Our cars: Volkswagen Up - May
Week ending May 31
Total mileage 8370
Driven this week 59 miles
Volkswagen Up review
We recently lent our Volkswagen Up to Classic and Sports Car's editor Alastair Clements, who was keen to see how he and his family would get on with it over a weekend.
Alastair's wife had gone from a Ford Ka to a Mercedes A-Class. Ideally, she wanted a car the size of her Ka, but loved the premium feel of her A-Class. Enter, the Volkswagen Up.
They loved the classy finish of the Up's dashboard and easily found enough space inside to seat two adults and their two children in child seats. In fact, there was just enough room for one more passenger in the boot with the movable floor in its lowest position.
Judging by their expression, though, I’m not sure they were so impressed.
By Rory White
Week ending May 17
Total mileage 8311
Driven this week 60 miles
I have lots of experience of the VW Up. When it was launched, I did a two-day road trip in a five-door model that was virtually the same spec as our long-termer. We managed to fit in photography equipment, four adults and luggage for all of us, before going round central London, up to Harrogate and across the Yorkshire Dales, then over to Croft circuit and back down again.
A feature for sister magazine, Autocar, the trip was designed to test the limits of the baby VW, but we had to go to a race track before we found them. All of us were comfortable, and whilst the Up is clearly no racer, it didn’t just manage everything else – even fast motorway and b-road stuff – it made it fun, as well. If that doesn’t prove that a city car is all you need and more these days, I don’t know what does.
Week ending May 10
Total mileage 8251
Driven this week 69 miles
The Volkswagen Up set out on the type of journey it was designed for this week, a 15-mile trip across central London, this time in the hands of our video man, James Holloway.
James found it comfortable, quiet and easy to drive in stop-start traffic. He was also particularly fond of the Navigon sat-nav unit that comes as standard on the High Up.
On the other hand, he wasn't so keen on the radio, which he said lost the signal too often. He also felt that the cream seats would not survive unblemished.
While James sliced through the traffic in comfort – with Bluetooth music streaming and sat-nav predicting the traffic ahead – I was heading for the same destination in our Renault Twizy.
Despite all that gadgetry, he finished only just ahead of me – and my standard navigation features of memory and instinct. Unfortunately, sometimes the traffic is so bad you just can’t outsmart it.
By Rory White
Week ending May 3
Total mileage 8182
Driven this week 175 miles
With my brother in London last weekend, the Up had to deal with three people instead of two. However, it wasn’t really a relegation to the back for him, as despite being over six-foot tall, he remained comfortable.
The front seats fold far enough forward to give good access, rear headroom is pretty generous and there’s a simple armrest carved into the side that gave him room to flex the elbows, too.
The only downside is that with another person in excess of six foot at the wheel – me – he was forced to sit behind the front passenger. Not such a bad thing, as with the front passenger seat pulled forward, there was still a good amount of legroom for both.
He also pointed out something I’d completely missed until now, two well-designed drinks holders, tucked away, but easily accessible.
By Rory White