Jump to content
BEP51

Up! - Driven - Review

Recommended Posts

This morning I test drove a silver VW High Up! with the 75bhp 1litre 3 cylinder petrol engine. High quality fabric seats, piano black plastic inserts in steering wheel and across the dash.

Basically this in silver with a sober grey interior:

vw-up-2012-above.jpg

First impressions:

- The boot is enormous for this type of car, even the boot handle/button which looks cheap has a quality feel to it.

- The rear arches have no liners which looks a bit odd.

- The car design looks quite nice, but the VW badges are enormous.

- The interior is very spacious with a quality feel, even if the guide on top of the gearstick seems a strange font (me being fussy), I also dislike the cupholder under the dash, this space could have been put to better use as further ports for audio equiptment, the satnav bolt on is wierd and it means you cannot get a headunit to fit the car, and you probably wont even be able to get an aftermarket one as the dah space has the heater controls built into it.

- The rev counter is tiny, (but not to worry you wont want to rev it that high).

Driving:

- The engine IS noisy, and not a very nice noise lower in the revs, however it does pull very well for what it is and you do not want for more power but you may have to work to keep revs up to keep it nippy at the expense of the volume.

- The ride (not on the optional sport supsnsion) was good and firm with surprisingly little body roll, I would say it is far better than a standard lupo.

- The absolutely best thing about the car is the steering! such a go cart! you feel really connected and right next to the front wheels, it self centres so confidently and makes it feel quite chuckable - which is what I look for in a car. Had I been able to push it, it probably would have understeered, but the balance was much better than a lupo and I expect the standard Up could corner faster than a standard Lupo before understeering.

- Didnt get a chance to use larger roads, but it felt adequate to overtake a bicycle and it felt capable going up a steep hill. The solidity of the car would make it quite happy for sitting at motorway speeds.

- Higher up the revs the engine sounds sweeter, but still to loud for THAT type of noise. Apart from it being able to rev to 6500rpm, I was convinced it sounded exactly like a diesel and didnt want to rev past 4000 as the noise was near unbearable.

- The gears are nice and defined with smooth changes, although in the classic small VW fashion it can grate into reverse, also the reverse is now bottom right on the gearstick rather than down and front left, which is a change that I personally prefer.

Opinion:

- I like it.

- Should be fairly easy to modify most dislikes, coilovers, rear ARB, some carbon fibre wrap over the dash section (as it is a fingerprint magnet), debadge the rear.

- Engine feels good, but sounds awful, an exhaust may help but on a 1L?

Decision: ***/*****

- I really want to wait for the Up! GT to be launched as I believe the 1L 3 cylinder TURBO with around 100bhp will be a sporty little car, the match of my sport for pace.

- The GT looks better with the bumpers, gets a nice twin pipe exhaust like the mk6 GTI, metal inserts on the interior, GTI cloth seats etc.

1329024589_frankfurt-2011-volkswagen-gt-up-concept-live-photos_9.jpg

Volkswagen-GT-Up-sde-view.jpg

frankfurt-2011-volkswagen-gt-up-concept-live-photos-1080p-6.jpg

Also to note that the GT up is planned to have a brake upgrade from the standard car with disks at the rear too (althought the prototype above has the drums on the rear). I detest drum brakes on modern cars as it is blatant cost cutting where disks offer significantly better braking and are more easily serviced.

Edited by BEP51

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good review. Nice to hear about the Handling. I look forward to test driving one of these myself soon!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well Done mate! Was good to read about your experiences of driving the UP

Went to view one the other day & I quite liked it but like you say there are quite a few things that could of been done better!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

'it felt adequate to overtake a bicycle'

Well I would hope so too

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

'it felt adequate to overtake a bicycle'

Well I would hope so too

Thought that would make someone smile ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I could only ever buy a black one because of THAT boot lid. Saying that, i prefer the looks of the seat mii anyway. Very good write up!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice review and I have to agree strongly with the noise of the engine. It's sounds so loud and like a diesel and isn't very pleasent at all. I work in a vw dealership and we've had a few come back thinking they have a problem when they hear the noise.... The day after collection. But I still do really like the car and agree that the GT should be pretty damn good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh dear, this reminds me of a Pixo I had for a couple of days when my Clio was in for service, small 3 pot, sounded like a diesel moped :lol: Pissed myself every moment of driving it, it was ridiculous. Feel very sorry for anyone I see driving one about that they actually paid money for it haha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Few days ago had a little ride with I think 85Hp version. (not sure)

After a Lupo GTI sensitive throttle UP feels like don't want to go anywhere. As BEP51 already mentioned that engine IS noisy. I would even say very noisy! As well boot is quite large comparing to Lupo but as it is in two levels I think that doesn't make it bigger. The reason is that under top floor you won't keep anything because who will be willing every time unload top to get something from bottom. I know this by experience with my family car Seat Toledo which as well have this two level boot.

Interior I liked a lot. Having these panels that are painted into car color makes everything more cozy. Liked a lot Start/Stop system. Worked just great!

Regarding space Lupo feels more spacious as well in front and back. In front because Lupo's dashboard is curved to floor and give more spacious look. In back it would be more spacious if side window wouldn't have such high line. But you should agree if this was designed differently car from outside wouldn't be so beautiful. Also it felt like for knees there is a bit more space at back.

Well that all what I noticed about UP. Hope that some GTI version would come out. That would be way to make this car another true Hot Hatch! ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As well boot is quite large comparing to Lupo but as it is in two levels I think that doesn't make it bigger. The reason is that under top floor you won't keep anything because who will be willing every time unload top to get something from bottom. I know this by experience with my family car Seat Toledo which as well have this two level boot.

When i was shown the boot if was told the top level was designed to be level with the seats when folded down to give flat surface easier to slide larger things in

+if boots not required to hold a lot of stuff its more practical that the boot floor is higher :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally got to test an up! when my Lupo went in for its MOT.

The model I tested was a High up! 1.0 75ps in black with a black interior. I have to say I was quite impressed, whilst the up! does not have the performance of my Lupo it is acceptable, you are not painfully aware of a lack of performance when driving, it is only if you glance at the speedometer that you realise you are not going that fast. In other areas the up! shows the benefit of a decade of development. The road tax on the Lupo is currently £210 (may be even higher now) the up! is free for the first year but thereafter is only £20. The fuel efficiency is improved too, without any real effort the up! returned over 50mpg whereas the Lupo will return around 40mpg if you are a little gentle. In terms of refinement the up! is actually very good. Around town there is very little engine noise, only if you rev the engine hard does a traditional three cylinder thrum enter the cabin. When it come to driving it was actually quite good fun to drive it grips very well and holds its line gamely. up! rides much better than the Lupo does.

The cabin itself is very spacious for a car that is only a little longer than the Lupo. I think this has been achieved by making the engine bay tiny! The dashboard is similar to the Lupo in that it does not feature soft touch plastics but has a feeling of quality that comes from solidity and smart design. There are a few areas of cost saving. There is no foot rest for your clutch foot, there is the space for it. There is only one grab handle in the cabin for the front seat passenger and the passenger side sun visor is the only on with a vanity mirror and it does not have a cover. The passenger side electric window is not controllable from the drivers seat although this is hardly important. The door cards were the only thing I really did not like about the cabin, they are very hard shiny plastic, admittedly the effect was lessened over the up! in the showroom with a grey interior but even so they look and feel cheap. What was a little more concerning was the cabin ventilation. Although it was not a particularly hot day on the day I had the car I did try to cool the cabin with the air conditioning. The system is quieter than the ventilation system in the Lupo but you need to run the fan on a higher setting to cool the cabin. I wonder if the lack of central face level air vents is partly to blame for this. The other strange think was the lack of trim in between the front seats. There was plastic trim around the hand brake but the majority of the transmission tunnel was carpeted.

I had been concerned about the quality of the sound system fitted to the up!, as standard they only have two speakers, the only other car I have driven with two speakers was a Ford Ka. Whilst it was not a system that audiophiles will rate particularly highly it performed well enough. I was not able to confirm if the car I had was fitted with the optional "sound pack" that adds an extra couple of speakers.

I was interested to see the luggage compartment, When I opened the boot the split level floor gave the impression of a luggage compartment that was in fact smaller than the Lupo, but once dropped it would be slightly bigger than the Lupo. Having said that I have never really had an issue with the luggage space of the Lupo! Around the cabin there is more oddment storage space with a glove compartment, door bins and a centre console with a neat cup holder, its a simple plastic curve that flips over to create a cup holder.

I have to say that the up! was impressive, it is vastly superior to the competition and I was surprised to discover that it had a little of the character that I like in the Lupo. Having said that, I am not sure I would part with the Lupo for one just yet.

010-2.jpg

020.jpg

011.jpg

025-1.jpg

028.jpg

027.jpg

032.jpg

By way of comparison:

031.jpg

009.jpg

030.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm liking the idea of an Up (sorry VW, I can't stand the lower case 'u' and the exlamation mark!) and in a few years I rekon the wife will definately be in the market for one to replace the Lupo. The GT sounds like it will be a great little car but personally, I prefer the look of the base model with the retro style steelies. Poverty spec FTW!

Edited by rig_pig

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent review there, enjoyed reading it!

Nice to see how this new car compares to the Lupo & great job with the photos for comparison!

Well done mate

Thanks Gavin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Poverty spec FTW!

We are seriously looking at a poverty spec Up to replace our Lupo.

Spec is pretty poor. The base Take Up is missing stuff our 2000 1.0e Lupo has. Mirror in pass side vanity mirror , parking light , rev counter , light-on warning buzzer (my first car , a 1985 1L Nova had this) , split rear seat , drivers seat height adjustment , rear speakers .

Apart from this I think it looks funky and it way better built than the 107/C1/Aygo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had been concerned about the quality of the sound system fitted to the up!, as standard they only have two speakers, the only other car I have driven with two speakers was a Ford Ka. Whilst it was not a system that audiophiles will rate particularly highly it performed well enough. I was not able to confirm if the car I had was fitted with the optional "sound pack" that adds an extra couple of speakers.

That was the main issue I had with mine but for the extra Volkswagen wanted I decided to sort it myself. Cost me £200 to get some components and new speakers fitted along with my sub and amp in the boot :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was looking at the up! Owners forum at a chap with a Take up! fitting upgraded speakers after delivery. Looked a little, er, involved!!

How are you finding the up! day to day?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love mine apart from the problem I'm having currently with my "clunky gearbox" that VW are trying to convince me is normal - I'm not impressed!

It runs really well though, very good on fuel and isn't slow at all although I went from a 1l Arosa to the Up! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is the issue with the gearbox a few people seem to have encountered problems.

Has yours returned to Volkswagen for "product enhancement"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It grinds in to reverse every time you try and I have had issues where it whines, they have said there is nothing wrong but I'm going to get a second Volkswagen garages opinion as a local mechanic has said something is definitely not right. They said they compared it to another Up! and found it made the same noises so it must be ok but to me that makes it sound more like its a common problem!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×