Volkswagen UP!

Daragh Ó Tuama

I actually learned things on this test drive!

Prices between: € 12695 - € 17065

Ahhh, the small car. I’ve driven a lot of them recently, and they seem to becoming more and more popular on our roads. Maybe as a country Ireland is becoming that slight bit more European. In recent weeks I’ve had the absolute pleasure of driving some of the smaller cars available to our market, and I have to say that it has been really nice. Smaller machines are not what they once were. The market place for them is getting bigger too – take for example Opel, they've just announced the Karl which will be unveiled officially in 2015. These small automobiles have more technology than ever, they come with more capable engines, and as always they are great around the city. Oh, and the smaller car is generally fun too!



This week I’m testing a small car that is so exciting that it even comes with an exclamation mark in its name. I’m talking about the Volkswagen UP!  The UP! stays completely in keeping with what you’d expect from a Volkswagen in terms of style. It dons the design cues of a Golf or a Polo, but on a smaller level. Everything on the exterior is compacted to allow this machine to have five doors. What adds to the style of the test car I was driving is the stunning Blue colour it came in.


Normally a car this colourful wouldn’t really do it for me, but I have to say that after a week of bringing it around the streets of Dublin (and beyond), it really did start appealing to me. It’s not just me it impressed either – would you believe that this wee thing managed to turn many a head as I drove by them. Usually I wouldn’t say that small cars are overly stylish, but over the last couple of months two in particular are standing out for me - the Citroen C1 and the Volkswagen UP!.



This is a very petite car, and even though this version has the two rear doors, it is still the same size as the three door version. To make extra space Volkswagen has come up with some clever ideas. Take the boot for example. It’s pretty-much tiny, but the bottom of same is adjustable, which means that more space can be made for the extra literage. The dash is smooth in black too, and the optional (currently on special offer with Volkswagen on some UP! models) "Maps and More" SatNav and infotainment system is very clever. First off it's portable – there's nothing really new here, but what does impress is the fuel economy tips that it offers through the “Think Blue” eco trainer. I actually learned things on this test drive! 


The engine of the model I tested was 1.0l petrol and it offered 75hp. Top speed according to Volkswagen is 171km/h and it offers 0-100km/h in 13.2 seconds. The 5-speed manual machine is perfect in the city, and it’s not too bad on the motorway either. As you would expect from a car of this size it can get a bit loud from road noise when trying to reach the 120km/h on the motorway, but I wouldn’t really consider this to be a major flaw – I think it’s fair to say that it comes with the territory of a small car.



Yesterday Easytrip circulated the results of a parking survey they conducted and it effectively said that Irish people aren’t exactly fans of parallel parking – I reckon that if these same people were to swap whatever it is they are driving now to the likes of a Volkswagen Up!, a Hyundai i10, Skoda Citigo, Citroen C1, Ford Ka, or even the soon-to-be Opel Karl, they wouldn’t find those same spaces as daunting.


Read about the Opel Karl here: 
Read our other Volkswagen reviews here:


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