Volkswagen up! review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
It's small, but the 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 has the same interior as its sister cars, the SEAT Mii and the Skoda Citigo, and while it isn’t as big inside as the Polo supermini, 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.
However, while that was big for a city car in 2011, the Up has been surpassed by budget rivals like the Dacia Sandero and Ford Ka+ in terms of outright load space. Neither can match the VW's quality interior, however.
In this review
- 1Volkswagen up! reviewThe Volkswagen up! is a sensible city car that has practicality, style and fun driving up its sleeve
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe engine options are limited, but that's not too much of a bad thing
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe Volkswagen Up is a small car with a small engine, which means low running costs
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Volkswagen Up is surprisingly sophisticated for a such a small car
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingIt's small, but the Up is spacious for a city car
- 6Reliability and SafetyVolkswagen has a solid reputation for reliability and the Up has a good Euro NCAP score