Our long-term up was left sulking in the car park this week, because I had the chance to drive another version of Volkswagen’s city car; the special-edition Rock Up.
It costs £2080 more than our High Up model, but gets a bodykit, spoiler, sporty stripe, larger alloys and two extra speakers inside – brining the number of speakers to six.
Our Up needn’t have worried, though, because I returned disappointed, both with the way the Rock Up drove, and the its poor value for money.
Firstly, those larger alloys do nothing for the Up’s usually impressive ride, amplifying patchy town surfaces and speed bumps. Also, if it’s extra style and a better sound system you want, the cheaper Groove Up special edition gets the same alloys, the same kit as the High Up, but adds a far superior Fender sound system.
Even better, we’d save the extra money entirely and stick with our favourite High Up, which costs from £10,900.
By Rory White
Week ending August 9
Total mileage 9760
Driven this week 180 miles
I was driving through the car park this week and noticed another Up parked, er, up, nearby. It was white, too, and it was a three-door model, but there were some big differences between it and mine.
The differences were enough to leave me wondering if our High Up model was indeed the sweet spot of the range.
You see, the other car was a lower-powered 60PS Move Up Bluemotion Technology model, which goes without sat-nav, heated seats and alloy wheels, but manages more miles to the gallon and emits just 95g/km CO2 meaning free road tax.
Surely one of the main reasons behind buying a city car is low running costs? This caused me to reach for the price list and reassure myself, and it didn't take long.
Adding Bluemotion Technology to any Up costs you £360 extra, making the Move Up in the car park £9695. My non-Bluemotion High Up model demands a further £1200, but then again, that's less than adding all the extra kit it gets individually as options.
Furthermore, although the High Up is only available as a 74bhp and therefore has higher CO2 emissions (108g/km), the £20-a-year road tax is a small price to pay. I can live with 6.1 fewer miles to the gallon, too, and our experts believe our High Up will be worth almost 3% more after three years.
There's certainly a case for company car drivers buying into the cheaper, more efficient car. However, for the majority, I'm still convinced our High Up is the one to buy.
By Rory White
Week ending August 2
Total mileage 9580
Driven this week 25 miles
I’m cycling the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 this weekend, a 100-mile ride following the route the Olympians took a year ago (albeit somewhat slower).
Thankfully, transport to and from the start is all sorted, but it still got me thinking about bike racks for the Up.
You see, getting a bike in the back requires the removal of at least one wheel, if not both, and with our example’s cream interior, keeping oily bikes outside the car is a more appealing.
A flick through the Up's (extensive) optional accessories brochure revealed official VW roof bars cost £185 before fitting, with each bike carrier costing £82.50 after that. Considering it’s good-quality stuff that has been crash tested and is lockable, I don’t think it’s a bad price.
It turns out the Up can accommodate a range of outdoor activities, though, as a Surfboard, Kayak and Ski holder can all be found in the brochure, too.