1997 Volkswagen Cabriolet

  • 1997 Volkswagen Cabriolet Base Convertible

    Base Convertible

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      2.0L I4
    • MSRP
  • 1997 Volkswagen Cabriolet Highline Convertible

    Highline Convertible

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      2.0L I4
    • MSRP
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1997 Volkswagen Cabriolet Review

Affordable convertible fun.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 1997 Volkswagen Cabrio replaces the Cabriolet. It provides an almost identical convertible, available in a stripped down version. The Cabrio also comes in a feature-loaded Highline model. While it cannot boast power or over-the-top opulence, the Cabrio takes simple design and features and makes them affordable.

The Range

Body Styles: convertible
Engines: 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Volkswagen Cabrio, Volkswagen Cabrio Highline

What's New

For 1997, Volkswagen changes the name of the Cabriolet to the Cabrio. The Cabrio comes in two trims, the base and the Highline. The base provides a somewhat stripped down version of the 1996 model. It carries a lower price than the previous year's model to attract more buyers. The Cabrio Highline more closely resembles the 1996 Cabriolet with air-conditioning, power windows, and anti-lock brakes. The engines also sport a redesigned cylinder head, which means quieter operation.


The 1997 Volkswagen Cabrio sports a simple convertible design and a choice of 15 exterior color options. A roll bar separates the front and back seats and provides added protection in the case of an accident. The top proves durable and consists of six layers. The 14-inch wheels come in alloy on the Cabrio Highline. Power exterior mirrors and a rear spoiler both come standard. Powered locks and mirrors come standard in the base model, and the Highline model boasts power windows as well. Other exterior options include metallic paint and heated mirrors.


Like the exterior, the interior of the Cabrio remains simple in design. It comes standard with four cloth bucket seats, which have the option of heated seats in the front. The 1997 Volkswagen Cabrio Highline comes standard with leather seating and air-conditioning. Both models come standard with an AM/FM/cassette audio system, with the option to upgrade to a CD changer.

Performance & Handling

As you would expect from a Volkswagen, the handling feels excellent. The 115-hp, two-liter four-cylinder proves adequate for use in traffic. The ride remains smooth during interstate and highway driving. Power brakes and power steering systems make both the base and highline models extremely responsive to the driver. The Highline also features anti-lock brakes and cruise control for an especially safe and comfortable drive. Overall, while it lacks engine power, handling and smoothness in the 1997 Volkswagen Cabrio prove excellent.


The 1997 Volkswagen Cabrio comes with an anti-theft alarm system. It also includes daytime running lights and airbags for both the passenger and driver. A basket handle roll bar helps limit injury in the event of an accident where the vehicle rolls over. An anti-lock braking system (ABS) only comes on the Highline.

EPA Fuel Economy

Volkswagen Cabrio: 19/26 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Cabrio Highline: 19/26 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Top-down riding
  • Pricing options
  • Handling
  • Quiet and smooth ride

You Won't Like

  • Lack of power
  • Lack of features in base model

Sum Up

Affordable convertible fun.

If You Like This Vehicle

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