Our cars: Volkswagen Up - February

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Volkswagen Up 1.0 75 High Up 3dr

Week ending February 22
Mileage 6400
Driven this week 100 miles


Volkswagen Up review

I thought it was about time I updated you on how our Volkswagen city car is doing in terms of fuel economy.

Our car is fitted with the higher-powered three-cylinder petrol engine, putting out 74bhp. So far, having driven it normally, by which I mean with very little consideration to saving fuel, I'm averaging just less than 48mpg.

Now, that might be some way off the Up's claimed average economy of 60.1mpg, but I think it's a great achievement considering the hard town driving it's put through every day.

Autocar colleague Mark Tishaw is driving the lower-powered engine in his Seat Mii — the same is available in the Up. With some careful application of the throttle, and plenty of motorway driving on his commute, he's getting much closer to 60mpg.

It seems the Up is shaping up to be as good to own as it looks on paper.

By Rory White

Volkswagen Up 1.0 75 High Up 3dr

Week ending February 15
Mileage 6300
Driven this week: 132 miles


Volkswagen Up review

Looking into car reliability might not sound the most glamorous of tasks, but it’s essential information if you’re in the market for a used car.

With that in mind, I started having a look at how the Up has been holding up since it went on sale just over a year ago, and it seems there’s an issue that comes up again and again on various forums.

A lot of people are experiencing too much noise from their gearbox when pulling away, and find the gears tend to crunch even when stationary.

I’ve personally experienced nothing like it. In fact, my Up's gearchange is fantastic – light enough to be easy around town, but with enough precision to maintain confidence. It's certainly something I'll bear in mind, though.

By Rory White

Week ending February 7
Mileage 6168
Driven this week: 520 miles

Volkswagen Up review

Organising and writing our What Car? Personal Shopper features is one of the best ways to compare segment rivals, and hear what the public have to say about them, too.

It got me thinking about our Up when it's compared with our long-term fleet Fiat Panda. Subjectively, I think the Up is a far more stylish choice, which offers a better-designed cabin made from higher-quality plastics. Beyond that, what about the hard facts of buying and owning these cars?

A Fiat Panda 1.2 Lounge 5dr costs £10,050 new, and comes with air-con and alloys, but there's no sat-nav option and Bluetooth connectivity is £450. According to What Car? figures, this Panda will be worth 39.80% of its original value after three years, or around £4000. It offers 69bhp and manages 54.3mpg.

On the other hand, although you'll have to fork out slightly more (£11,040) for a 5dr Volkswagen High Up, it comes with heated seats, Bluetooth music streaming and phone connection, sat-nav, air-con, and alloy wheels. After three years, you'll be able to sell it for around £7050, or 52.54% of the list price. On top of that, the Up's smaller 1.0-litre engine produces 74bhp and will return 60.1mpg.

For me, the figures speak for themselves. In this case, spending a little more to begin with, saves you money in the long run in residual values, and the Up should work out cheaper run, too. Plus, you think of those extra luxuries you get to enjoy over the three years.

By Rory White

Week ending February 1
Mileage 5648
Driven this week: 150 miles


I was looking back through the pictures on my mobile phone this week and I remembered just how well our little Up! managed in the recent snowy conditions.

With many of the roads around London very well cleared, my girlfriend and I ventured outside the M25 in search of a nice country pub, completely forgetting that the roads weren't likely to be so salty in the suburbs.

A combination of the Up's tiny kerbweight, skinny tyres and front wheel drive meant we were unstoppable as we battled our way through the slush towards Sunday lunch.

Of course, the heated seats and speedy heating helped us get comfortable, too.

Rory.white@haymarket.com

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