VW Lupo

VW Lupo

  • Pros

    ? Cute looking. Record breaking fuel economy. Reliable, comfortable, great handling, build and spec. Gti models offer excellent performance. Good resell value.

  • Cons

    ? Expensive for a super mini. Tight squeeze in the back.


    Volkswagen made a big impression with their first entrance into the supermini scene with ultra economy Lupo. Although now replaced by the Fox the Lupos are well worth considering as a second hand purchase. They hold their resell value well and have the makings of a classic car for all the best reasons, not least as they broke world records for fuel efficiency, offering more than 100mpg! Manufactured from 1998 to 2005 the Lupo was also widely applauded due to its groovy looks, probably the most fun design by VW after the Beetle. The unusual headlight configuration and reg plate gave the Lupo the appearance of a face with a cheeky smile. The curves on the body also meant it was fairly spacious as well. VW aimed the Lupo at city drivers, those looking for a 2nd family car, or for young first car owners with a sense of fun. The fun loving approach by VW was continued beyond the exterior into the interior with wacky trims and bright colour schemes. The good news for the more serious minded is that the Lupo had even more to offer; as the Lupo's build quality is also superb, based on the standards of the near indestructible Passat. The Lupo was introduced to fill a gap in the VW model range as the size and weight of VW Polos steadily increased. It also has an impressive reputation for solidity and safety.

  • Models


    - The Lupo car was available with a variety of engine sizes and trim levels, from budget to luxury. Models include E, S, Sport and GTi. Standard specification includes twin airbags, immobiliser, height adjustable steering wheel, power steering. The 6-speed Lupo GTI has been compared to the impact of the VW Golf Mk 1 hot hatch. Production of the Lupo ceased in 2005 and was replaced by the VW Fox.

    Lupo 3L

    - The world?s first production car achieving average consumption of less than three litres per 100 km, hence the 3L name for fuel efficiency. World records include the Lupo 3L TDI which circumnavigated mainland Britain in 2001 at an incredible average fuel consumption of 119.48 mpg. See below for detailed information on this terrific car.


    The Seat Arosa is a near identical budget city car based on the Volkswagen Lupo. Spanish firm Seat, being a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group. The Arosa was built between 1997 and 2005 and was available as a three door/four seater hatchback.

  • VW Lupo Standard Spec

    5 J x 13 steel wheels with 175/65 R13 tyres

    Front wiper with 2 speeds and interval delay

    Electronic engine immobiliser

    Driver's seat height adjustment

    Driver's and front passenger's vanity mirrors with cover

    Driver's and front passenger's airbag

    Cup holder and coin tray, front

    Black door mirrors

    Blue instrument lighting

    Black side rubbing strips, door handles and roof strips

    Carpet in luggage area

    Body-coloured bumpers

    Cigarette lighter

    Centre console

    Green tinted glass

    Front and rear head restraints

    Full size steel spare wheel

    Full galvanised body

    Full size wheel trims

    Halogen clear headlights

    Heating and ventilation with 4 speed fan

    Height-adjustable front three-point seat belts with tensioners

    Height adjustable steering wheel

    Ashtray in centre console, illuminated

    Interior lighting

    High level 3rd brake light

    Internally adjustable door mirrors

    Isofix preparation (for 2 rear child seats)

    Load lip protective shield

    Lockable fuel filler flap

    Low fuel warning light

    Net front door side pockets

    Power assisted steering

    Radio/cassette "Beta" with RDS, 4 front speakers and roof aerial

    Rear three-point seat belt x2

    Rev counter

    Rear wiper with interval delay

    Service interval display

    Split folding rear seat (centre split)

    Storage area for first aid kit and warning triangle

    Third sun visor

    Upholstery - Strik cloth

    Three-spoke steering wheel

    Warning "lights on" buzzer

    White front indicators and darkened rear lenses

  • Volkswagen Lupo 1.4 Sport TDI 3dr Specification

    Standard ?

    • 3 door Hatchback Economy Car
    • FWD
    • 5 Speed Manual Gearbox
    • 1422 cc
    • Cylinders - 3
    • 75@4000 bhp/rpm
    • Maximum Speed (mph) - 106 mph
    • Acceleration (0 - 62 [ABBR;Miles Per Hour]mph[/ABBR] - 12.3 seconds
    • Max Boot - 830 L
    • Diesel
    • Fuel Capacity - 34 L
    • Combined Fuel Consumption - 64.2 mpg
    • Emissions Class: EU3
    • CO2 Emissions - 119 g/km Man
    • Insurance Group 4
    • NCAP4 Star Rating
    • Length - 3527 mm
    • Width - 1639 mm
    • Height - 1459 mm
    • Wheel Base - 2321 mm
    • Kerb Weight - 1057 kg
    • ABS
    • Driver Airbag
    • Alloy Wheels
    • Passenger Airbag
    • Radio/Cassette with RDS
    • Power Steering
    • Electric Front Windows; Electric Mirrors

    Optional ?

    • Air Conditioning
    • Front side Airbag
    • Alarm; Immobiliser; Central Locking
    • Electric Sunroof
    • Radio/CD with RDS
    • Leather Seats
    • Split/Fold Rear Seat
    • Front Seat Belt Pre-Tensioners
    • Metallic Paint
  • Lupo 3L

    Successive versions of this special-edition Lupo gained the world record for fuel efficiency.

    It was the world?s first production car to achieve average consumption of less than three litres per 100 km, which accounts for the ?3L? in the model?s name.

    Lupo 3L - World Records

    In 2001 a Volkswagen Lupo 3L TDI was involved in a new world record when it circumnavigated mainland Britain at an incredible average fuel consumption of 119.48 mpg, or 2.36 litres per 100 kilometres, figures ratified by Guinness World Records.

    The impressive record was achieved in July 2001 by an international team of drivers assembled by Japanese medical doctor and economy driving expert, Dr Shigeru Miyano. Staying as close as possible to the coastline of Britain, the grueling 3,738 mile route was far from the economy ideal of straight, level and uncrowded roads. By recording such low fuel consumption while driving in ?real? conditions, the team emphasised the Lupo?s technological might.

    This achievement marked an improvement of 16 per cent over the previous record for the most frugal circumnavigation of Britain which stood at 103.01 mpg.

    To achieve this economy the 3L was significantly changed from the standard Lupo to include:

    1.2 litre 3-cylinder diesel engine with turbocharger and direct injection (61 hp, 140 nM) Use of light-weight aluminum and magnesium alloys for doors, hood, rear-hatch, seat frames, engine block, wheels, suspension system etc. to achieve a weight of only 830 kg Electro-hydraulic automatically operated 5 shift gearbox and clutch Engine start/stop automatic to avoid long idling periods Low rolling resistance tires

    The system uses Volkswagen?s PD (?Pumpe D?se? or unit injector) TDI technology using an individual pump and injector for each cylinder, developing more injection pressure. The Lupo 3L TDI uses a 1.2-litre TDI PD diesel engine, combined with extensive use of lightweight components and automatic operation of its clutch and five speed gearbox.

    This advanced unit injector technology was used throughout Volkswagen?s UK range, from the Lupo 1.4 TDI ? which has a combined economy figure of 64.2 mpg ? right up to the Touareg?s exceptional 5.0 litre V10 TDI, the world?s most powerful passenger car diesel engine to date.

    In 2000, a ?Round the World in 80 days? journey in a Lupo also produced 118 mpg, while a Lupo TDI also won outright the RAC/Fleet World MPG Marathon for three years in succession.

    In 2003 the VW Lupo 3L TDI once again proved itself the most fuel efficient production car. Gerhard Plattner, an Austrian journalist and economy driving expert covered a distance of 2,910 miles through 20 European countries in a standard Lupo 3L TDI using just 100 euros worth of fuel managing an average consumption of 2.78 litres per 100 km or 101.6 mpg. The average speed of the Lupo 3LTDI was 50 mph.

    Volkswagen?s most economical production car was also placed top four times in a row during its production, in an environmental car ranking by the German institute ??ko-Trend?. This was due not only to its economy, but also through the environmental benefits demonstrated during the Lupo?s production.