16 May 2012 ~ 1 Comment

Our cars: 2001 Volkswagen Polo GTI – report four

Bought eight months ago, how is Rich Gooding’s 10 year-old Polo GTI adjusting to daily life once again? It’s not all been plain sailing…

2001 Volkswagen Polo GTI

The largest development in the ownership of Y464 GHJ came back in January. As reported last time, I took a job at a local design agency which put the car back in daily use, a somewhat alien concept to it. It was used sporadically after I bought it back in September, but had sat for at least four months before coming home with me. Sadly, that spell has now ended and I’m back to freelance work, which sees the car getting less use. Sad news for me, but happy news for the car, as the mileage is currently being kept down. And it also means that I enjoy it more when I do drive it, a positive upside.

On the whole, there’s been no major negatives to report over the three-month period that the car was in regular use. Every day it provided reliable transport, with a added sporty spring in its step, and, as reported last time, it can do the sporty thing and the calming thing in equal measure. I’ve been reading some old road tests of the car, and found out that only 4 per cent of Polo sales in 2001 were of the GTI, and in total, from the summer of 2000 when it was introduced to the start of 2002, only 3393 examples found their way onto UK roads. Well-equipped now, let alone back then, it should have sold more, but was up against fierce competition in the form of the Peugeot 106 and 206 GTIs, and the Citroën Saxo VTS.

The early-2000s Polo GTI deserved to be bought in bigger numbers on looks alone. I’ve said it before, but it is a good-looking car. But, that doesn’t mean it can’t be improved. A little. I’ve added red edging trim to the grille surround (sometimes referred to as ‘lipstick’), to bring the car in line with Volkswagen GTIs from 2004-2009, and think it looks a lot more ‘GTI’ than without, the red trim picking up the red ‘I’ on the front grille ‘GTI’ badge. I’ve yet to replace the rear ‘GTI’ badge with the new one I have sitting in storage, but with the weather the way it has been over the past month or so, there’s been neither rarely a dry day, or a warm one for me to even contemplate easing the old badge off. And, with Volkswagen events being cancelled left, right, and centre due to sodden venues, the car’s not had much chance to be shown off anyway. Let’s hope that soon changes.

2001 Volkswagen Polo GTI

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