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Volkswagen Up 1.0 BMT 75 5dr High review

Date: 08 November 2016   |   Author: Debbie Wood

Category: City car
P11D price: £12,225
Key rival: Hyundai i10
On sale: July 2016

The Up has been a huge success for Volkswagen and it's not difficult to see why: the little city car is fun to drive, offers a refined cabin, and has some competitive running costs, to name just a few of its virtues.

Fresh from an update this year, among the headline changes for this 2016 model is an uplift in cabin materials, a new bumper design, new LED lights and a revised steering wheel.

Previous criticisms of the Up's stingy standard kit have also been answered - all models now come with electric front windows, remote central locking, DAB radio and smartphone integration.

Side

Highlights from our High spec'd car include manual aircon, heated front seats, DAB radio and 15-inch alloys wheels.

It's not exactly brimming with luxuries and the car is pretty expensive at £12,225. That's over £2,000 more than its similarly equipped stablemate the Skoda Citigo. The top-of-the-range Hyundai i10 is significantly cheaper too and better equipped as standard.

When it comes to residual values, the Up cannot compete with the i10 but beats the Fiat 500 and its Skoda cousin. Whole-life costs of 31.1p per mile are not as cheap as the Citigo or i10, either, largely because of their lower P11D prices.

Punchy petrol engine

The revised Up is still available with the same 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol that comes with a choice of three outputs: 60hp, 75hp and a turbo-charged 90hp version. Here, we're testing the mid-range 75hp option.

Officially the car will travel from 0-62mph in 13.5 seconds. Although that sounds slow on paper, the engine's playful nature and low-down torque make it feel much quicker on the road, especially when driving from 0-30mph. Measuring just 3.6m long, the Up is easy to park and drive around tight city streets too, and we were pleasantly surprised at how well the car performed on the motorway.

Over longer journeys we achieved more than 50mpg, which is impressive, and CO2 emissions of 96g/km mean the Up is pretty cheap in BIK tax too.

Rear

The ride is a little bouncy and there's a fair amount of wind and road noise intruding into the cabin; however, the five-speed manual is well suited to the engine and overall the car is fun to drive and offers enough grip when tackling corners at speed.

Surprisingly practical

From the outside the Up doesn't exactly look like it's inundated with practical features, but the 251-litre boot offers enough space for a couple of weekend bags and there's a number of useful cubbies and compartments in the cabin to store your personal items on the move. Rear legroom will be an issue for anyone over 5ft, though.

Inside

Interior quality is good too, and we're particular fans of the colour inserts that match the paintwork. Good quality personalisation options are actually pretty hard to come by in this segment, but the Up is the exception to the rule.

These latest revisions don't exactly move the game forwards for the Up, but they do give the car an extra dose of kit that helps bridge the gap to its rivals in the value-for-money stakes.

Volkswagen Up 1.0 BMT 75 5dr High

Model price range: £8,975 - £25,280
Residual value: 29.9%
Depreciation: £8,545
Fuel: £4,621
Service, maintenance and repair: £1,586
Vehicle Excise Duty: £0
National insurance: £909
Cost per mile: 31.1p
Fuel consumption: 68.9mpg
CO2 (BIK band): 96g/km (16%)
BIK 20/40% per month: £33/£65
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space: 251 litres
Engine size/power: 999cc/75hp

Verdict


A high-quality and fashionable city car choice with a versatile petrol engine under the bonnet
7/10
  • Characterful drive
  • Quality interior
  • Competitive running costs
  • Standard kit still not as good as rivals
  • £2,000 more than Skoda Citigo

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