1998 Volkswagen Cabrio GL 2.0 from North America


A Costly Mistake


Starter needed to be replaced at 50,000 miles.

Car died on major highway and needed to be towed 60 miles back to dealership at 60,000 miles. Ignition caps and ignition cords needed to be replaced.

Driver's side door does not engage alarm. Car needs to be locked from passenger's side door at all times.

Cruise control does not work at all times and turns on automatically at other times.

Tan vinyl top turned orange and sticky after 3 1/2 years for no reason. It previously had been maintained properly. No cleaner recommended by VW and no cleaner will get off stain completed. Top starting to rip on driver's side. Group of ten other owners with 1998 Cabrios manufactured at VW de Mexico experiencing same problems. VW states the top needs to be replaced at owner's cost and refuses to consider it a defect in the composition of the top/vinyl.

General Comments:

I have thoroughly enjoyed this car, even with its unreliability, until the top deteriorated. Now, I am embarrassed to drive it.

I will never by another car manufactured by VW again. I had better customer service and reliability from the manufacturer of my previous car, a 1993 Ford Probe.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th June, 2002

12th Aug 2002, 16:48

I am having the exact same problem with my 1998 Cabrio. It also has a tan top, and has now ripped in several places due to the build up of a black tar-like substance. I am about to take my car to the dealer so that they can "evaluate" the top. My car is still under warranty, as it was purchased used with a 2 year warranty. I would be interested in hearing from others with a similar problem, or in information about the other owners mentioned in the previous review. But I agree-there is definitely a problem with the top that does not constitute "normal wear and tear" and VW should absolutely be required to replace them.

13th Apr 2004, 15:30

My beige Cabrio top is starting to turn brown as well. The car is 6 years old and made in Mexico. Has anyone had any success in cleaning this top? It is turning sticky. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!



19th Jul 2004, 06:32

There is a class action law suit with VW about getting the top replaced. If you complained within the warranty period they will replace it for free. Or if you replaced it yourself during the warranty period they will reimburse you.

If you complain or fix it after warranty period they will pay/reimburse you for 50% of the cost.

Hope this helps.

1998 Volkswagen Cabrio from North America


It is fun to drive, but painful to maintain


My power top failed to work at 46000 miles.

My power window on driver side failed at 44000 miles.

Speaker side and volume has to be programmed after each use.


General Comments:

It is a fun car to drive, but when it comes to repairing it, it is an absolute fortune.

I will never buy a Volkswagen Again!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 22nd April, 2002