In-depth reviews

Volkswagen up! review - Practicality, comfort and boot space

It may be compact, but the Volkswagen up! is spacious for a city car

The up! is available as a three or a five-door hatchback with four seats and the compact but spacious layout means it’s perfect for short journeys and young families. The up! isn’t as big inside as the Polo supermini, but the versatile interior should prove practical enough. The comfortable, upright driving position and good all-round visibility make it very easy to drive. There are plenty of cubbyholes, too.


Don't be fooled by the up!'s big-car feel, it is still very compact, with a length of 3,540mm, width of 1,645mm and height of 1,489mm. It is the same size as the Fiat 500, but thanks to its 2,420mm wheelbase, the up! is much more spacious than its Italian rival. It’s obviously the same size as the near identical SEAT Mii and the Skoda Citigo but it’s bigger and has a larger boot than the Toyota Aygo, Peugeot 108 and Citroen C1 trio.

Leg room, head room & passenger space

The inner roof is shaped to accommodate taller rear passengers. It means that while the up! isn’t exactly a family-sized car, there is quite a bit more space than you’d expect from a car of this size for those in the back seats – and the same goes for legroom. It’s only a four-seater though, so you may want to look elsewhere if you need the extra central seat in the back.


The up! has a 251-litre boot and space remains the same for both the three-door and five-door models, though the latter has better access to the rear seats. To achieve this figure you need the false floor in its lowest setting, which creates a high loading lip. All cars bar the entry-level model get split-folding rear seats, which creates a 959-litre load area, and with the floor panel raised the load area is completely flat.

The boot is bigger than the majority of rival city cars can offer, but the Volkswagen is beaten by the Hyundai i10, which has a 252-litre boot that expands to 1,046 litres when the rear seats are folded flat. 

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