1996 Volkswagen Cabrio Review

Used Cabrio for sale
List Price Estimate:$303 - $705
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Volkswagen Cabrio model years
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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

Volkswagen replaced the venerable Cabriolet with this Golf-based convertible in 1995. The difference between the Cabriolet and the Cabrio was enormous and welcome. The old Rabbit-based car hasn't been missed.

The Cabrio is good fun. For $22,000 you get a four-seat convertible with simple good looks, reasonably spry performance, air conditioning and sharp seven-spoke alloy wheels. Road feel is superb, and the thick four-spoke steering wheel falls readily to hand.

While the 2.0-liter motor is no barnstormer, it moves the Cabrio quick enough to squirt through traffic. At speed, the VW feels solid and sure; this is a car that will get you speeding tickets if you're not careful.

Handling is excellent, in the Volkswagen tradition. The chassis and suspension communicate clearly with the driver, and the Cabrio's seats are comfortable and multi-adjustable.

The basket handle rollbar remains intact on the Cabrio, but the top stows much more neatly than it ever did on the Cabriolet. And a stout top it is, sporting six layers and latching tightly to the windshield header. The glass rear window is thoughtfully equipped with a defroster, making the Cabrio a true four seasons car.

For 1996, Volkswagen is making few changes. Daytime running lights have been added, and side moldings are now body color. Central locking and unlocking is accomplished via a dash-mounted switch. A new color scheme, Cinnabar Metallic with Kiesel top and Kiesel leather, is now available. (What the heck is Kiesel?)

Yes, the Miata is more fun to drive, and Mustangs are more stylish (depending on your sense of style), but the Cabrio is no longer the Barbie car it once was. It imparts a sense of class and sophistication, and at a starting price of $20,000, which includes a 10 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty, we think Volkswagen's got a winner.

1996 Highlights

Daytime running lights and new body-color side moldings alter the exterior appearance of the 1996 Cabrio. A new color scheme also livens things up. Central locking and unlocking switch is dash-mounted.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1996 Volkswagen Cabrio.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars
2dr Convertible
3 out of 5 stars
Costly and Continuous Repairs
2dr Convertible
I've had this car for just about two years now, bought it with low KM at 100,000, and have put 55,000km on it. So I've done lots of driving with it, but I have spent over $4000 in repairs! So if your looking for something that isn't expensive to maintain, this car isn't the one for you. It is a 17year old car, so repairs are part of the deal, however its personally been a pain for me, the check engine light hasn't stayed off longer than 2 months! However, it is fun to drive in the summer so this is its saving grace. I'd suggest this car to somebody who understands the expensive repair requirements for buying an older vw, but do not be convinced into spending anything over $4000 for it!
4.38 out of 5 stars
Love this Car!
Ashley ,02/17/2006
2dr Convertible
I love my Volkswagen Cabrio! It is so fun to drive! I get 32 miles per gallon with my 5 speed transmission. It is an awesome beach car!
4 out of 5 stars
Good deal
2dr Convertible
I bought my VW 2 years ago, in perfect condition. No major problems so far, I just had to replace the coolant system ($500). The main problem is the leather interior which starts to be really old. The leather is really scratched and doesn't stick anymore to the seats/doors. So it looks really bad, I've tried to use glue but it doesn't seem to work. Anyway, it's a really fun car to drive, with good driving sensations and fair amount of power, even with just a 2.0L engine.


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1996 Volkswagen Cabrio

Used 1996 Volkswagen Cabrio Overview

The Used 1996 Volkswagen Cabrio is offered in the following submodels: Cabrio Convertible. Available styles include 2dr Convertible. The Used 1996 Volkswagen Cabrio comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 Volkswagen Cabrio?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1996 Volkswagen Cabrios are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1996 Volkswagen Cabrio for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1996 Volkswagen Cabrio.

Can't find a used 1996 Volkswagen Cabrios you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Volkswagen Cabrio for sale - 5 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $7,565.

Find a used Volkswagen for sale - 10 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $24,203.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen Cabrio for sale - 8 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $10,620.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen for sale - 6 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $23,501.

Should I lease or buy a 1996 Volkswagen Cabrio?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Volkswagen lease specials
Check out Volkswagen Cabrio lease specials