Volkswagens convertible comes in three models instead of two this year, with a new GLX moving in as the top-of-the-line version. The GLX has a power cloth top and leather seats features not available on its lower-priced siblings.
The base GL model now has a manual vinyl folding top instead of a cloth cover, as well as manual windows and mirrors. Automatic transmission is its only major option. The midlevel GLS comes with a manual cloth top, power windows and mirrors, and heated seats.
The front-drive Cabrio is based on the previous-generation Golf and Jetta and not on the current models.
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. With an overall length of 160 inches, the Cabrio is an inch shorter than Volkswagens New Beetle.
The Cabrio seats four, and while the front seats are roomy for adults, the two-place rear seat is cramped. Cargo space is meager at just 8 cubic feet, and though the rear seatback folds, it provides only a small increase in usable capacity.
The manual folding top is easy to raise and lower. Both the manual and the power folding tops create a rear blind spot because they stack so high when lowered.
Under the Hood
The 115-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine used in the Golf and Jetta also powers the Cabrio. It teams with a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission.
Side-impact airbags for the front seats and antilock brakes are standard on all models.