Volkswagen up! 5-dr

We get behind the wheel of the five-door Volkswagen up! on British roads for the first time

Overall Auto Express Rating

5.0 out of 5

The five-door model adds another string to the up!’s bow, but doesn’t affect its dynamic ability, playful character and low running costs. It looks just as sharp too, although it loses the three-doors distinctive kink in the window line. On the move it offers the refinement and comfort of a much larger car, and it exudes a level of desirability no other city car can match.

The VW up! is a great all-rounder in three-door form, but now the five-door model has arrived in the UK. Are there any drawbacks to having an extra pair of doors? We drove a flagship High up! model, complete with optional eco BlueMotion technology, to find out.

The five-door certainly looks sharp in the Tornado Red paint of our car, and is just as well proportioned as the three-door.

The extra doors mean that it trades the three-door’s stylish upward kick for a flat window line, which is a shame, but other than that it’s identical, including the black tailgate. It’s the same length and rides on the same wheelbase, too.

Inside, there are smart perforated cloth seats, a colour-coded dash, portable sat-nav and heated seats. The driving position is just as good as in the three-door, too.

The big news is in the back, though. Although the extra doors are on the small side, they are by no means flimsy. Climb in, and you’ll find plenty of headroom, legroom and elbowroom, with a clever space under the front seats for rear passengers to put their feet.

A six-footer will fit comfortably, even with a similarly tall driver up front. Squeezing three adults across the rear bench is best avoided for long trips.

The extra pair of doors don’t eat into the up!’s boot space, either. In fact, there’s an additional eight litres more space than in the three-door, with the same 251 litres behind the rear passengers expanding to 959 litres once the seats are folded flat.

Around town and on short trips, the up! comes into its own, and is just as much fun to drive as the three-door, mainly because there’s no weight penalty. The steering is sharp and responsive, and the ride is supple – even on the High up!’s 15-inch wheels – providing an appealing mix of comfort and agility.

Our test car was fitted with the more powerful 74bhp version of the 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine, but even so there’s much more grip than power, making the up! playful and confidence-inspiring around corners. Up the pace and the five-door remains remarkably composed, even over mid-corner bumps, and has strong braking to match.

The five-door up! is £365 more than the equivalent three-door, and it’s available in all three trim levels, as well as the up! Black and up! White special editions. Fuel consumption matches the three-door too, with the BlueMotion topping the range with 67.3mpg and 95g/km CO2.

The five-door Volkswagen up! takes the charm and style of the three-door and adds an extra level of user friendliness for just a few hundred pounds more.

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