Volkswagen up Road Test (2012)

Volkswagen up Interior (2012)

Volkswagen up Review

Volkswagen up ReviewVolkswagen up Review  | Part Two

Its size and price suggest a bargain bracket car without much equipment, but the up! is surprising. It has all the essentials, including a good quality radio and CD player.

Comfort and Refinement

When you first switch on, the thrummy sound of on the up!’s three-cylinder engine is reminiscent of an electric sewing machine in busy use. It settles down quite quickly, though, and becomes smoother and quieter than you might expect of an engine with an odd number of cylinders

This mid-range version of the up! Is elegantly adorned inside with some quite posh looking piano-black trim. up-market. It gives the cabin a classy ambience, even though most surfaces are hard to the touch. The front seats are high-backed and unusually comfortable for such a budget car.

Safety and Security

The little up! Is pretty well kitted out from a safety viewpoint. In common with most other UK cars, it has standard anti-lock brakes (ABS) and electronic stabilisation programme (ESP). There are front airbags for the driver and front seat passenger, and combined head, side and thorax airbags are there to give additional protection in side impacts. Added to the ESP are extra features: traction control to keep the car moving safely in tricky conditions, and electronic differential locks to prevent the wheels from slipping at inconvenient moments. The seatbelts have pre-tensioners.

The level of safety and security in this car is recognized in its remarkably low insurance group on the ABI/Thatcham scale. The up! is in the lowest category, group 1, which means that insurance costs will be unusually low.


Its size and price suggest a bargain bracket car without much equipment, but the up! is surprising. It has all the essentials, including a good quality radio and CD player. MP3 connectivity is standard, and you can have Bluetooth to pair your mobile or stream music, but it is an option at additional cost.

The front windows are electrically operated, a split-fold rear seat is standard kit, and if you want to splash out on options, you can pay a bit more for leather-look seats, rear parking sensors and even cruise control. It should be noted that the test car is not the base model with a starting price £7,995. It is a better-kitted Move version at nearly £1,000 more. Standard features with this model include the classy ‘Black Pearl’ trim on the upper dashboard, chrome-trimmed door handles and heat-insulating green-tinted window glass.

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What We Liked
  • Looks good
  • Friendly to Drive
  • Roomy
  • Group 1 Insurance
  • Revvy 3-Cylinder Engine
What We Disliked
  • Tiny boot
What We Would Like To See
  • The name changed from up! To Up.

We really like the up! It looks good, drives well, and it appears to be built to the usual high standard we’ve come to expect of a Volkswagen. It feels roomy for its size and quite a lot of car for the money. If only it didn’t have quite such a silly name.

21 May 2012 Sue Baker
Volkswagen up ReviewVolkswagen up Review  | Part Two
Volkswagen up Road Test Data
Model ReviewedVolkswagen Move up! 1.0-litre
Body Type3-door hatchback
ColourTornado Red
Performance (manufacturers data) 
0 - 62 mph14.4 seconds
Top Speed 99 mph
Transmission5-Speed Manual
Fuel TypePetrol
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
Urban50.4 mpg
Extra Urban72.4 mpg
Combined62.8 mpg
Insurance Group1
Euro NCAP Rating5-star - Adult 89% - Child 80% - Pedestrian 46% - Safety Assist 86%
Warranty3 years / 60,000 miles
Price (when tested on the 21/05/12)£8,970

The information contained within this Volkswagen up review may have changed since publication on the 21 May 2012. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Volkswagen dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. © 2018