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 such glory, 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 or, in e-Up form, an electric motor, means it doesn’t necessarily appeal to any driver for whom driving excitement is a priority. The Up GTI, though, provides enough to escape from the city car class altogether; instead, it competes against mini hot-hatch rivals such as the Abarth 595 and Suzuki Swift Sport.