The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
Tall drivers benefit from a wide range of seat adjustment; every Up provides seat-height adjustment as standard. Some people might find the seat a little firm, but side support is good, helping to hold you in place through corners.
It’s a shame that the Up’s steering wheel doesn’t adjust for reach (it only moves up and down), and, even with the wheel in its highest setting, you might find that it blocks your view of the instrument dials. However, none of the Up's key rivals offer steering wheel reach adjustment, either.
The important controls are sensibly laid out; the centre console is uncluttered, with simple buttons for the climate control and, where fitted, heated seats.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
The view out of the front is excellent; the Up’s thin pillars barely obstruct your forward view at all and the tall front windows provide a wide field of vision.
Rear visibility is slightly less impressive, although the rear pillars are still thinner than those of the Hyundai i10 and the rear window isn’t too small. The Up’s relatively square shape also makes judging its extremities pretty easy from the driving seat.
Rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera are optional on all trims as part of the ‘Cruise and park pack’, which, as the name suggests, also adds cruise control. We’d recommend adding this; it comes standard on the electric e-Up.
Sat nav and infotainment
If you want a touchscreen infotainment system like you get in a Hyundai i10, you’re out of luck. Instead, the Up gives you a small 5.0in colour screen; it sits below the climate controls, and displays information such as the radio station and, when fitted, rear-view camera image. You also get Bluetooth connectivity, AUX in and a USB socket as standard.
For navigation, you’ll need to use your phone, and there’s a cradle on the dashboard in which you can mount it, along with a selection of integrated apps. With these, your smartphone effectively becomes the hub of the car’s infotainment system. However, we imagine most users will just use their phones’ native normal music and navigation apps rather than go through Volkswagen’s app.
For music lovers, the Up Beats is worth considering because this adds – yes, you guessed it – a more powerful Beats stereo. Its sound quality is good rather than brilliant, though.
This is another Up strong suit. No other car at this price can quite match it for interior quality; even the lower-end trim levels get attractive chrome trim surrounds and patterned dashboard plastics, and feel better put together than the Kia Picanto.
Let's not go overboard, though; you won't find any dense, soft-touch materials like those you’ll find in the larger and pricier Volkswagen Polo, but the Up is as classy inside as city cars get.
An improvement over its predecessor, but it continues to lag b...
Cheap to run and good touch-screen system; rivals are more spa...
Strong on image, but rivals are more competent and better valu...
The Renault Twingo mixes cheeky styling with reasonable practi...