With a starting price of less than £14,000, the Up GTI has a combination of affordability and desirability that deserves to be celebrated. It’s a bona fide hot hatch with plenty of richer VW-brand material touches that’s also cheap enough to make a mid-level, 89bhp Vauxhall Corsa look a touch pricey, and to undercut both an Abarth 595 and a Renault Twingo GT.

It’s frugal too. How rare is it, even in 2018, to find a car you can genuinely be excited by that’ll also better 50mpg on a fairly conservative touring trip? The Up GTI will, and would probably average better than 40-to-the-gallon for most owners.

Richard Lane

Road tester
The Up GTI is not only cheaper than its rivals, it outperforms them in the depreciation stakes, too.

Cost of insurance will be of interest to plenty of younger buyers here. The Up GTI is in group 17, making it significantly cheaper to cover than an Abarth 595, though costlier than a Renault Twingo GT.

The car’s options catalogue is unusually short, too, so it’s easy to buy. You can pay extra for automatic climate control, a premium audio system, a sunroof, a reversing camera or cruise control if you want to – but none feel like must-have options.

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