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Old 10-06-2008, 04:24 PM   #1
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Default VW Cabrio reliability?

I'm looking for a 4 seat vert for my wife. Started a thread over there but no one has any answers about the reliability of an 02 Cabrio. Any VW drivers here that can comment on this car?
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:43 PM   #2
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buddy of mine has like 4 vw's including a cabrio (all mk3)...the 4 cyl cabrio seems to be pretty reliable, as opposed to his vr6's which go through transmissions/clutches/water pumps/etc almost every month it seems like.....oh and I have yet to see all of his cars NOT have problems with windows at the same time. seems like the window regulators or whatever they have, SUCK
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:52 PM   #3
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its a raging shitbox. Seriously, I've done my time with VW, don't be an idiot...you've been warned.
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:59 PM   #4
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From what I've seen, VW's are affordable German engineering, but without the "Engineering" part...
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Old 10-06-2008, 06:40 PM   #5
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OK, strike that one off the list. Pretty much confirms what I guessed.

She wants a vert, but insists on four seats. She is not an enthusiast, just wants transpo. I tried to get her to keep the 03 Protege for snow and four seat duty and keep the 91 BRG for fun, but she doesn't think we need five cars/trucks, so I need to pare it down to one. That's what makes it tough to find an all weather vert for four real seasons.

I have an 05 Dodge Quad Cab 4x4 for my winter vehicle, plus a 94 Dodge 4x4, but it is pretty ratty and has been relegated to hunting and firewood hauling so not really a "drive to work" option.

Need:

FWD for winter.
auto or manual OK
$10K limit

Any ideas? All that is left on the list is a Chrysler Sebring or Mitsu Spyder. Looking for something in the early 00's.
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Old 10-06-2008, 07:05 PM   #6
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Get her a Mini, example:
http://tinyurl.com/524ynm
FWD + 4 seats + good gas mileage + fun if you borrow it. This one isn't a convertible, but they're out there.
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Old 10-06-2008, 07:09 PM   #7
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Saab 9-3 Convertible.
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Old 10-07-2008, 12:45 AM   #8
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I slung parts at a VW dealership for 5 years, driven VWs for almost 20 years and I can say this about them;

Cabrios are reliable; they are pretty basic mechanically, no VR6, long before 1.8T. If it is an auto, esp. high mileage, run away. The Germans, esp. VWs, are not sound autos if they are high-mileage. If they are low mileage, you can drive them for a long time if you flush the fluid, say at no more than 50K. The window regs. are ****, but the Cabrios are more solid than the other Mk3s (they are a different design). They can have top issues if they have the hydraulic mechanism instead of mechanical, very expensive to repair...

The biggest draw back to having a VW in NE is the same as OK, few if any know how to work on them (including especially the dealerships). If you have not had a VW before, or if you are not necessarily keen on them, you might make another choice.
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Old 10-07-2008, 01:33 AM   #9
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i just picked up a 96 jetta GL 5speed for 1100$ higher mileage BUT the car is mint. no dents, scratches or anything. so far it seems pretty reliable. no weird noises, i'm about to do a full tune up to it cause i have no idea when the last time this thing has had any work done to it.

EDIT: I was knocking on wood the whole time i wrote that lol
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Old 10-07-2008, 02:55 AM   #10
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Get a BMW... Seems pretty logical. I mean, the repair costs are only bad if you need someone to install your **** for you. If you can muster parts for your Miata, you can find good sources for BMW parts. A convertible 3 series is about as fun and practical as it could get as far as I'm concerned. 4 seats, drop top, descent gas mileage if you aren't hard on the car (and she probably won't be). They are stylish, and no one is going to make fun of a BMW. And I'm willing to bet she'll like it. Not FWD, but they can and do have traction control and ABS.

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Old 10-08-2008, 06:53 AM   #11
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Just a word of warning: You do know that there has only been one person in the history of civilization that did not look out of place and stupid in the back of an 4 seated vert. His name was Adolf H and he wasn’t a very good role model.

Reg the cars, I say +1 for the BMW. Can’t go wrong with a BMW. Just can’t.
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:26 AM   #12
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You're going to pay a premium on German car parts whether they be BMW or VW (think Audi-Porsche). And an even higher premium as stated above if you want a dealership to do the work.

I said in your thread at m.net and I'll say it again, the Sebring is a good basic transportation convertible that's good in inclement weather, doesn't have a gutless turd under the hood, and you can buy replacement parts at any car part chain or Rockauto at discount prices.

Frank
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:58 AM   #13
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We do pay premiums for quality German cars… because it is worth it.

I just have to put in a small note on the safety-thing of wanting a FWD car for the winter. My BMW has anti spinn and anti.. slide... or whatever it is called. It is rock solid in the winter. But what really impressed me was how it saved my fiancée the day she took the wrong exist from the autobahn. Heavy rain, she was driving, I was riding shotgun, she took an off ramp she THOUGH was doing a soft 30degree turn in her standard illegal speed… and found a sharp 180. She did what all not-so-skilled-drivers do: She slammed on the breaks and turned the steering wheel. The dash lit up like a Christmas tree, the car rocked, tyres slid… but it did drive thru the turn. We needed new underwear, sure, but it made it thru. Now, IF she would have done that in her VW Golf, she would have crashed. No doubt.
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Old 10-08-2008, 12:17 PM   #14
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Having indulged in the German auto fanatics, I can say that parts for German cars aren't that bad. Most of the problems are with the electronics. That's about it. The motors are stout and if there's one thing a BMW does well, it takes a beating. I know a few BMW owners around here that take part in track days, or who just beat their car like a bad wife and the cars just take it. When getting work done on the car, just get a quote on the parts needed, and find out what needs to be done, then go get the parts yourself and do the work in your garage. Unless its something beyond you, obviously. There are forums all around that can help you get oriented with a 3 series and perhaps show you things you need to look for when buying and maintaining the car.

I move to pass my motion on the BMW. All in favor say "I".
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Old 10-09-2008, 10:07 AM   #15
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Well, it has been decided. She has been thus far convinced that she didn't want two cars and that we didn't need five. She thought it would be too expensive, a waste of money and wanted me to call the insurnace company on the Cabrio. 02 Cabrio, full coverage is $600/year. Liability on 91BRG is $188/year, as is liability on the 03 Protege, so insurance on both cars is $376. So, we will actually be saving money by keeping two cars for her. She has a nice 4 dr for four seater and winter duty. The BRG is going to the painters for ding removal and a new full paint job and I just ordered a new top for it. The car only has 61,300 miles on it and drives great and will look perfect shortly. So, she is now happy that she is getting the best of both worlds and we get to keep the NA.
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