1998 Volkswagen Cabrio 1.6 SE 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland


A practical, economical cabriolet that's fun to drive


Replaced anti-lock braking system processor at 62,000 miles (£380 - ouch!). Otherwise nothing.

General Comments:

Economical to run (35 - 40 mpg, servicing fairly cheap at Volkswagen main dealers).

Reasonable performance - feels nippy in town, but can get noisy on motorways.

For a cabriolet it feels very solid. There are a few squeaks and rattles, but that's only to be expected of this type of bodywork. The hood is very water-tight and insulates exterior noise well.

The interior trim is sturdy and shows few signs of wear.

Ride and handling are more on the side of 'comfort' than sport, but suit the car well.

There are no signs of rust yet, but the paintwork (metallic pearl effect) appears to chip easily.

A great drive with the top down. A cruiser not a road burner.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th July, 2003

5th Oct 2009, 06:52

I have got a '98 SE Cabrio, with 88K on the clock, and it too, sailed through its MOT this year. Only problems in the past 6 years in which I have owned it are, the coil failed last year (£46 for replacement part from GSF), and the door locks have given up. Both these appear to be common Golf problems.

Hood works fine, no leaks or anything. I has never set the road alight with its performance, but it is a well screwed together little car.

14th May 2011, 13:53

Own a 98 GLS Cabrio... rare color: silver suede body with black "velvet" top. Original owner, 80,000 miles. Replaced coil and automatic locks/anti-theft system with model for a 99 cabrio from dealer. Still on the road... garage kept... a beauty!

1998 Volkswagen Cabrio GL 2.0 from North America


Great car


The transmission had a funny sound when it was in reverse. It was fixed for free under the warranty by the dealer ship and I got a new car when they fixed it. The warranty is excellent 4 years or 50000 miles.

General Comments:

Great car was very reliable when I had it. Fairly cheap in gas. I have no idea why people do not like this little cute car it is great and spacious and I would buy it again if I did not have a child.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th May, 2003

23rd Dec 2003, 14:10

I have a 2001 Cabrio and a 3 year old daughter; I find the two go together quite well. She doesn't like the top down on the "big roads" (highways) but loves cruising the back roads and being able to see everything. She also loves being at the beach with the top down.

1998 Volkswagen Cabrio Highline 4 cylinder from North America


The driver side window automatically stops half way down when trying to close it.

About 50 thousand miles, the radio started making a piercing noise.

The top is still in great shape, as is the interior, my problem is the body.

Now the car is starting to rust. Paint is bubbling from rear quarter panel, on the trunk and along the windshield.

The dealer told me its not covered because the rust basically doesn't hasn't broken through. He told me they can fix it under the 6 year, unlimited corrosion warranty if the rust has perforated through the metal. Unreal!

So I guess I have a year to wait for the rust to break through and then see if its bad enough for them to fix.

General Comments:

The car is great for a 20 something college kid who buys it used from someone who paid too much for it new!!

This is my third VW and my last!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th May, 2003

1998 Volkswagen Cabrio GLS 2.0 from North America


Quarantine yourself from THIS plague!


My tan roof was horribly stained from normal wear after two and a half years. I went to the dealership and they really didn't want to deal with me. I contacted the northeast regional service rep and he came down and looked at the car and told them to replace it.

My moldings were discolored and the door molding had fallen off of the car. The same rep told them to replace that at the same time they replaced my roof. They replaced my moldings one more time after that because they fell off.

People working at the Volkswagen dealership are not very helpful and act as though you are doing them a favor by buying a car.

This past summer my car was 5 years old. The driver side of the door and the passengers inside door panel leather peeled away from the door panel and was flapping in the wind like open curtains. I consulted the Volkswagen dealership and they pretty much told me it was too bad and it would cost a gazillion dollars for me to fix it. I contacted the rep again and he told them to fix it comp.

At the same time I had the problem with my door panel, I was getting a sharp object jammed into my back from something metal pointing into my lumbar on the driver seat. They determined it was a coil from the heated seats and fixed that while they were fixing the door panels. They replaced the door panels with new ones.

This summer my alarm on my vehicle decided to work sporadically every time I turned the key to arm it. Now I can only arm the car if I lock it from the passenger side of the vehicle. The volkswagen dealership said the computer in the door goes out and they need to be replaced. They wanted 5 hundred dollars to do the work. I have been locking it on the passenger side since then.

My car developed an annoying problem at the 50,000 mile mark. Whenever it rains the car wheezes like it has asthma and eventually just loses all power. It is very fun when it happens because I always seem to be on a major highway or a deserted stretch of road in a bad area of town. I'm getting a lot of use out of my AAA membership with the 200 free mile towing that is included. Neither the Volkswagen dealership or my mechanic have been able to pinpoint the problem. I have spent a lot of money changing all kinds of wires and the coil and it just happened again today.

General Comments:

Other than the serious cosmetic problems and maintenance problems, the car is undeniably cute.

I don't think I would buy another Volkswagen.

I was hooked by their looks for years, but looking is better than owning. I was thinking about getting an Audi convertible next, but I am rethinking that due to the fact that they are manufactured by the same people.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th May, 2003

1st Sep 2004, 12:03

I recently bought a 99 cabrio from a private owner. I have owned it about a month and it has broken down 3 times. I just graduated college so I really do not have the money to be dealing with this. It burnt out its starter 3 times. We just replaced the starter and ignition switch in hopes that it will be OK now. Have you ever had a similar problem? The car just stopped going in the middle of rush hour traffic. It has been running fine since I put in the new ignition switch, but I am still scared of the car.

20th Feb 2006, 14:18

I am about to get a '98 Cabrio that has basically been restored both mechanically and cosmetically from my mother. This car also did not start in the rain, but we found out it was because of distrebutor cap and wires. Ever since they were replaced it seems to run fine, but who knows, it could give out any second just as many parts on the car have.