In-depth reviews

Volkswagen up! GTI review - Interior, design and technology

The up! GTI looks great and comes with a long list of standard equipment

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Interior, design and technology Rating

4.2 out of 5

  • Huge fun to drive
  • Low running costs
  • Interior quality
  • ESP can’t be turned off
  • Steering lacks feel
  • Standard up! is nearly as much fun

The Volkswagen up! might be approaching its ninth birthday, but the GTI model still looks clean and fresh. The transformation from humdrum to hero comes courtesy of 17-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, suspension lowered by 15mm, chrome exhaust tailpipe, red detailing, a deeper front bumper, a larger rear spoiler and some strategically positioned GTI badges.

Having decided whether you want the practicality of a five-door or the authentic hot hatch vibes of the three-door, there are five colours to choose from. Tornado Red is the no-cost option, but the GTI is also available in Pure White, Pure White with a black roof, Tornado Red with a black roof and Tungsten Silver with a black roof.

Inside, the up! GTI gets heated sports seats finished in Jacara Red cloth upholstery, a flat-bottomed leather-trimmed steering wheel with red stitching, GTI detailing and a unique GTI gear knob with red detailing.

The interior quality is excellent, with the major controls feeling reassuringly solid and hard-wearing. Standard equipment includes air conditioning, red ambient lighting and electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The up! GTI doesn’t feature a conventional infotainment system. Instead, drivers can download a Maps + More smartphone app, which takes care of the navigation and media function. The phone sits in a neat dash-mounted cradle above the rather rudimentary five-inch colour screen. Bluetooth, a USB port, six speakers and a DAB digital radio complete the package.

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