I purchased this 99 VW Cabrio used some many years ago. I wanted a convertible and My Grand mother swore by VW. Lest we forget, she bought her VW's when Volkswagon was still Volkswagon.
So, as my Cabrio ages, I would be in for some of todays technology short falls or upgrades that the car could/should have done without and be better for it .
I prefer it's look to todays cars, it has a great ride and handles well. Very enjoyable ride in the summer, and decent traction, for a small car in the winter. And where do they come up with no power in the reviews. Mine goes like a bat out of, err a hot oven. It is pleasing to drive, fantastic when the top is down and the mid support has a good look. I have now gone through a top change out as the original became brittle and cracked. I installed the top myself, took a little over a day to do and restored the new top look. Paint wise, the paint held up very well until the clear coat began to peel off in 2009. But I have yet to see a car where the clear coat has not failed when the car is in its 2nd decade. It is just irritating to see the clear coat peel away and then be told the entire car needs to be repainted. Mechanically at this late date, Jan 26, 2016, the mechanicals of the car are still pretty much in very good shape, runs like a top and gets great mileage. The downside would be the electric windows motor which can be an off/on working operation. The other would be the less than stellar reliability of the inside door handle which over time will stop working from plastic breakage. The RADIO is teamed with a cd player and the sound is still booming. VW had a poor design to the radio face and if you try to take it out too many times, will crack the plastic face to a point that it will fall apart. I am on my second radio for that exact reason. Keeping a car over the 10 year mark for many is unusual and to still have a '99 vw Cabro today in 2017 seems to be a rare thing. The secret to it all is to keep up on any repairs as best you can. If you let it sit, it will deteriorate. For the most part, this Cabrio is still running well and still has great looks with the top still operating to a down position for open air enjoyment. I drive this car anywhere I care to go with a big smile on my face.
UPDATE: July 26, 2017 Well I still have this fun car. The New top still opens and closes perfectly. Covered the area where that crap clear coat peeled with a plastiDip coating, looks good. Have one window motor acts up now and then but still workable. ... The car is still solid, handles very well and is amongst my most reliable cars. I had an episode where the after market installed, keyless alarm system locked me out and wouldn't start the car. This started when the battery went dead in the middle of Winter. The dealer had to remove the aft market alarm sys and she came back to life. So this reflects NOTHING on the car itself but watch out for that after market crap. ... Also, the hydraulic pump that opens and closes the roof can now have just the impeller replaced for a small amount of $ instead of replacing the entire pump for a lot of $$. ... Ok so that is the history of my VW Cabrio. On the road, she is still quick, smooth, solid and comfortable. The top still works, goes up and down smoothly and is so nice to drive with the top down. ... The Cabrio is a very fun little car to drive, handles very well and it is going to be very difficult to think about getting rid of, when the time comes. ... No long built, there are a few Cabrios available used but I can't vouch for what condition you will find it in but if you find a good one, you'll have some very enjoyable drives. Very nice Car. UPDATE: 01/25/2018: Still driving this gem. in good condition and great fun to drive. Had a shifting problem, VW wanted to sell me a new transmission. Turned out the shift linkage had some rust on it preventing it from going into gear. A little lubrication cleared that up. Runs great, rides great, still a very fun car to drive. Would be an "E" ticket ride. LOL.
The reviews point towards a car that is fun to drive, good-looking (unique style), comfortable for even tall drivers, higher clearance than many convertibles, a/c and heater works, heated seats put out moderate amount of heat, good winter driving capability (if you choose to), good on gas and easy to park. I think these points are valid and are the experience of the majority of owners. For me, the problem was a leaking transmission, which turned into a replacement of the filter and fluid. This was the beginning of an expensive problem. Many transmissions don't like changing older fluid for newer fluid. It upsets the balance inside the transmission. Stay away from cars with trans work.
I bought my cab with 62,000 miles on it and it is now at 115,000. I have only had to replace a few minor things, probably only totaling to $1,000. The A/C does not work, but I don't really use it anyways. It drives great in the snow, I have never had to purchase snow tires and it out-drives my Ford F-250. Minor leaks in heavy rain. I get nearly 30 mpg, I love this car.
Great heater, large trunk, surprisingly spacious.
CUP HOLDERS!! It seems like AC is a common complaint, so I'll say air conditioning as well.
Currently the owner of a second VW Cabrio and you would have thought I would learn my lesson. The car is cute, however I have realized that certain major & costly things go wrong with VW's - just a few examples: The window censors, the automatic roof motor, rotor & distributor moisture (which causes yearly replacement), cruise control malfunctions, and items within the interior to just fall off. While I love the exterior design I would never purchase another VW.
Blue Interior Lights and convertible
I love the cabrio, however my suggestion is to review the performance of the car in the rain. I live in PA. where we get cold winters & average rainfall... but the car performance in the rain vs. dry conditions is night & day.
I love my cabrio. It is so fun to drive and so cute, but I have had to replace my cluster twice, replace my tail pipe and I'm due to replace my whole muffler system. My power top is leaking in 2 places and I have to replace the hydrolic fluid every summer or pay over 1,000$ to fix the leaks. I had a bad sensor, my check engine light is always on and my ABS light is on. It is also rusting all over despite my waxing it multiple times a year! This car is costing me almost as much in repairs as I payed for it! It is also going to be very hard to sell because who wants a convertible with a top that doesn't work with check engine lights on and incorrect mileage because the clusters were replaced?
So fun to drive and super cute!
Make a more reliable car or take responsibility for putting together a junker and help us pay for the repairs. If I take good care of my car and this happens to it, I shouldn't have to pay for your mistakes! And I agree with everyone else. The cupholders are ridiculous!