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

Top 5 City cars

  • The Volkswagen Up city car isn't revolutionary, it's just quantifiably better than the opposition

    Volkswagen Up

    1
  • Hyundai i10
    The Hyundai i10 is offered with either a 1.0-litre petrol engine or a 1.2-litre petrol engine

    Hyundai i10

    2
  • The Celerio is an all-new city car from Suzuki

    Suzuki Celerio

    3
  • Panda’s 4 star EuroNCAP crash score falls short of some rivals

    Fiat Panda

    4
  • Renault Twingo
    The Twingo is a compact, rear-engined city car

    Renault Twingo

    5

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    3 July 2015
    Charming four-door city car gets Smart's new six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, in a bid to make the Forfour more versatile
  • First Drive
    2 July 2015
    First UK drive in the latest-generation MX-5 reveals an iconic roadster that's back to its best
  • First Drive
    2 July 2015
    Extra firepower and pared-down kerb weight conjure even greater brilliance from the Boxster's chassis. Pricey – but superb to drive
  • BMW's prototype fuel cell concept is based on the 5GT
    First Drive
    1 July 2015
    Fuel cell-powered 5 Series GT concept previews a revolutionary storage and refuelling system which could pave the way for hydrogen to become the alternative fuel of choice
  • First Drive
    1 July 2015
    There's another BMW 2 Series variant on the horizon; we drive a late-stage prototype plug-in hybrid Active Tourer