Volkswagen Up GTI review

Category: Hot hatch

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:petrol
Available colours:
Volkswagen Up GTI 2020 RHD gear selector
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RRP £16,135What Car? Target Price from£15,562

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

The Up GTI is one of the cheapest routes into hot-hatch ownership, costing about the same as the entry-level Abarth 595. However, the 595 gets considerably more expensive depending on which version and spec you go for, while the Up GTI allows you to add some inexpensive options as you choose. 

What do you get for your money, then? A reasonable amount of kit, as it happens, including air conditioning, heated front seats, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, interior ambient lighting, electric front windows and front foglights. You also get bespoke 17in alloy wheels that fully fill the arches, plenty of GTI badging, distinctive red exterior detailing and tinted windows to set this apart from other Ups.

Running costs are unlikely to spoil your fun; official combined fuel economy is up to 53.3mpg (measured by the WLTP method), that’s a higher figure than the standard 59bhp Up returns. For company car drivers in search of reasonable benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax figures, official CO2 figures (calculated under the NEDC methods) are also low at 110g/km.

In the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey, the regular Up scored disappointingly compared with others in the city car class; the Hyundai i10 and Toyota Aygo were both more reliable,
with the Fiat 500 – on which the Abarth 595 is based – finishing bottom of the table. Volkswagen as a brand finished 16th out of 31 manufacturers, below Toyota, Hyundai and Seat.

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Volkswagen Up GTI 2020 RHD gear selector
Volkswagen Up GTi 2020 RHD front tracking
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Overview

A cracking engine and decent handling make the cheeky Up GTI the best budget hot hatch you can buy.

  • Gutsy turbocharged engine
  • Grippy and sure-footed handling
  • One of the cheapest hot hatchbacks you can buy
  • Lumpy ride around town
  • No real infotainment system
  • Low Euro NCAP rating

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