Volkswagen's convertible is based on the front-drive platform used for the previous-generation Golf and Jetta, not the current models. The old school Cabrio is expected to continue the next two or three years before it switches to the current Golf/Jetta design.
One change of note on the 2000 models is that VW's theft-deterrent ignition system is a new standard feature. It has to read the properly coded key before the engine will start.
VW updated the dashboard last year, giving the Cabrio a more user-friendly control layout and indigo blue illumination. The front seats are roomy for adults, and the two-place rear seat has enough space for two. Cargo space is meager, just eight cubic feet, and though the rear seatback folds, it provides only a small increase in usable capacity. Side-impact airbags for the front seats and anti-lock brakes are standard.
The Cabrio has a more rigid structure than some convertibles thanks in part to a fixed roll bar over the interior that helps stiffen the body. A manual-folding cloth top is standard on the GL model, and the more expensive GLS model comes with a power top.
Under the Hood
The 115-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder used in the Golf/Jetta does duty here, too. It teams with manual or automatic transmissions.