The engine is peppy and free-revving and adds the low-down shove missing from its naturally aspirated counterpart. Turbo lag isn’t an issue and with the extra chunk of torque, which is available from 1500rpm, as opposed to 3000rpm in the normally aspirated units, it accelerates with far more urgency than the lesser engines.
Get on the throttle and the 1.0 emits a low growl, warming up to a typical three-cylinder thrum as it sails through its rev band. As with the naturally aspirated engine, it’s still best to keep it in the mid-range for quick progress, but the fairly long gearing means there’s more flexibility and you won’t have to keep shifting down in town.
The gearbox is nonetheless slick and accurate, and light steering makes easy work of urban driving, even if, typically, it doesn’t offer a great deal of feedback. Even so, the Up is happy to be flung into corners and remains one of the best city cars to drive. It's good enough that we think the chassis could handle even more power, and VW would appear to agree, with a 113bhp version of the 1.0-litre unit being tipped for the hot model.
The Up's suspension hasn’t been altered for this facelift, so on the whole it retains a supple ride that does well to soak up road imperfections. However, our test car was riding on 17in alloys instead of the standard 15in ones, and with the bigger wheels it picks up on more bumps, worsens fuel economy and creates more road noise at speed, so avoid them if you can.
Noise at higher speeds aside, the Up is refined and the extra power means motorway schleps are less of a strain on the engine and therefore a more relaxing affair than in the lesser-powered versions.
Air-con, Bluetooth, heated front seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearstick are standard on this High Up version. It’s well specced for the price, and the facelift has also done away with the bespoke mini tablet-style sat-nav device, replacing it with just a smartphone mount and a 5.0in colour display beneath, which will be a far better solution for most buyers. It also now comes with lashings of colour customisation options, too.
It also remains a practical small car. Room in the back is surprisingly good - two adults will ride in relative comfort - and the boot can cope with a suitcase and a few shopping bags. Plump for the five-door option if you want the most practical layout with its easier rear access.