Ask any Lupo owner what they think of their car and you'll be regaled with tales of how it's under-rated, able to cope with anything, and the best thing to come out of VW in years. And it's not just hype; the Lupo may have been a tad costly when new - used values can also be steep - but the car makes up for it by being quite brilliant. While the 1.0-litre engine struggles on long-distance journeys, the bigger units are great, the car is brilliant around town and it's much more practical than you might think. Proof indeed that sometimes the best things do indeed come in small packages.
2/99: The Lupo is launched with a choice of 1.0 or 1.4-liyre petrol engines plus a 1.7SDi normally aspirated diesel.
5/99: The 100bhp Lupo Sport debuts.
6/99: Isofix mountings are now standard for all Lupos.
1/00: Power steering is now standard across the range.
7/00: There's now a 1.4TDi turbodiesel offered.
12/00: The 125bhp 1.6-litre Lupo GTi arrives.
5/01: The GTi gets a six-speed manual gearbox
5/03: All engines are now Euro4 compliant.
4/04: All cars now have ABS.
Volkswagen Lupo (1999-2005) Checklist
- The automatic transmission can increase the fuel consumption more than you'd expect.
- The GTi is costly to insure, despite its diminutive proportions; get a quote first.
- The electrics can play up, so make sure everything works.
- Cruising ability
- Fab diesel
- Great for two
We Don't Like
- Cramped for four