What Car? says...
There are some who will try to claim that the Volkswagen Up GTI is ‘the spiritual successor to the original Mk1 Golf GTI’. On paper, it does certainly have a strong case, with the same amount of horsepower and a similar size and structure as that iconic classic. While it might be slightly optimistic to immediately crown it with the same amount of glory, though, there’s no denying the little hot-hatch tries hard to make its big brother proud.
While the standard Volkswagen Up is a wholesome value car, the fact it’s only available with a 59bhp engine means it doesn’t necessarily appeal to any driver looking for an entertaining drive. The Up GTI, though, provides enough to escape the city car class altogether; instead, it competes against mini hot-hatch rivals such as the Abarth 595 and Suzuki Swift Sport.
Though the Up GTI was launched a few years ago, changes to official fuel economy and emissions measurement methods caused its temporary disappearance from the market. Back for 2020, though, the GTI is available in three and five-door guises, and is powered by a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine with 113bhp; that’s considerably down on the 138bhp offered by the Swift Sport or the 143bhp from the Abarth 595. But is that fact enough for it the Up GTI be dismissed as nothing more than a wannabe? Or, where having fun is concerned, are we looking at a cut-price alternative to the bigger, feistier Ford Fiesta ST or Honda Civic Type R?
Read to find out how the Up GTI fares against the competition. And, whichever new car you end up sold on, head to our New Car Deals pages for a hassle-free deal at a great price.