Volkswagen e-Up

Volkswagen e-Up review

Costs & verdict

Review continues below...

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

The e-Up is great to drive around town. It feels almost entirely uncompromised by its electric motor while still benefiting from the eerily quiet, punchy acceleration of an electric motor.

However, a petrol Up 1.0 TSI costs many thousands of pounds less to buy, even after taking into account the £3500 electric car grant you’ll get from the Government when buying an e-Up. Yes, you’ll be spending less on fuel bills (electricity is much cheaper than petrol), but that won’t even come close to making up the difference.

You might imagine the e-Up would be a tax haven for company car drivers, but sadly that isn’t the case, either. Yes, it’s in a much lower benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax band than any petrol Up, but you’ll still sacrifice more of your salary each month to run one, because it’s so much more expensive to buy.

The only way you might genuinely save money over a petrol Up is if you regularly travel into London’s Congestion Charge zone, because the e-Up is exempt from the fee.

The e-Up does come with more kit than the range-topping petrol High Up, though, with climate control, automatic emergency braking, rear parking sensors and cruise control all thrown in. You get a long warranty of eight years (or 99,360 miles) on the battery as well.

So, the e-Up offers very little compelling financial reason to choose it instead of a petrol Up, but even against other electric cars it doesn't compare favourably. The Zoe, Leaf and Kona Electric might all cost a bit more to buy, but they'll take you substantially farther on a full charge and are more practical.

As for charging times for the e-Up, a full fill takes around nine hours from a standard three-pin socket, but you can top up to 80% in just 30 minutes if you have access to a more powerful fast charger.

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Volkswagen e-Up
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The VW e-Up is great to drive and easy to park, but there are many electric cars that cost a similar amount and can cover a lot more miles on a full charge.

  • Great to drive
  • Well equipped
  • Exempt from London Congestion Charge
  • Expensive
  • Very limited range
  • Not exactly spacious