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

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

    Volkswagen Up

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

    Hyundai i10

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

    Suzuki Celerio

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

    Fiat Panda

  • Vauxhall Viva
    Vauxhall Viva 1.0 SE is priced from £7995

    Vauxhall Viva


Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • 2017 Vauxhall Insignia prototype first drive
    First Drive
    25 October 2016
    We review the next-generation Vauxhall Insignia and find that, while still disguised and giving little away about its appearance, it's encouragingly good to drive
  • 2016 Ford Kuga ST-Line 1.5 Ecoboost 182
    First Drive
    25 October 2016
    The Kuga ST-Line is enjoyable to drive, but this version of the 1.5-litre Ecoboost engine doesn't suit Ford's SUV
  • Car review
    21 October 2016
    Can Seat’s first SUV impress, even with the heavy burden of expectation?
  • Car review
    21 October 2016
    The last hurrah for the current Aston Martin Vantage adds the track-ready GT8 to the range
  • Audi S5 Sportback
    First Drive
    20 October 2016
    New S5 Sportback is more spacious, better to drive and offers a calmer ride than before, but rivals offer greater involvement