From £8,340
The excellent Volkswagen Up city car gets another couple of doors and shows how good it is for families, too

What is it?

There’s nothing to it, really. The Volkswagen Up is Wolfsburg's much-praised city car. It gets another couple of doors without changing its outline or interior dimensions, whereupon the price goes up £375, like for like, over the costs of the three-door range.

Add a few kilograms for the new doors, chuck in the fact that the slightly lower sills of the rear windows give better rear three-quarter visibility, and you’re looking at a totally familiar car.

What’s it like?

When you get into, and ride in, the rear compartment, you’ll see what a superb piece of packaging the Up really is. Four outsized adults can get into and travel comfortable in a five-door Up: we did it.

The car retains its poise over bumps with four big people in it, in a way baby cars never used to, continuing to ride flat and offer decent bump-absorption. The rear doors really do allow dignified entry and exit for normal adults. And the breezy little one-litre triple makes the job of hauling all that extra people-weight seem perfectly simple. After a bit of time with this car, you wonder why four-metre superminis need all that extra space and power.

The boot is a bit compromised, of course. You’d never get four people’s holiday luggage into it. And after 50 miles or so, those occupants in the rear will be yearning for a bit more spreading room. Or to change with those in front. But a car just 3.6 metres long, it does an amazing job.

Should I buy one?

For budget-conscious families with half-grown kids, or those who just like really good small cars, the new Up five-door makes a fine choice, especially given all the driving, economy, longevity and residual value virtues that come with it.

Volkswagen Up 5dr

Price: from £8370; Top speed: 106mph; 0-62mph: 12.7sec; Economy: 60.1mpg (combined); CO2: 108g/km; Kerbweight: 950kg (est); Engine: 3cyl, 12v, 999cc petrol; Power: 74bhp at 6200rpm; Torque: 70lb ft at 3000-4300rpm; Gearbox: 5spd manual.

Steve Cropley

Steve Cropley Autocar
Title: Editor-in-chief

Steve Cropley is the oldest of Autocar’s editorial team, or the most experienced if you want to be polite about it. He joined over 30 years ago, and has driven many cars and interviewed many people in half a century in the business. 

Cropley, who regards himself as the magazine’s “long stop”, has seen many changes since Autocar was a print-only affair, but claims that in such a fast moving environment he has little appetite for looking back. 

He has been surprised and delighted by the generous reception afforded the My Week In Cars podcast he makes with long suffering colleague Matt Prior, and calls it the most enjoyable part of his working week.

Join the debate

Add a comment…
Fidji 26 January 2012

Re: Volkswagen Up 5dr

Will they be making the GT available as a five door? Personally, I don't think VW should.

Johnny English 26 January 2012

Re: Volkswagen Up 5dr

Now if only they can get combine this model's power with the lower powered model's CO2 emissions, it will be the perfect car for London. I'm hoping the tech won't be too long coming.