The version I was able to get my hands on for a test drive was 2000 version which also came equipped with a four-speed automatic and a 2-liter four-cylinder which only pumped out 115hp. It's not meant to be a fast car, but a car that can be driven comfortably around a costal highway with the top down. We did exactly that along Lake Michigan with the tempuratures ranging nearly 88 degrees. It was the perfect weather for the top down as the wind was coming in from the west at 16mph. You'd think that we would be tossed about but it was quite the opposite. The Cabrio really did hold its own well and we loved that.
You'd have to be pretty daft to think that the Cabrio is a 'chick' car because it's styling is more on the cute side. I personally love the way this vehicle looks and how it feels on the road. It may not be as agile as the Mini Cooper Converitble but it certainly has a unique charm, such as the roll bar that sits dead center of the vehicle. You could use this for parades if you really wanted to. I love the fact that you can get this car at dirt cheap prices and get a great converitble out of the deal. You could tune the engine up if you wanted to but why bother? I mean the original GTI had about the same amount of horsepower and it was actually a joy to drive. This reminds me of those glory days when people cared more about driving pleasure and less about horsepower figures. (Yes, I know that we do complain about some cars having lack of horsepower) but lightweight cars don't need tons of horsepower.
I remember the commercial VW aired for the Cabrio with four people heading to a party. They were going through the scenic route and the view of the sky and the scenery around them was just so beautiful and well you have an inexpensive four-seat converitble to enjoy it in. They arrived at the party and deicded to continue driving on the road. I too would've choosen that route because this car is a joy to drive. It's such a rare little cutie that most will forget it actually existed, unless you are a VW fanboy such as myself, but I'm not praising this because of the badge. I loved this vehicle because it was distinct and it was afforable. It's cheaper now because it's no longer produced and well the newer Golfs are light years ahead. I just wish that people could see what I see in this car.
The interior is still classy, the way you'd expect it from a VW. The front seats offer plenty of space while those in the second row won't feel short changed on space. It's not the biggest converitble in the world but you can share the space out. The boot space is okay it's not huge but you'll appreciate that it has some form of a boot while other open top cars tend to hide their ragtops in the boot.
Our tester car came equipped with a cd-player, leather seats, automatic climate control and a fully automatic ragtop. We aren't entirely sure if this was an aftermarket part that was added on because the VW Cabrios we've seen had either a semi-automatic ragtop or a completely manual one.
The short time we got to spend with the Cabrio reassured me that this is a gem that's worth every penny. If I could have a second car that was cheap, it would be a toss up between this and a Saab 900 converitble. I loved the VW Cabrio and it will always have a special place in my heart.