VW up! Black

We see if the range-topping version of the Volkswagen up! city car is worth the premium

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

The up! Black may be the most expensive, best-equipped model in the range, but it still has excellent fuel economy and low running costs in a playful, enjoyable package. It’s certainly not the penny-pincher’s choice, but the extensive equipment list and quality feel allow it to punch above its weight in terms of style and sophistication.

Thew Volkswagen up! Black is the best-equipped and most expensive version of VW’s new city car. At £11,305, it costs £3,310 more than the entry-level up!, but is it worth the extra cash?

The Black is only offered as a three-door model with a five-speed manual at present – a five-door and an automatic are set to arrive in September – and comes with the more powerful 74bhp version of the 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine.

In terms of styling, it’s clearly the funkiest model in the up! range, with striking retro-looking 16-inch alloy wheels and black pearl-effect paint. There are foglamps integrated into the front bumper, and chrome-capped door mirrors, too.

You get keyless entry, and as you climb inside you’re greeted by comfortable, striped, heated seats. There are floor mats underfoot and a superb driving position, with plenty of room even for tall drivers.

There’s a leather-wrapped steering wheel, gearknob and handbrake cover, alongside touchscreen sat-nav, air-con, electric windows and a body-coloured dash insert. There’s enough space for adults in the back, too. Best of all, the driving experience is the same as in any other up!.

In theory, the larger wheels offer marginally more grip, but even the cheapest up! doesn’t lack traction, so they’re more for show than go. They make the ride a bit firmer, although not so much that it becomes uncomfortable.

The pleasing rumble of the three-cylinder engine, the excellent refinement and the nimble cornering ability all remain, as does 60.1mpg fuel economy.

And if you don’t like Black, you can buy the identical up! White, with one obvious difference, for the same money.

If you were to order all these extras on a High up!, it would cost you more than £11,005 – plus you wouldn’t have the kudos of a special edition. But if you’re after value for money, look lower down the range at models that offer the same great ownership experience for less.

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