The below editorial is an excerpt from our full review.
To access the full content library please contact us on 0330 0020 227 or click here

Volkswagen up! High up!

SAY HIGH! (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

Volkswagen's up! citycar has evolved. Jonathan Crouch checks out the most desirable 'High up!' version.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 79

With a name device cleverly designed to point your buying considerations optimistically northwards (from the entry-level Take up! via the Move up! to the range-topping High up! tested here), the one thing this top Volkswagen up! can't afford to be is average. This improved version sets a high standard for contenders in this class, adding in turbo 1.0-litre power at the top of the range. It remains an object lesson in how to build a perfectly conventional citycar. Perfectly.

Backgroundword count: 120

There's nothing in the least revolutionary or even particularly challenging about the Volkswagen up! There are no gimmicks, no 'next-big-thing' conceits. It's small, beautifully built, well packaged, intelligently appointed, neatly styled and powered by incredibly economical 1.0-litre petrol engines. Despite resisting trendy cuteness or, indeed, any kind of tacked on personality, it has proved to be to be every inch the success the small but too-expensive Lupo and the much larger but too-cheap Fox models that preceded it never were. This revised version gets the option of a pokier 90PS 1.0 TSI engine and some upgraded infotainment but otherwise, things are much as before. Can it make sense in pricier 'High up!' guise? That's what we're here to find out..

Driving Experienceword count: 229

The up! may not be the champion of left field thinking some were expecting, but that isn't to say it's short of smart ideas. Although the engine's in the front and driving the front wheels, it's a tiny three-cylinder unit with the radiator riding side-saddle, making for a very short front end, just like the rear-engined concept. For the High up! range topper tested here, the 1.0-litre unit develops either 75bhp or a punchy 90bhp, which makes it notably nippier than the 60bhp entry-level and BlueMotion eco variants. In the 75bhp model, the 0-62mph dash is dispatched in 13.2s on the way to a 106mph maximum. Whatever your choice of powerplant, a likable 'three-pot thrum' defines the engine note, but it belongs to a refined and free-revving powerplant that's flexible enough to obviate the need for constant cog-swapping, though the standard five-speed 'box has such a light and precise action, you might find yourself changing gear for the fun of it. For those who find changing gear anything but fun, there's the option of a single-clutch sequential auto 'box. The steering is appropriately light and accurate for city driving, but those expecting it to weight up and drip with feel on the open road will be disappointed. The up! is more than capable on taking on the long haul, but it's optimised for the urban jungle. Nothing unusual there.

To see the full road test text contact us on 0330 0020 227

Pictures (high res disabled)

Statistics (subset of data only)



Combined mpg:



CO2 (g/km):


Extra urban mpg:



Insurance group:





Urban mpg:



Weight (kg):



Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Small Runabouts

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.
To access the full content library please contact us on 0330 0020 227 or click here

Subscriber? Login here