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VW Up: Test Drive Review

Date: 04 May 2012   |   Author: Jack Carfrae

Category: City car
P11D price: £10,335
Key rival: Fiat 500
The VW Up has already generated a fair amount of praise, having been on sale for just a few months.

Despite its miniscule size, the German firm's latest city car is big enough to accommodate four adults and also returns over 60mpg regardless of which power unit is specified.

The engine line-up consists of a single three-cylinder petrol unit with 60hp or 75hp. You'll know about it if you're carrying a full load, but otherwise, both versions of the engine render the Up more than capable at anything up to A-road speeds. It's a proper small car in the sense that it responds well to hard acceleration, but refinement is far better than you'd expect for something with such modest proportions.

Motorways prove a little daunting. The Up can cope but its lack of top-end power means it struggles at higher speeds, while the entertaining handling lends itself to enjoyable low-speed driving.

Apart from the special-edition variants, the High Up, tested here, is the most expensive model in the range with a P11D price of £10,335. Next to the sub-£8000 entry-level model (called Take Up; the mid-spec version is known as Move Up) it doesn't look like quite as much of a budget proposition - even more so when you consider that the basic Skoda Citigo, which is all but identical to the Up, starts at £7630. Even so, you can hardly call it an expensive car, especially when the High Up comes with business-friendly features such as satnav and Bluetooth, which is impressive standard equipment for such a small car.

The Up won't fit the bill for high-mileage business drivers, a fact reflected by VW's estimation that it will only sell in the region of 10% to corporate buyers. Daily rental and public sector customers are tipped to make up the bulk of business sales.

For those not intending to cover vast mileages, the Up takes some beating. Despite its proportions, space for rear seat passengers and in the boot is surprisingly generous, while VW's usual top-quality finish, the entertaining drive and low running costs make it a fabulous all-rounder.

Volkswagen High Up
P11D price £10,335
Model price range £7940-£11,125
Residual value 42.3%
Depreciation £5960%
Fuel £6412
SMR £1557
VED £95
National Insurance £556
Cost per mile 28.4p
Fuel consumption 60.1mpg
CO2 (tax) 108g/km (13%)
BIK 20/40% per month £20.7/£41.3
Service interval 10,000 miles
Insurance (1-50) group 2
Warranty 3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space 251/951 litres
Engine size/power 999cc/75hp
Top speed/0-62mph 106mph/13.2secs
On sale March 2012
Score 8/10
Verdict One of the most
comprehensive small
cars on sale today


One of the most comprehensive small cars on sale today