We find out if Volkswagen’s new city car lives Up! to the title of World Car of the Year
What is it? This very cute and affordable little city car is the new baby of the Volkswagen range. Available as a 3-door and 5-door version think of the VW Up! as a fun size Golf!
Who is it aimed at? The Up! is perfectly pitched at the urban dweller; Martin Winterkorn, the Volkswagen chairman, called it the iPod of cars when he showed a prototype to the late Steve Jobs of Apple. As the cheapest Volkswagen offered in the UK VW also expects to entice buyers who may otherwise have bought a second-hand, car into a new Up!.
Styling? With large wheels, low roof line and wide track the Up! is quite imposing for such a small car while the eye-like headlights and mouth shaped lower grille combines to give it a softer look. Overall it looks like scaled-down Golf.
Under the Bonnet? Power for the Up! comes from a three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engine. VW claims the Up! moves from 0-62 mph in a laboured 13.2 seconds but on the road it actually feels a lot quicker than that.
What’s it like inside? Slip behind the wheel and it feels as spacious as Volkswagen’s bigger Polo; small has seriously never felt this good. The cabin feels roomy, there are heaps of storage spaces and everything is very cool, retro and simple.
On the Road? It is great fun to drive and despite the tiny engine it has good oomph and makes steady progress. It is also a dream to take shopping as in tight city areas it is so nimble you can squeeze it into to a parking spot nothing else with four wheels is ever likely to fit into. On the motorway its takes a little bit of planning to get the best out of it but this goes for all city cars and not just the Up!.
And Safety? In the Euro NCAP evaluation it was awarded the top score of five stars. There is also a host of safety features including ABS and four airbags. Standard on the Up! is a City Emergency Braking system which brings a new level of technology to the city runabout segment, that until now, has been reserved for the more luxurious and expensive models. This is a system that scans a space of 10 metres in front of the car and detects if there is an object, stationary or moving, that is likely to collide with the car. If the driver has made no reaction to the object then the braking system is automatically engaged.
Options? Prices for the entry-level Take up! start at just £7,995. Both three- and five-door models are now available, along with two petrol engines and BlueMotion Technology variants for added economy and environmental benefits
How about Fuel Economy? Emissions are just above the 100g/km mark at 108g/km and fuel economy is really good at 68.9 mpg on a combined cycle of town and motorway.
Okay so the verdict? The Up! has personality with a capital P and comes with very nice styling, good standard equipment and that £7,995 starting price. Proving that size doesn’t matter it’s impossible not be impressed with the VW Up! Did we mention it’s the reigning World Car of the Year?
Fiat Panda £8,900
Skoda’s Citigo £7,630
Kia Picanto £7,795
Why you’ll buy one? Nimble; Solid; Refined
Why you won’t? Fiat’s Panda is more fun; Skoda’s version is cheaper
Engine: 999cc engine putting out 75bhp and 95Nm of torque between 3,000 – 4,300rpm
Max speed: 100 mph
0-62 mph 13.2seconds
Emissions : 108g/km
Model price range: £7,995 – £11,670
No of Doors: 5
Insurance group 1-50: 2
Euro NCAP: 5 stars
Fuel type: Petrol
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 68.9 mpg
Boot Capacity Seats up (seats down): 251 litres (959 litres)
Car Seats: 2 Isofix fittings in the rear and easy to use
Service interval (miles) 10000
Warranty (years) 3
Warranty (miles) 60000