You’ll be able to squirrel away just as many family bits and bobs in the Up’s clever cabin as in many larger cars. Sadly, unlike some alternatives, you can’t get it with seating for five
Despite its small size there’s an impressive amount of space for four people in the Up. There’s loads of headroom in the front and you get height-adjustment for the driver’s seat as standard on all models. Unfortunately, the steering wheel adjusts for height but not reach so you might find it a little tricky to get comfortable if you’re very tall – this isn’t particularly unusual in small city cars, however.
You can’t get adjustable lumbar support to help reduce back ache on long journeys or a height adjustable passenger seat on any models, but it’s the same story in a Kia Picanto and Hyundai i10.
Both three and five-door Volkswagen Up models have to make do with only two seats in the back but at least this means there’s plenty of shoulder room for two tall passengers. Knee room is a little tight, however, and passengers over six-foot tall will struggle for headroom. A Hyundai i10 is roomier and comes with three seats in the back.
It’s a real struggle to fit a child seat in three-door versions but the five-door’s wide openings make the job much easier. It’s still a bit of a pain to fit a large rear-facing seat, however, and you’ll have to slide the front passenger seat almost all the way forward before it’ll lock securely in place. The Isofix anchor points aren’t particularly easy to locate either, but at least you won’t have to stoop down too far to strap in a child.
The Volkswagen Up’s cubbyholes are surprisingly spacious for such a small car. The door bins are big enough to hold a large bottle each and the glovebox has space for two medium-sized ones. You also get a handy phone holder in the glovebox and a second phone-sized tray ahead of the front cupholder.
Five-door models come with two shallow door pockets in the back but anything larger than a phone will easily slide out if you take a corner quickly. Both three and five-door versions come with a single cupholder for the back seats but you can’t get a folding rear armrest on any Up models.
It might be small, but the flyweight Up packs an impressive punch in the practicality stakes – five-door models are roomy enough to carry four adults and a large suitcase at once
Both three and five-door models can carry 251 litres of luggage with all four seats in place, although a Suzuki Celerio has a 267-litre boot. Nevertheless, the Up’s boot is big enough for a baby stroller or a large suitcase and a few soft bags. There’s a large boot lip to lift heavy luggage over, but you do get an adjustable boot floor as standard on all but entry-level cars.
There’s enough space under this false floor to hide a few valuables but nowhere to secure the toolkit. As a result, it’ll slide around as you drive, making plenty of annoying clunking noises and denting the inside of the load bay while it’s doing it.
The back seats fold down in a two-way (60:40) split so you can carry a passenger in the back and some long luggage in the boot at once. With both back seats folded down the Up’s boot floor is completely flat (so long as it’s not the basic model without the adjustable floor) and big enough to carry a bike with one wheel removed.
Its 951-litre total capacity (959 litres in five-door models) is slightly less than you’ll get in 1,010-litre Picanto and 1,046-litre i10 but it’s significantly roomier than the 812-litre Toyota Aygo. Its square shape makes it easy to pack full of large boxes or suitcases.
There are a couple of tether points to keep fragile items tied down and some shopping hooks to stop your groceries rolling around in the back but there isn’t quite enough space under the boot floor to store the parcel shelf.