, first car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th August, 2012

16th Aug 2012, 08:31

Edith????? Can someone please explain why people give these cars human names?

This is the second VW Cabrio review in a week where the car was given a human name.

1999 Volkswagen Cabrio

Model year1999
Year of manufacture1999
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 3 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.0 / 10
Distance when acquired110000 miles
Most recent distance117500 miles
Previous carGeo Metro


Do not buy


I bought this car used, so I knew to expect problems, but didn't realize how serious they would be (I should have come here first and read the reviews!).

The battery wouldn't stay charged, and nobody could figure out why. I had to buy three new batteries for this car, and they weren't cheap either. The last battery lasted about two weeks (and I had a battery warranty), so I took it back to the dealer for a new battery. Do you know what they did? They actually jumped me off, smiled, and walked away. I was so frustrated that I actually drove the car to a new car dealership and traded it in. Best thing I have ever done.

Plenty of electrical issues. Various warning lights on, off, and then on again, and at times it looked like Christmas tree lights. I had no confidence in this car.

The power for the convertible top never worked, but could still be raised and lowered manually.

The drivers side tail light would become unfastened from the housing, so I ended up actually having to super glue it back together.

These cars are money pits, so buyer beware. Now, don't get me wrong, I love Volkswagens in general, but this particular model was a disaster. If you buy a VW, make sure that the model you are getting was actually made in Germany, and NOT in Mexico. The German built Volkswagens tend to have fewer problems.

General Comments:

Despite all of the above problems, this car was comfortable to sit in, and handled well. I never had any problems with the engine or transmission.

The top was ragged and needed to be replaced, but it never leaked. Pretty good gas mileage too.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th September, 2011

1999 Volkswagen Cabrio 2.0

Model year1999
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 2.0 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.2 / 10
Distance when acquired62000 miles
Most recent distance102000 miles
Previous carMercury Capri


Scraped the bottom of the barrel


Transmission mount broke at 64000 miles.

Exhaust system fell off at 66000 miles.

Transmission blew at 70000 miles.

Convertible top cracked clear across at 72000 miles.

Transmission blew again at 89000 miles.

Ignition switch went out at 94000 miles.

Outer trim has fallen off.

Transmission problems at 102000 miles.

General Comments:

I've been driving stick shift since I started driving, and I have to say that this is the worst vehicle I have ever driven.

The transmission is so delicate that simply backing up a 2% grade can potentially break teeth on the reverse gear. I can't imagine anyone being able to drive this car as carefully as it has to be to keep it running.

The exhaust system rots.

A well-known problem with all Volkswagen MK3's, apparently, is the ignition switch. They all have daytime running lights, and they all have headlights that shut off when the car is off. When the ignition switch fails (and it will), the headlights will not turn on, nor will the windshield wipers or the cabin air fan. Apparently, each year and model that used this faulty item has to have a certain number of dealership orders of the part to issue a recall. In other words, some of the Volkswagens that use this faulty part have a recall for them, but others that also use the same part do not.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th October, 2006

28th Oct 2006, 01:48

I'm going to say that maybe, JUST maybe, you might be a little bit of the cause of your transmission problems. Three trannies, especially manual transmissions, is a little questionable.

Granted, VW didn't make the best transmissions, but usually, the ones that have problems are automatics.

Also, keep in mind you bought a USED car.

19th May 2009, 05:51

This is not a matter of used car or new. The car is badly designed and built. The convertible top will come loose because it is glued, not sewn together. The electrical problem is the one that is really a headache to me. I have bought used vehicles before and never had these many problems.

Average review marks: 4.6 / 10, based on 9 reviews