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.