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Volkswagen up!

GET ON UP! (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

With the improved up!, Volkswagen can offer citycar buyers a very competitive proposition indeed. Jonathan Crouch checks it out

Ten Second Reviewword count: 83

A proper Volkswagen - just a smaller one. The up! Has enabled the German brand to regain the initiative in the important citycar sector and this little car still sets a high standard for contenders in this class, adding in turbo 1.0-litre power at the top of the range. Frugal, fun, clever and competitively priced, the up! Is a key model to consider, not only for those in the market's smallest segment but also for people buying a compact car of any kind.

Backgroundword count: 183

In concept, Volkswagen's up! was smarter even than the finished product we see here, the original 2007 prototype rear-engined just like the early Beetle as the German designers sought to find more space from an ever-smaller roadway footprint. But such complexity would have made the finished production version as expensive as 'lifestyle' small cars like the MINI or the Audi A1. Which wasn't the point at all. This, the company decided, must be something almost anyone could afford. In any case, it could still be clever even if it was conventional. If the engine could be smaller, the wheelbase longer and the overhangs shorter, the ambitious cabin space goals set by the rear-driven concept could still be achieved. A basic formula to which has been added all manner of innovation. Depending on its purpose and the preference of its buyer, an up! can guide you with Google. It can brake itself to avoid an accident. It can be a hot hatch. Or, at the other extreme, an electric runabout. It can, in short, be all things to all people. A real Peoples Car.

Driving Experienceword count: 162

All mainstream models use the same 60PS normally aspirated 1.0-litre powerplant. This features a characteristic offbeat rasp that isn't unpleasant and rather suits this car's rather individual charisma. You'll certainly be hearing plenty from the engine if rapid progress is needed, for without a turbocharger to boost torque, this unit needs to be revved quite a bit, peak power not arriving until 6,000rpm, only 600rpm shy of the red line. The sprint to 62mph occupies 14.4s on the way to 99mph, quite enough to keep up with the traffic. Rather more rapid is the GTI variant, which uses the brand's turbo TSI petrol engine in 115PS form and sprints to 62mph in just 8.8s en route to 122mph. But this little pocket rocket is about far more than just straightline speed. It's a great little B-road blaster. The other up! alternative is the battery-powered e-up! model, now improved with a larger 32.3kWh battery, with a WLTP driving range enhanced to 159 miles.

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Pictures (high res disabled)

Statistics (subset of data only)

Min

Max

0-62 mph (s):

13.2

15.3

Boot capacity min (litres):

251

Boot capacity max (litres):

951

959

Combined mpg:

60.1

68.9

CO2 (g/km):

95

108

Extra urban mpg:

70.6

78.5

... and 9 other stats available

Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Small Runabouts

Performance
80%
Handling
80%
Comfort
80%
Space
80%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

This is an excerpt from our full review.
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