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1. Volkswagen up! - Best city cars

The up! is the priciest of the VW Group’s city car trio to buy, though it’s also the slowest to depreciate – that’s the power of the ‘premium’ VW badge at work.

VW up!

The up! is the priciest of the VW Group’s city car trio to buy, though it’s also the slowest to depreciate – that’s the power of the ‘premium’ VW badge at work.

For some, that badge will be enough to see them into a new VW up!, but it’s not all the little car has to offer. Like its siblings, the up!’s driving manners just eclipse anything else in this class – the chassis is just so well sorted. The up! is brilliant fun to punt down a back road, while remaining comfortable on a cruise and absorbing all but the biggest bumps in town.

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The up! is the most stylish of the three sister cars (the others being the Skoda Citigo and SEAT Mii), thanks to a clean design up front and a classy all-glass tailgate. It’s also the most customisable. On top of the various trim levels (with fun names like ‘High up! and Rock up!) there are loads of combinations of alloy wheels, seat trims and interior extras to choose from. If you want a city car with real performance, there's also the punchy up! GTI with 113bhp.

Be careful, though, as adding extras like this will soon see the price shoot past that of much larger cars. The up! is already the most expensive of the trio and standard equipment is no more generous – you really are paying for the badge.

Remember too that Skoda’s dealers rated much higher than Volkswagen’s in our Driver Power Survey – another reason why it’s difficult to gloss over the VW’s higher purchase price. Still, if you’re able to negotiate a great deal – there’s no reason why you shouldn’t go for an up! over its siblings – you’ll still be getting a great city car, in fact it's our current favourite in this class, winning the 2019 Auto Express City Car of the Year.

Best city cars

  1. VW up!
  2. Skoda Citigo
  3. Kia Picanto
  4. Hyundai i10
  5. Vauxhall Viva
  6. Toyota Aygo
  7. SEAT Mii
  8. Renault Twingo
  9. Citroen C1/Peugeot 108
  10. Suzuki Celerio
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