1999 Volkswagen Cabrio Golf Generation 4 2.0 Litre petrol from United Arab Emirates


Wagen gone wrong!


The car had a few nuisances, which I was aware of at the time of purchase. From past experiences, VW and their parts should not be extremely costly, so I managed to bring down the purchase price against my observations, for a couple of thousand of Dirhams, strongly believing in professional service and excellent support from the local dealer in Dubai.

Having driven the car for myself for a few days before the next major service appointment, I noticed that besides the standard major service - 60K due in 5K km, the car needed new wipers, wheel alignment, tightening of the exhaust, tuning and replacement of light bulbs (they go like mad here in the Gulf, especially on VW’s). I also wanted the dealer to investigate a grinding noise from the front which I suspected to be the wheel bearings (even though they should not go after a mere 55K km, but the harsh climate tends to “swallow” parts in this part of the world).

OBSERVATIONS: I noticed that the car is pretty loud, with plenty of wind noise, very poor rigidity, even for a cabriolet, dashboard quality is rather good while the rear panels are anything, but that. The car squeaks and rumbles in turns, even at low speeds. The leather on the seats started to flake and fade. It was at that moment that I came to the realization (far more devastating for my better half) that the slogan “built for life” will not fit our “Cabby”. Furthermore, to close the electric passenger side window is evidence of German Engineering having the day-off (the motor was replaced twice!), and the brakes are anything, but braking. And before confirming my worst fears, I spoke to two other VW Golf IV Cabrio owners who told me their very, very similar problems with their cars. A disappointment was inevitable!

General Comments:

This is the 7th VW in my family and my wife’s first car.

When we started searching for her “wheels”, we considered a lot of options before narrowing the search down to convertibles; Golf was destined to win.

The acquisition cost was moderate if not similar to the far more expensive models, such as the SAAB Convertible from the previous year. But women love small and compact and there was no chance for me to convince her to go for the SAAB 9-3 (due to the size and rather conservative styling), so we bought this one owner, GCC specification, Golf IV Cabrio.

On the day of service, I was told to expect a bill of Dhs 2200 approx, which is roughly just over US$ 600, for the 60K service alone. Any additional parts or work would be charged separately.

A week and US$ 1150 later, we got the car back. The dealer tried their best which was and is evident, but the car simply refuses to cooperate on the OBSERVATIONS listed above. Furthermore, this 55K km vehicle needed new bearings all round, new shocks, new engine mountings… basically anything that had rubber as its main component needed replacement! And most of the problems are slowly coming back with many more joining the party.

Today, with now over US$ 1800 out-of-our-pockets, the car is listed for sale. Never again!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd February, 2005

1999 Volkswagen Cabrio GLX from North America




The two best days of a Cabrio's owners life our, the day they buy the car and the day they get ride of it!

This car has been an absolute nightmare!

The starter burned out 3 times! at 51,000 miles a week after I bought it, then a week after that and a week after that!

The ignition switch went shortly after that.

Power roof went out before I bought it.

Breaks were replaced, as well as tires.

ABS light comes on for no reason as does break light.

Door locks broke.

Who knows what else has been replaced on the car before I even bought it!

From what I understand these cars have lots of electrical problems.

General Comments:

I have wanted this car ever since I was 16 and now that I have it I just want to get rid of it! Now I understand why they do not make these cars anymore!

They are horribly made and not reliable at all! I recommend to anyone who is thinking of buying a Cabrio to seriously reconsider. I know the car is really "cute" and I admit it is fun to drive, but it is not worth all the headache and extra expenses. I have only had it a few months and I have put so much money into it!

While this car seems to be ever girls dream car it is a nightmare! This car has just stopped in the middle of rush hour traffic on me. I am so lucky I did not get hit by another car and die in that tin can! The car doesn't even start all the time!!! What is the point of having a car that doesn't work.

At first I just thought I bought a lemon, but the more I researched the more I learned that almost all Cabrio owners have experienced these problems if not worse problems. These cars seem to be finished only after a few years and a few miles even if regularly serviced. DON'T waste your money!!! I have a 91 Honda that can run circles around this piece of crap!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th September, 2004

13th Dec 2004, 21:57

I own a 1999 cabrio. I have never been so happy with a car in my life. I have not had any problems with this car except for something is wrong with the door handle. It is so fun to drive, and I feel if you keep up with the car, the car will keep up with you. I recommend this car to anyone that likes to have a little fun, a doesn't like to spend a lot of money on gas.

9th Feb 2005, 12:56

Re the previous comment, if you open the glove box you should see an item called an "OWNERS MANUAL".

You should find in it the answers to the questions you posted as well as many other details about your car which may be a mystery to you right now.

1999 Volkswagen Cabrio GLS 2.0 Gasoline from North America


Heated seats relay stopped working. Airbag ECU went out. Little electrical problems, and latch for glovebox attached to dash and had to replace whole glove box because latch broke.

General Comments:

Fun, sporty car, but could use an extra amount of HP. Leather interior is nice, but too many electrical components/accessories, which make it expensive to repair. Power top a plus, also, but expensive if electrical problems stop it working.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th February, 2003