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Volkswagen up! Take up!

YOU TAKE ME UP (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

The improved Volkswagen Take up! is the entry-level model in its city car line up. Jonathan Crouch assesses whether sparse is beautiful.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 52

The Volkswagen Take up! is the concept of the citycar pared back to just what you need with no extraneous additions. It's keenly priced and very smartly styled in this revised form, but those who want something other than the automotive equivalent of minimalist inner-city studio living might find it somewhat sparse.

Backgroundword count: 168

Clutter. We surround ourselves with the stuff. If we're not out buying it, it's being levered through our letterboxes while television and internet surreptitiously convince us to buy stuff we don't need. I have a great admiration for those who can pare back their lives, if not to a bare minimum, then at least to a point where it's clear that they have a very real appreciation for what's important and what's not. This vaguely anti-consumerist message might seem a little at odds with a review of a car, often the second biggest capital purchase people make, but the Volkswagen up!(to use its officially sanctioned and horribly twee lower case and exclamation mark) is a smart, stripped back sort of car that chimes with the concept of not consuming more than you really require. The up! range has been significantly updated in recent times and has re-established Volkswagen's credentials as a manufacturer of desirable city cars. Here we take a look at the entry-level model, the Take up!

Driving Experienceword count: 201

Of course, if you're looking to simplify your life and your car, you'll have to make do with a rather minimalist engine. Pop the bonnet on the Volkswagen Take up! and you'll be confronted with a three-cylinder unit not much bigger than your kitchen microwave. It makes just 60PS, so it's not what you'd call zesty. Find a long enough piece of autobahn and it will manage 100mph and 60mph will arrive in 14 seconds from a standing start. What it lacks in straight line power, it claws back in friendliness and tractability. It's a sweet engine that does its best work between about 2000 and 5000rpm which means that it can more than hold its own in city traffic. The throttle response is a little soft, but this does makes it easy to drive smoothly. The steering and the manual gearbox are both light and accurate. Visibility out of the up! is also very good, which helps with parking manoeuvres, as do the very short front and rear overhangs, which make squeezing into tiny bays simplicity itself. The mirrors are a decent size and the driving position is good, despite the lack of a reach adjustment on the steering column.

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Category: Small Runabouts

Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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