Volkswagen Up Review & Prices
The VW Up is one of the most stylish and desirable city cars on sale, but it’s not the most spacious car you can buy...
What's not so good
Find out more about the Volkswagen Up
The Volkswagen Up is a bit like one of those little bottles of Veuve Cliquot you find in a hotel minibar. It’s the company’s smallest, cheapest model, but it's still built to the kind of high-quality standard you would expect of a Volkswagen.
Inside, the Up has a simple, minimalist look, but it’s smarter than the Picanto and everything feels more solid than in the bargain-basement Suzuki Celerio. You can also choose from a wide variety of optional styling packs on some models that make everything just that little bit smarter. You want black alloys, a two-tone paint job, or a different-coloured dashboard? Not a problem.
You won’t want for the latest in technology, either. DAB radio is standard across the range, and all models have a 5.0-inch colour screen through which you can run lots of features from an app on a smartphone mounted in a cradle on top of the dashboard. It's well-built and all the basic equipment is here, but the dashboard design is fairly basic and the chunky buttons are rather old-fashioned now.
Given how small the car is, you may well be surprised how easy it is for pretty much anyone to get comfy in the Up, though – even if they’re quite tall. On every model, the driver’s seat has height adjustment, and although the steering wheel only adjusts for height, not reach, you can easily get a decent driving position.
Even more surprisingly, it’s a similar story in the rear seats. Admittedly, you can only get two people in the back – unlike the Hyundai i10, which will take three – but there’s enough head and knee room for tall adults to get reasonably comfortable.
The boot, too, is roomy for this size of car. Its 251-litre capacity is on a par with what you’ll find in the likes of the i10 and Picanto, so it’ll have no trouble swallowing a baby buggy or a large suitcase.
It might look a bit like a shoebox, but the Up is one of the smartest and most comfortable city cars you can buy
You can get the Up with a 1.0-litre petrol engine that makes just 65hp, though in a car this small it's enough to get you around town. If you dive into the used market there's a sporty GTI model that has a stronger 115hp turbocharged 1.0 and is a proper hoot to drive, as well as the electric e-Up.
As you would only expect, the Up is a great city car, partly because its small size makes it really easy to manoeuvre, but also because you get a good view out. What you probably won’t expect is that the Up is also pretty comfortable, and you won’t feel too many of the bumps and potholes that litter our city streets. Last, but not least, it’s also remarkably good compared to other cars of its size for cruising on the motorway – but it's best to get something bigger if your commute involves long slogs at 70mph.
When it comes to safety and security, the Up doesn't fare quite so well, with the little Volkswagen only scoring three stars in Euro NCAP safety testing. As standard, pretty much all the assistance tech you get is stability and traction control, with no optional extras available to improve this.
Despite this, the Up is one of the best city cars you can buy, doing an impressive job of combining big-car features with small-car convenience. If you like the sound of that, check out the latest Volkswagen Up deals on carwow to see how much you could save, or browse used examples from a network of trusted dealers. You can also see what other used Volkswagens are for sale, or sell your current car – we can help with that, too.
The Volkswagen Up has a RRP range of £9,160 to £17,245. Monthly payments start at £215. The price of a used Volkswagen Up on carwow starts at £5,201.
*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.