Volkswagen Up Review 2023
Volkswagen Up At A Glance
Insurance Groups are between 1–17
On average it achieves 83% of the official MPG figure
The Volkswagen Up is one of the most popular city cars in the segment, and competes directly with cars like the Toyota Aygo X, Hyundai i10 and the Fiat 500, which is even longer-lived than the Up.. Conceived as a joint project to create a new city car for VW as well as SEAT and Skoda, the Up mixes traditional Volkswagen build quality and smart design with urban ability and impressive space efficiency given its size. Capable, fun to drive and available as an EV, the Up has a great deal going for it. Read on for our full review of the Volkswagen Up.
The Up is one of the most important cars Volkswagen has launched in the 21st century, replacing the unloved Fox city car and instead offering a well thought out and compact package that’s economical, easy to drive and appealing to those downsizing from larger cars.
It’s nimble, distinctive, well built and represents good value for money. It's also easy to choose your Up as there's only one 65PS 1.0-litre engine in the line-up, unless you go for the EV e-Up or nippy GTI models that are reviewed separately.
There’s plenty of space in the cabin despite an overall length of just 3540mm. Space in the rear is good, with room for six-foot passengers, although it’s worth bearing in mind that it’ll drive much more slowly with four adults inside.
The boot is 251 litres, but can be expanded to 951 litres by folding the seats. Both the three-door model and five-door model have the same exterior dimensions and boot space, and while the Up is still ultimately a small car, it does offer an impressive amount of space given the compact exterior dimensions.
Sit behind the wheel and you could be forgiven for thinking you were in a larger car. The Volkswagen ‘feel’ permeates the cabin.
Everything is solid and well put together, and although there is a lack of soft touch materials the Up doesn’t feel any worse off for it. You’re still aware that this is a city car that is built down to a price, and some younger rivals have moved the game on a little, but this is still a pleasing cabin to spend time in.
It’s easy to drive too, with a characterful engine sound, smooth gear change and light steering. Visibility is good and because of the ‘wheel on each corner’ design you’re always very aware of the car’s small size, making it simple and enjoyable to thread through tight traffic. It’s handling is safe and secure rather than thrilling, but its sheer size makes it fun to punt along a quiet road.
Arguably there are more sensible options in the sector, but none of them can match the Up’s feel-good factor.
Looking for a second opinion? Check out heycar's review of the Volkswagen Up.