This restyled model is a big improvement over the earlier GTV versions. It's a pity nothing could be done regarding the downright ugly radio aerial still poking out of the rear-side, but the restyling of the bonnet has managed to lift quite a few years from its overall looks.
In order to avoid the omnipresent failure in proper window-sealing there is an automatic lowering-raising of the window every time the door is opened. Although this solution rescues the defect it still can be viewed at best as a "patch" rather than a serious attempt to solve a design problem.
The 2.0 JTS engine is a beauty, the 165 HP really giving an edge over the earlier 2.0 Twin Spark versions (especially when the air conditioning is up and running).
The only disappointment are the brakes. They work well and efficiently, but their "spongy" feeling gives a somewhat annoying feeling of insecurity (at least for me). Frankly, I preferred the one son my older 2.0 twin Spark GTV.
Internal furnishings are also of very good quality (as opposed to its predecessor) and the inbuilt CD/radio system blends in nicely with the front panel.
Instruments are now lighted in red (as opposed to the original green). This has been claimed as a major upgrade, but, quite frankly, I fail to see a big difference. Nonetheless, the way they have been distributed has been improved considerably.
Baggage space is, as before, very limited and rear passengers will complain about leg room even if they are four year old kits barely three feet high).
As usual, all complaints are lost when you actually drive the car and feel the way it becomes one with the road...surging, weaving... etc etc.
The new GTV is expected in 2005 but with this restyling and new engine I won't be holding my breath for it...