The entry-level Take Up is the essence of a small, cheap Volkswagen.

What is it?

The low power version of the city car of the moment, tested here in its most basic trim, the Take Up. It produces 59bhp and represents what you get for the £7995 starting price that Volkswagen is happy to trumpet.

You get a thrummy 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine, a five-speed manual gearbox, three doors (a five-door variant will be available in late summer), and that’s about it. Air-con and electric windows aren’t offered, not even as an option. If you want them, you’ll need to choose a Move Up model – a £975 premium – which carries both as standard.

Sadly, Volkswagen’s City Emergency Braking system isn’t available on the Take Up, a shame given the ability for the £255 option to reduce the likelihood of low-speed rear-end shunts.

What’s it like?

Although the 59bhp model tested appears substantially slower on paper than the 74bhp model, it doesn’t really feel it. It will take 14.4sec to reach 62mph, against 13.2sec for the high power model, and top speed is 99mph, compared to 106mph. Even so, there’s no disguising that this is a slow car, with overtakes requiring planning ahead.

It needs working hard to pull away, but once on the move, it’s no struggle to keep up with the traffic flow on A- and B-roads. However, to do so requires judicious and frequent use of the five-speed gearbox. Peak power arrives at 6000rpm, 600rpm shy of the redline, while torque reaches its zenith at 3000rpm. The latter figure is particularly useful around town.

The eager three-cylinder buzz – reminiscent of an angry hornet’s nest - is surprisingly addictive, but while the noise levels can be tamed at town and city speeds, it will become tiresome on a motorway jaunt.

In all other respects, the low power Up is identical to the high power model. It rides well at low and high speeds. The pliant suspension causes a fair degree of roll through the bends. The steering is more suited to the urban crawl than high speed cornering. It is very light, and the turning circle is small. Despite the vagueness of steering, there is plenty of grip and it resists understeer well, even with the 165-section tyres fitted to the Take Up.

The Up’s brakes offer lots of feel and are very strong, with stopping power that’s easily able to surpass the grip supplied by the narrow tyres. Braking from speed with force will cause the ABS to kick in with surprising ease.

Should I buy one?

If the Take Up was available with City Emergency Braking as an option, the answer would be an unequivocal yes. The 59bhp version of the 1.0-litre engine gives such a small amount of noticeable performance away, it seems to make a mockery of the 79bhp unit.

Of course, your choice of engine is intrinsically linked to how much equipment you want. The 59bhp model is only available in the Take Up and Move Up. The 79bhp version is reserved for the High Up, Up White and Up Black models – models which range from £10,300 to £11,100.

So if you’re happy with an interior equipment list that’s sparsely populated – and many buyers are – the 59bhp Take Up represents the essence of a small, cheap Volkswagen.

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Stuart Milne

Volkswagen Up 1.0 60 Take Up

Price: £7995; Top speed: 99mph; 0-62mph: 14.4sec; Economy: 62.8mpg; CO2: 105g/km; Kerb weight: 929kg; Engine: 3 cyls, 999cc, petrol; Power: 59bhp at 6000rpm; Torque: 70lb ft at 3000; Gearbox: 5-spd manual

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Mini1 17 March 2012

Re: Volkswagen Up 1.0 60 Take Up

Zimmerit wrote:
The glossy dash does look much better but it isn't a patch on a 500's.
Agree - still a very nice feature but I think overall such dashboards should be left to the 500 as it can be pulled off better in a car with character, which the 500 has. The Up, though a nifty little design, doesn't quite have the same pizazz.
Zimmerit wrote:
external door handles
Yep I think they're unpainted on the base model which probably makes the difference. They're body coloured on all other models as far as I know, which does make a surprising difference to the feel.

Zimmerit 17 March 2012

Re: Volkswagen Up 1.0 60 Take Up

Steering wheel, handbrake grip, window winders, external door handles all either covered in something else or don't exist (window winders) in the Bluemotion I sat in compared to the Take Up. It's amazing what a bit of leather or 'faux' leather can add to impressions especially on primary contact areas. The glossy dash does look much better but it isn't a patch on a 500's.

Mario B 17 March 2012

Re: Volkswagen Up 1.0 60 Take Up

Were you tempted to tell him he was either deliberately trying to misinform you or too ignorant to work as a salesman. Now some poor other sod will suffer at his hand.

Mini1 wrote:
Crixter wrote:

There is no difference to the interior plastics in any model.

The base model only differs by having (not not having rather) the piano black shiny panel across the front. The 'move' up has this and also chrome interior handles, which strangely make it feel a much nicer place to be, then the high up, etc has the leather steering wheel and the posher seats etc. Its the little touches which make it feel better, the actual main interior dash is not changed at all. I think it pulls it off quite well...even if the base model is very bland without the fancy bits.

There's quite a lot of hate on this forum for the up!....i think its really quite good and is definitely worth a look.

Must say I agree. Just been to have a look at one... sat in a 'High Up' which was very pleasant. Nice to have the false floor, the plastics may not be soft to the touch but they're hardly 'nasty'. Only criticism was that the steering wheel felt very thin, and I don't think I could quite live with 3 doors. Though when I asked the salesman when the 5-door was coming out (even though I knew), he said "ohh not for another two years". Shows how much he knows.