New Volkswagen Up GTI vs Abarth 595

Volkswagen had added some spice to the city car class with the sporty new Up GTI. The car it has to beat is the Abarth 595...

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What Car? team
17 March 2017

Behind the wheel

Driving position, visibility, build quality

​Getting comfortable in either car requires compromise. Neither has reach adjustment for the steering wheel, so you’ll likely find yourself sitting too close or too far from the pedals. And while both driver’s seats are height-adjustable, each could do with going a little lower.

While most people will be able to get reasonably comfortable in the Up, you feel like you’re sitting directly above the pedals in the 595, almost as if you’re driving a pipe organ. When making small accelerator inputs, your ankle aches from the awkward angles you have to contort it to.

New Volkswagen Up GTI vs Abarth 595

The Up also scores higher for visibility. Its windscreen pillars are a little slimmer, while its large rear windows, thin rear pillars and truncated tail make the car easier to reverse – handy if you don’t add rear parking sensors, which are optional on both cars.

Both cars’ interiors are constructed from tough but hard plastics, although there are a few attractive trims to lift things a bit. The Up’s interior is more logically laid out, though, and it feels slightly better built.