1997 Volkswagen Cabrio Highline 2.0 from North America


Best car I have had yet


Having bought this car at seven or eight years old, nothing was under warranty.

The reverse blew out after I had the replaced. This was a manufacturer error on this model of car. Part of the shifting setup was too long from the factory, so as a result the car never went completely into reverse. Didn't notice until I had a brand new clutch. Would have cost about $400 to repair the initial problem instead of $1200 for the next transmission.

I live in a wintry area with salted roads, the exhaust system rusted out twice while I owned it.

In the last 6-8 months, I have noticed that the leather interior is shrinking and pulling away. The seam in the drivers seat has also started to split.

General Comments:

This is a sporty, "cute" little car. Great for summer driving. Winter driving is nice too, handles really well and the top is insulated very nicely.

The AC is cold when you want it, and the heat is hot within a few minutes of driving. The convertible top is amazing, just have to keep in mind not to use soap on it when washing. If absolutely necessary to use soap, rinse thoroughly to prevent corrosion.

I actually had a fighting chance against my buddy's GTI in acceleration performance when the transmission was in good shape. The performance mods for this car are expensive and hard to find. It's OK since the car is zippy to begin with. I've taken it up to over 100 on the interstate... shh don't tell... and even driving like a teenage boy I still managed 26-28 miles to the gallon. Sometimes even 30 for highway miles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th February, 2009

1997 Volkswagen Cabrio Highline 2.0 from North America


Great commuter's car


The cable that goes into starter missing clip. This caused the cable to fall out and the car not to start.

The top missing weatherstrip over windshield, so wind noise very loud.

The air bag light stays on, even though there is nothing wrong with sensors or air bag system.

There isn't a cup holder that fits a consumer coffee cup, or a bottle of soda.

The leather on the driver's seat has split and the passengers side leather is very worn.

General Comments:

This car is very practical, if not very comfortable.

With a 5-speed manual transmission, it is very fuel efficient.

Air conditioning is very cold.

Very easy to fold down convertible top, and boot for top is easy to install.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th October, 2005

1997 Volkswagen Cabrio Highline from North America


Great, reliable, economical, and cute car


No sound from radio. Necessary to replace speakers and antenna.

Leather on driver's seat splitting.

Air bag light stays on.

General Comments:

This is a terrific little car, and gasoline at $3.00 a gallon and going up all the time, a very economical car.

I commute 60 miles a day to work, so I leave my Grand Am home and drive my Cabrio.

Besides regular maintenance, have never put major money into this car.

The best $1800.00 dollars I ever spent.

It's cheaper to buy a car, than buy gas.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 2nd September, 2005

1997 Volkswagen Cabrio Highline from North America


I would advise against purchasing this car


It makes a noise when in reverse, which I was told indicated the transmission was going. After having it checked out, I was told it is possible there is a chip in a gear.

Air bag light on for some mysterious reason.

Drivers side window would get stuck either up or down, cost $600 to get fixed.

Car started shaking and check engine light came on EVERY time it rained, got it fixed at the dealer for another $500, but it continued to do it.

Unable to lock the doors because the locks get stuck (on the driver and passenger side doors as well as the trunk) and I am locked out.

The molding on the door fell off the drivers side and it falling off the passenger side.

I had to replace the entire exhaust system.

General Comments:

I got the black cloth top, no problems with that.

It is a fun car, but in no way worth the money or hassle it has been to me. The woman from whom I bought the car did not warn me about any problems, and I would feel extremely guilty selling this car to another person. My mechanic (and others) advise me not to buy volkswagon because the parts tend to be expensive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th July, 2005

2nd Oct 2009, 10:17

I have a 98 Cabrio, and every time it rains or gets condensation in the engine bay, the gauges go all crazy off and on, and the car runs rich. What did the dealership fix on your car?

8th Jan 2013, 14:01

All the exact same faults you have listed happened to my Cabrio as well! Except every time it rains, I have to blow dry the cool wire or it won't start.