Used 1998 Volkswagen Cabrio

1998 Volkswagen Cabrio
List price range

Pros

  • German ride and handling. Optional side impact airbags. Glass rear window with defogger. Amazing powertrain warranty. Free scheduled maintenance for 2 years or 24,000 miles.

Cons

  • Engine taxed by 2,771-lb. curb weight. Styling is more chunky than sporty. High price.

Used 1998 Volkswagen Cabrio for Sale

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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 $18,500 you get a four-seat convertible with simple good looks, reasonably spry performance and premium sound. 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 1998, Cabrio GLS has a power top that makes life in sunny climes so much easier.

Volkswagen is making a few changes for 1998. Two trim levels are available: Base and new GLS. Both come with newly standard door pocket liners, a trunk cargo net and sport seats that feature height adjustment for both the driver and front passenger (driver only on Base model). Base models are decontented versions, eschewing air conditioning, power windows, heated exterior mirrors, cruise control and antilock brakes to attain a price thousands of dollars lower than the loaded Cabrio GLS. GLS models add fog lights, alloy wheels and leather interior trim (among other items) to the standard equipment roster. Buyers who must have ABS are forced into buying the pricey GLS model, since the system is not available on Base models.

Yes, the Miata is more fun to drive, and Mustangs are more stylish, 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 $18,500 (which includes a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and free scheduled maintenance during the first two years or 24,000 miles of ownership) we think this Volkswagen should appeal to those more interested in style than speed.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1998 Volkswagen Cabrio.

I Love My Little Car!
misanthropist, 7/10/2012
I've had my Cabrio for only about a month and I've noticed a few flaws such as the tires the previous owner put on it are too big and grind when I have rear passengers. That or my suspension needs an update. My ABS and E brake lights stay on when driving but not ALL the time. A few of the automatic features don't work.. my top is now manuel which I don't mind. My driver window doesn't like to roll up normally. My mirrors aren't automatic anymore. My cruise control I don't believe works.. I havn't really looked into figuring how to set it though, so maybe it does. My seats are difficult to move back and forth and My trunk light doesn't come on. However, those are all minor things to me.
I Love my Cabrio!
Nuru, 8/20/2008
Back in the 80's there was this movie, "Can't Buy Me Love" and the girl had the Cabriolet in white. I fell in love with the car then. When I had the opportunity to buy the same car I loved back then, in 2001, I jumped on it and never looked back. I can't tell you how many people have asked to buy the car from me. I was hit 2 times in that car, and both times the other car was more damaged than my little tank. The second time it was an SUV that hit me. The whole front of the other car was crumpled. Overall, my Cabrio has served me well. I will only replace it with a convertible Mini as that's the only other thing I've driven that's as fun.
Bag for the buck
Al Hopkins, 12/30/2009
Great car to drive!Not my first VW I have bought, this is why I bought this one. Fun to drive, even with the top down:>) For me easy to work on,great bag for the buck. Had to replace ball joints 'cause rubber boot was torn, These Cabrio's are a very durable reliable vehicle. Super fast no! Although for a 2.0 it is pretty quick for the placement under the hood Handling is excellent. For a '98 friends/people cannot believe it is this old of a vehicle. This is a "best kept secret" for those of us young at heart. Miata eat your heart out!!!
Therapy for the Soul
Swampfox, 1/14/2005
I owned a used 1972 Fiat 850 years ago and it was a blast. Had the opportunity to buy a used 1998 VW Cabrio and the memories came rushing back. No, this car is not 350HP. It's better. Therapy for the soul! Euro- handling and enough horsepower to have fun, fun, fun, and merge with traffic at the same time. Put the top down on a nice Fall or Spring day and enjoy crusing the two lane roads and enjoy the view. Today we worry too much about ultimate performance and too little about ultimate enjoyment. The Cabrio is meant to be enjoyed. The new Cabrio Beetle is nice but mine is better, for me. I have driven both. This is the car to have to take time out, kick back, and enjoy the moment.
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Features & Specs

MPG
21 city / 28 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
115 hp @ 5400 rpm
MPG
21 city / 28 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
115 hp @ 5400 rpm
See all Used 1998 Volkswagen Cabrio features & specs

Safety

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
    0

More about the 1998 Volkswagen Cabrio
Used 1998 Volkswagen Cabrio Overview

The Used 1998 Volkswagen Cabrio is offered in the following submodels: . Available styles include GL 2dr Convertible, and GLS 2dr Convertible.

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