2002 Volkswagen Cabrio

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Key Specs

of the 2002 Volkswagen Cabrio. Base trim shown.

2002 Volkswagen Cabrio Overview

By Cars.com Editors

Vehicle Overview
Except for an on-off switch for the self-dimming mirror, and a new trunk escape handle, little is new for 2002 on Volkswagen’s convertible. The Cabrio has been offered in its current form since 1995, and three versions are available: the base GL, with a manual vinyl folding top and manually operated windows and mirrors; the midlevel GLS, with a manual cloth top, heated seats, and power windows and mirrors; and the top-of-the-line GLX, with a power-operated cloth top and leather seats. Based on the prior-generation Golf and Jetta, the front-drive Cabrio uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. An automatic transmission is the only major option.

Even though the Cabrio hasn’t changed much, Volkswagen has revised its warranty. Instead of the prior two-year/24,000-mile basic coverage and limited 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, VW now offers bumper-to-bumper coverage for four years or 50,000 miles. Wear-and-tear items and adjustments are covered for one year or 12,000 miles. Fully transferable powertrain coverage is for five years or 60,000 miles, and roadside assistance, previously limited to two years, is now for four years or 50,000 miles.

Exterior
The Cabrio is lushly rounded in appearance and has a more rigid structure than some convertibles; this is due in part to a fixed roll bar over the interior that helps to stiffen the body. The overall length is 160.4 inches — less than an inch shorter than Volkswagen’s New Beetle. The ...

Vehicle Overview
Except for an on-off switch for the self-dimming mirror, and a new trunk escape handle, little is new for 2002 on Volkswagen’s convertible. The Cabrio has been offered in its current form since 1995, and three versions are available: the base GL, with a manual vinyl folding top and manually operated windows and mirrors; the midlevel GLS, with a manual cloth top, heated seats, and power windows and mirrors; and the top-of-the-line GLX, with a power-operated cloth top and leather seats. Based on the prior-generation Golf and Jetta, the front-drive Cabrio uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. An automatic transmission is the only major option.

Even though the Cabrio hasn’t changed much, Volkswagen has revised its warranty. Instead of the prior two-year/24,000-mile basic coverage and limited 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, VW now offers bumper-to-bumper coverage for four years or 50,000 miles. Wear-and-tear items and adjustments are covered for one year or 12,000 miles. Fully transferable powertrain coverage is for five years or 60,000 miles, and roadside assistance, previously limited to two years, is now for four years or 50,000 miles.

Exterior
The Cabrio is lushly rounded in appearance and has a more rigid structure than some convertibles; this is due in part to a fixed roll bar over the interior that helps to stiffen the body. The overall length is 160.4 inches — less than an inch shorter than Volkswagen’s New Beetle. The Cabrio is 56 inches tall on a 97.4-inch wheelbase.

Interior
The Cabrio can seat four occupants. Its front seats are roomy for adults, but passengers in the two-place rear seat are more likely to feel cramped — though it’s not the worst among convertibles by any means. Cargo space is limited to 8 cubic feet, which makes traveling light mandatory. The rear seatback folds down but provides only a modest increase in usable storage capacity.

The manual folding top is easy to raise and lower, so power operation isn’t essential. Visibility becomes an issue, though. Because the fabric stacks so high when lowered, both the manual and power tops create a rear blind spot when the top is down.

Under the Hood
Borrowed from the basic Golf and Jetta, the Cabrio’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine produces 115 hp. A five-speed-manual gearbox is standard, and a four-speed-automatic transmission is optional. Side-impact airbags and antilock brakes are standard.

Driving Impressions
Joyful is the best word to describe the sensation of piloting a Cabrio. Small, moderately priced convertibles aren’t so common these days, so the aging Cabrio is one of a small breed of soft-top models. Unlike some other open-roofed cars, the Cabrio feels solid and tight.

Buyers also benefit from a lot of the same precise handling traits that are found in the Golf or Jetta, even though the Cabrio stems from an earlier design. A smooth ride is part of the fun-in-the-sun picture. Performance falls well short of overpowering, but it’s fully adequate for ordinary driving. The manual-shift Cabrio is especially pleasurable to operate.

 


Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com

 


Latest 2002 Cabrio Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.2)
Performance
(3.6)
Interior Design
(3.7)
Comfort
(3.9)
Reliability
(3.2)
Value For The Money
(3.5)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

I love my Cabrio! Good, solid, fun car.

by Bree60 from Nyack NY on May 20, 2018

I love this car. It?s for getting places, not hauling stuff or transporting a bunch of kids. Not tremendously powerful?not a road hog?but a zippy convertible that handles extremely well in winter ... Read full review

(5.0)

Most fun and reliable car I've owned!

by Josie Minneapolis from MINNEAPOLIS on August 20, 2017

Easily maintained and gets great gas mileage. A great car to actually work on my self. Enough room for 4 adults, the back seat is very comfortable. Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2002 Volkswagen Cabrio currently has 0 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2002 Volkswagen Cabrio has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Cabrio received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker