With the launch of the Lupo, Volkswagen burst onto the supermini scene with a bang, thanks partly to it unusual headlight configuration, giving it an irresistibly cheeky ’smile’. Surprisingly spacious, the Lupo is great for those looking for a second family car, or a first car for a younger driver heading off to college.

  • 2000 Volkswagen Lupo
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  • Transmission:
    6 speed manual
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  • Top Speed:
    91 mph
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Features and Performance

For most Lupo models the emphasis is on miserly fuel consumption. The entry-level 1.0-litre version that most will choose returns a more than respectable 48.7mpg in mixed use. Don’t expect fireworks on the move however. Sixty is 18.4s away in this base variant on the way to just 91mph. Still, the engine’s reasonably willing and anyway, you don’t buy a car like this to be first away from the lights. If you do need a little extra oomph, the next model up (the 75bhp 1.4) manages 0-60mph in 12.0s en route to 107mph. If that’s not enough, you’re either shopping for the wrong car or you need to try the 100bhp 1.4-litre Lupo Sport, which makes sixty in 10.0s on the way to 116mph.

The diesel cars are outstandingly economical. The 1.7 SDI engined models return a combined fuel consumption figure of over 64mpg, although acceleration is rather limp. A zero to 60mph time of 16.8 seconds is not going to quicken the pulse. The 1.4TDI is a quicker proposition, reaching 60mph in around 12 seconds, but these models are relatively expensive and hard to find. In terms of handling as well as power, this is not a three-door for enthusiasts. Volkswagen admits that the ride is biased towards comfort, which would make the Lupo an excellent motorway car were it able to be just a little more refined. The automatic options make particular sense if you plan to be doing a lot of city driving.

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