Fascinating Facts about the Volkswagen Cabrio
- The Volkswagen Cabrio was introduced in 1995 by Volkswagen as a sporty alternative to the Volkswagen Golf, part of their small family car segment or C-segment in Europe. Production ended seven years later.
- The Volkswagen Cabrio is the successor of the Volkswagen Cabriolet. They both have the same distinctive styling that sets them apart from their derived models: Jetta and Golf for the Cabrio and the Rabbit for the Cabriolet.
- The word Cabrio and Cabriolet in the Volkswagen Cabrio is a French word that pertains to the light horse drawn vehicle popular during the era, when automobiles were still weren't invented. The design was developed in France during the 18th century and was prevalent all throughout Europe. It was famous for being the carriage of choice for vehicles for hire back in the day. The modern-day word cab is the shortened version of this word, and its meaning inspired the taxi cab.
- Nowadays, cabriolet trims, such as the Volkswagen Cabrio, are referred to as convertibles. But the main differences between the two words are the place where they are usually used and their design. Most convertibles are designed to be more of a hard top. The cabriolet, on the other hand, comes in more as the soft top type. The term convertible is widely used in North America. Meanwhile, cabriolet is much more frequently used in Europe.
- The Volkswagen is the only sole manufacturer of the Volkswagen Cabrio. Before that, its predecessor, the Cabriolet, is built entirely at the Karmann factory, from stamping to final assembly. Volkswagen only supplied the engine, suspension, interior, etc. for Karmann to install. The Karmann badges exist on all Cabriolets that existed to pay tribute to the company that built the cars.
- The Volkswagen Cabrio came in on the third generation platform used by the Volkswagen Golf, and was named Mk 3.5. However, in its five years of existence, it was never upgraded to the fourth generation platform Mk 4. Instead, what Volkswagen did was they incorporated the styling of the Mk 4 onto the Volkswagen Cabrio in 1999, when the Mk 4 platform came out. It was the last design seen with the Cabrio until it got discontinued in 2003.
- When the Cabrio saw its run end in five short years, Volkswagen decided to create a new model of cabriolets and dubbed it the Eos, the Cabrio's successor. However, it also didn't last long. In 2011, Volkswagen introduced the Mk 6 Volkswagen Golf with a convertible trim once again named Golf Cabriolet available the following year.
Common Complaints on the Volkswagen Cabrio
The Volkswagen Cabrio took the reins from the Volkswagen Cabriolet, ending its 16-year run. Instead of taking the styling points from the Volkswagen Rabbit, the Cabrio was introduced with an all-new platform-the Mk 3. It was the same platform used on the Volkswagen Golf. The Volkswagen Cabrio's legacy was cut short in 2003 when Volkswagen decided to introduce an all new line-up of cabriolets with the Eos. Like all cars, the Cabrio had its shares of ups and downs. These are some of the down moments that came from complaints about the Cabrio.
The Cabrio was plagued by its faulty electrical system throughout its short-lived career. The car got involved in a number of embarrassing moments. Some of its electrical components such as the lighting, mirrors, and switches stopped working all of a sudden. These led to varying effects, and diagnosing the core problem was difficult. However, most of these issues were caused bygrounding problems.
On an average of 117,000 miles, some manual transmission Volkswagen Cabrios experience reverse gear failures and noise from the transmission system. There was no particular car year or model that was beset by this as all of them experienced the same kind of problem. In some cases, the transmission becomes very noisy, and it keeps on slipping in and out of gear. Most of these problems were taken care of by a total transmission replacement.
In the much later Cabrio models, there have been reports about the Cabrio's air leaks emanating from the intake manifold vacuum or EVAP emission failures. Because of this, the Cabrio's check engine light will pop up.
Two recalls, with dates not far apart, were made for the Volkswagen Cabrio in 2003. First, on June 13, the 1998 model got recalled, along with some Jetta and Passat models of the same year. As it turned out, the fuel tank filer neck can suffer from extreme abrasion if the rear tire is driven while it is flat. This was resolved by fitting better shields over the fuel tank.
The next recall was made on July 29 by the NHTSA. Some 2000-2001 Volkswagen Cabrios failed to comply with the "Child Restraint Anchorage Systems." Child seat anchorages installed in the back seats must be identified with markings, and their location and use must be described in the owner's manual. To remedy the problem, owners were provided a supplement for the owner's manual and one set of four guidance fixtures intended to be used with the child seats.
How to Prolong the Life of Your Volkswagen Cabrio
Volkswagen is one of the most reliable brands of automobiles. The vehicles that come out of its manufacturing line, like your Volkswagen Cabrio, are sure to give the best performance possible. However, every vehicle is not made to last. All you can do is prolongs its economic life. You can do this by regular maintenance. Just follow the basics and you are good to go.
- See to it that your A/C system is keeping you cool on hot summer days and warm on cold winter days.
Your Volkswagen Cabrio's air-conditioning system is made up of the compressor, condenser, accumulator, expansion valve and evaporator. When one of them fails, the entire system fails. Always make sure that your air-conditioning system and its parts are checked periodically. Also, don't forget that there's always enough Freon. Otherwise, your a/c won't be able to keep you cool during summer or warm on winter. Also ensure that the hoses are not brittle and that the connections are tight to avoid leaks.
- Make sure that your engine is performing efficiently all the time.
Your car is useless without your engine so it is always best if you have the engine and its parts in check regularly. Make sure that it is properly lubricated with engine oil to ensure smooth performance all the time. Keep in mind that engine oils don't last forever, and they need to be replaced from time to time. If the engine oil becomes too viscous and heavy, it needs to be changed as soon as possible. Check your owner's manual for the right oil replacement intervals.
- Replace the coolant regularly, and check the radiator and its hose connections.
Your Volkswagen Cabrio's engine generates tremendous amount of heat. To keep it from overheating, it is equipped with a cooling system to keep it at the right temperature. Because of its important function in your car, it should be maintained regularly too. Maintenance of the engine cooling system should include replacing the coolant regularly. When replacing the coolant, make sure that you use 50% distilled water and 50% antifreeze. Check the radiator if it's rusty or has leaks. You don't want the coolant to run out; otherwise it will be bad for your engine. Check the connections of the hose to the radiator as well as its condition. The heat in the engine bay will make the hose brittle over time.
- Always keep your brake system components in check.
Your Volkswagen Cabrio's brake system is its primary safety feature. Because of its function in your vehicle, it wears out faster than any other vehicle parts. Subsequently, of all the brake system parts, the brake pads are usually the first to go; so if they become too thin, make sure you have them replaced. Also don't forget to check the level of brake fluid in your brakes. The brake fluid is crucial to the performance of the brakes. It amplifies the stopping power of your brakes as it turns the fluid into hydraulic pressure.
Volkswagen Cabrio: Riding in Style
There’s nothing quite like driving a convertible. Driving a convertible is the very definition of
riding in style. After all, driving with the wind blowing on the face is simply cool—in more ways than one. Plus, a convertible is guaranteed to turn heads no matter where it goes. Now, there have been numerous convertibles released in the past. Despite that, Volkswagen’s convertibles have always managed to stand out from the rest. Volkswagen automobiles have always sported a rather distinct design, and its brand of convertibles isn’t any different. With those said, the Volkswagen Cabrio is one of the more unique convertibles that were released in the modern era.
1979-1993: The Cabriolet Era
The Volkswagen Cabrio was derived from the Volkswagen Golf, the brand’s long-running small family car series that was established way back in 1974. The Golf’s convertible version was released in 1979, although the
Cabrio designation wouldn’t be used until the ‘90s. Back then, the Golf convertible was known as the Cabriolet.
The Volkswagen Cabriolet was conceptualized by German firm Karmann, the independent automotive company that also designed the Volkswagen Beetle convertible. The Cabriolet featured the trademark
basket handle roll bar, which boosted the frame’s strength and provided passengers with protection in case the car rolls over. While the Cabriolet is aesthetically different from the Golf, their mechanisms share a lot of similarities. Under the Cabriolet’s hood sat a 1.6-L engine (one of the engines used by the Golf) that was capable of 76hp.
Several upgrades went the way of the Cabriolet all throughout the ‘80s. For instance, the original 1.6 engine was eventually upgraded to 1.7-L and 1.8-L. Some old optional features became standardized while entirely new ones were added. There were also slight modifications in the exterior, the interior, and the vehicle’s various systems (brakes, suspension, and transmission).
1993-2001: The Cabrio Era
The Cabrio name was finally used when the latest generation of Volkswagen Golf convertibles arrived in 1993. The change wasn’t just limited to the name though as the Cabrio featured new exterior and elements such as updated fenders, bumpers, headlights, blinker. The interior received the same treatment as the steering wheel, the shift lever, and the seats were also upgraded. A new set of engines and a wide assortment of features were also available.
The Cabrio or the Cabriolet became Volkswagen’s top-selling of convertibles. Despite that, the Cabrio was discontinued in 2001. The Volkswagen Eos convertible took its place.