• The Volkswagen Up city car isn't revolutionary, it's just quantifiably better than the opposition
  • Volkswagen calls it 'up!'. Forgive us if we use more conventional grammar
  • There are a multitude of alloy wheels available on the options list
  • Interior ergonomics are sound, and there are flashes of the usual VW quality fit and finish
  • Interior colours matched to exterior ones has possibility to be garish
  • Nav comes in a pod so that cars un-equipped with it don't look so spartan
  • Rear chairs offer good accommodation for little 'uns
  • As with all rivals in the city car segment, boot space is at a premium
  • Rear seats split and fold to increase versatility
  • The Up has been designed with the urban environment in mind
  • If you frequently travel out of town, you should consider avoiding the 59bhp model
  • Three-cylinder powerplant takes up little space under the bonnet
  • Big-car comfort differentiates the Up from the opposition
  • The Up corners with more lean than most VWs
  • The Up brings grown-up road manners to the city car segment

Volkswagen makes no bones about the fact that the bolder engineering ideas originally contained in the Up were jettisoned to ensure profitability. Ignore, for a moment, the lack of revolutionary zeal and it’s clear that the Up is a fine example of VW’s coolly calculated approach to market success. Lest we forget, for all its innovations, the Toyota iQ hasn’t been a big seller for Toyota. Consider the Up as a model to replace the Fox and it’s demonstrably more accomplished than its predecessor.

In fact, with its fine interior, respectable rolling refinement, comparative spaciousness, real-world economy and covetable branding, the Up is among the class leaders. Only the automotive idealists will note the persistent lack of charisma that authentic technical originality might have ultimately gifted the Up.

Matt Prior

Road test editor
Well packaged, desirable and decent value. Another near class-best VW

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