Polo Register Volkswagen Polo History 2000 - 02
 

Series 3F Polo Hatchback, Saloon & Estate

Volkswagen's birthday present to itself to celebrate the Polo's quarter of a century, was the launch of another new model. Available in Britain from February 5 2000 (late 1999 on the continent), the new model was freshened up for the new Millennium.
The Hatchback model was the most revised, with the Saloon and Estate variants gaining revised trim and minor details.
The Hatchback range grew to thirty-two models, ranging from the 1.0 E to the range-topping 1.6 GTI. Within this expanded range is a choice of seven engines, with new 1.4 TDI and 1.6 GTI units being available for the first time. The new model boasted a galvanised and stiffer bodyshell and sixty percent of the car's components were revised to improve the handling, ride and refinement of the car.
2000 Polo was a heavily facelifted Series 3 car, having many refinements over its predecessor.
The exterior saw changes, while remaining neat.
Estate and Saloon were also revised, but the Hatchback featured most of the cosmetic work. These cars did however feature the same refinements.
The appearance of the new models was much as before. Clear-lensed lights and a revised bumper and grille were the most prominent changes at the front of the car, while the rear saw corresponding changes with red light clusters and a new bumper with numberplate recess. The interior boasts a Lupo-style dashboard with more comfortable seats and VW's now trademark blue backlighting. The interior quality was as good as the larger VW models such as the Golf (itself a benchmark), Bora and Passat.
The Hatchback (three and five-door) was available in five trim levels, while the Saloon and Estate ranges were expanded to three models with five engine options. All models included ABS and all-disc braking as standard, in addition to two front airbags.

Trim levels

E
The E was the base-model and is available with 1.0 50 bhp, 1.4 60 bhp (both Hatchback only), 1.4 75 bhp (Saloon and Estate only), 1.9 SDI 64 bhp and 1.9 TDI 90 bhp (Saloon and Estate) engines. Equipment included: power steering, tinted glass, split-folding rear seat, electrically-heated and adjustable door mirrors and rear head restraints. The base-model Hatchback cost 8290, the same price as the outgoing 1.0 L.
All models featured a new Lupo-esque interior.
Hatchback featured a new 1.4 TDI unit developing 75 bhp and 144 lbs ft of torque!
S
The S trim level was the next rung up the Polo ladder. Available with 1.4 60 bhp (Hatchback only), 1.4 75 bhp, 1.6 100 bhp (Saloon and Estate only), 1.9 SDI 64 bhp and 1.9 TDI 90 bhp, extra equipment over the E included: anti-hijack central locking, cup-holder and electric front windows. Volkswagen announced that in May 2000, the S Hatchback will also be available with the revolutionary new 1.4 75 bhp TDI unit, that had until then, only seen service in the SE trim level.
SE
The SE was the plushest 'non-sporting' Polo. Again, available in all three Polo variants, the engine choice was as wide as the E and S, with 1.4 60 bhp, 1.4 75 bhp (both Hatchback only), 1.6 100 bhp, 1.9 TDI 90 bhp and 1.9 TDI 110 bhp (all three engines, Saloon and Estate only).
The Hatchback was also available with the new 3 cylinder 1.4 litre TDI unit, developing 75 bhp. With a giant-killing 144 lbs ft of torque (surpassing that of the GTI), it featured the 'Pump Duse' (or PD) technology which provided class-leading fuel efficiency and very low emissions. An engine balancer shaft added to the smooth and quiet driving experience.
'Diesel Car' magazine awarded this car their 'Diesel Car of The Year 2000' award. Trim differences included the addition of an electric sunroof, front fog lamps and 14" 'Kyalami' alloy wheels. The final 2 trim levels on the new Polo were available in Hatchback form only.
16V
The 16V is the first 'sporting' model. It featured a 1.4 100 bhp engine with equipment levels boasting: manual air-conditioning, interwoven upholstery and 15" 'Spa' alloy wheels. This made it better value against the outgoing model, when specifications were equalised.
GTI
The range-topping Polo Hatchback model was the GTI. This model was available as a limited-edition on the continent in the Series 3range, but it came to the UK as a full production model. It had a new 1.6 16V, 125 bhp engine and was the most powerful production Polo to date.
It looked the part too, with it's unique 'body kit' consisting of deeper bumpers with mesh inserts, mesh grille, tailgate spoiler, deeper sills and 15" BBS 'Spilt Rim' alloys, wearing 195/45 15 tyres. Extra equipment over the 16V included a 6-disc CD autochanger, Xenon gas-discharge headlights and electronic air-conditioning. The new model wais also available in just three colours: red, black or silver as per the first Golf GTI of 1975. Prices for the three door model started at 13,995, rising to 14,460 for the five door version.
New Polo GTI featured 1.6 16V engine producing 125 bhp and revised exterior styling. Highlights included a mesh grille and front fog lamps.
Optional equipment levels were gargantuan, the Polo being available with the much-vaunted rain-sensitive wipers, optional in-car satellite-navigation system and leather upholstery. The owners of Polo SE models could also upgrade their cars to include air-conditioning in lieu of the electric sunroof. All models were also available with the option of seat side-mounted airbags.
An all-new Polo model was expected in 2002, based on the chassis of the Skoda Fabia. The new SEAT Ibiza will also share this same platform, and was also be released in 2002.
All text copyright Richard Gooding/VW Polo Register 2002.