Volkwagen’s latest answer to a city car, following the Fox, is the Up, or towing the company line on punctuation, the Up! It’s a four-seater three-door urban runaround that will no doubt appeal to a large range of buyers.

VW says a third of take-up (no pun intended) will be new customers, while 50% of sales will be either young people or those aged 50-years-plus, with the other half falling in between.

A five-door version is due in 2012, which will be the bigger fleet seller. VW predicts that while the majority of sales will be in the retail market, it can also “see opportunities for the Up within the fleet market, in areas such as the public sector that are looking for a good value, reliable, cost-effective vehicle, along with support car activity”.

Engine line-up (it’s unavoidable!) has been kept simple, with a 1.0-litre petrol engine producing 60hp or, for the top trim, 75hp, and a five-speed manual transmission. There are three trims – Take Up, Move Up And High Up – as well as two special editions based on the High Up – the Up Black and the Up White – which have enhanced trim and specification including 16-inch alloy wheels and chrome door-mirror caps.

Prices start at £7995 for the Take Up, which includes body-coloured bumpers, aux-in and 14-in wheels, while the most popular derivative, the Move Up, from £8970, has aircon, electric front windows and remote locking. The most economical and fleet-friendly version will be the Move Up with Bluemotion technology at any extra £360, which drops the CO2 from 105g/km to 97g/km and fuel consumption from 62.8mpg to 67.2mpg.

The High Up, at £10,390, features heated front seats, front fog lights, leather steering wheel and infotainment device.

The car also has a City Emergency Braking system, active at speeds of less than 18mph, which comes as part of the Drivers Assistance pack option, priced at £400 and also including ESP. Other packs include the sensor pack with parking sensors and cruise control for £350.

As with the majority of VWs, the Up is very driveable. Steering is light, echoing the Polo, but as long as this doesn’t offend you, the new engine coupled with decent gearbox and comfortable ride make this a trusty all-rounder.

There’s a notable choice of rivals in this segment starting with the popular Fiat 500 but also including the Ford Ka, Toyota Aygo, Hyundai i10, Peugeot 107 and Kia Picanto. Whole-life costs for the Up are not yet available but with a decent starting price and the brand’s reputation sure to help RVs, there’s little doubt the Up will do superbly in its sector.

VW Move Up 1.0-litre 60hp 3dr 5sp manual
P11D price £8970
Model price range £8970-£11,180
Fuel consumption 62.8mpg
CO2 105g/km
Boot space (min/max) 251/951 litres
Engine size/power 999cc/60hp
On sale March 2012
Score 8/10