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Volkswagen UP


Volkswagen’s all-new city car has arrived, the up, which promises economical enjoyable motoring in a small package, but will it deliver?

Fitted as standard across the up range is Volkswagen’s City Emergency Braking System. The system automatically works at speeds up to 30km/h, using a laser sensor fitted at the top of windscreen, it scans the road ahead and will detect a stationary or slow-moving vehicle. If the driver doesn’t react to the situation this system will automatically apply the car’s brakes and bring the car to a halt, preventing a collision. I have experienced the City Emergency Braking System on a closed road, it’s extremely impressive and a vital piece of safety technology that I hope other manufacturers will implement across their models.

The up comes adequately equipped as standard, with the €10,995 entry-level ‘Take up’ featuring electric windows, daytime running lights, ESP and ABS. The ‘Move up’ gets some additional equipment such as air conditioning and chrome trims. I drove the €12,895 ‘High up’ which is fully loaded with heated seats and electric heated mirrors, its exterior is spruced up with 15” multi-spoke alloys and front fog lights. All models are powered by the same 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine producing 75hp. Thanks to the up’s lightweight structure, this engine provides ample power for darting around town and will hold its own on the open road. It’s a joy to drive, the responsive chassis setup encourages you to drive the up in a sporty manner that you wouldn’t have thought possible.

After a week’s driving I’m confident to report the up has delivered on its promises. It simply makes sense, it’s competitively priced, inexpensive to tax (band A), economical, averaging just 4.7l/100km and above all a hoot to drive. When the five-door version arrives this summer it’ll be even more practical.

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