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Monday, April 9, 2012 12:00
Liking the Up!
By Seán Creedon
• The Up is a tall city car with room for four people, well maybe five at a squeeze.

A FEW years ago Kia introduced a car with an apostrophe in the name, the cee’d. Now Volkswagen is infuriating grammar experts by using an exclamation mark in the title of their new small car the Up! I am not a fan of people who overuse the exclamation mark when writing, but that didn’t put me off liking the Up!

It seems strange to keep using an exclamation mark every time I mention the car so from here on it will be a plain Up. Still you have got to admire the marketing people in VW who came up with the names.

The entry model is the Take Up, then there is the Move Up and the top of the range High Up.

I drove a red coloured top of the range model and it was really cute with a black boot. Inside the red and black theme is continued. There was a shiny black anthracite surface on the dash and that’s complimented by generous touches of the red on the two doors. Only a two-door model available for now, but there will be a four-door edition later in the year and an electric version is expected at the end of 2013.

The small car sector is very competitive right now and the VW group has two more similar cars on the way later this year, the Citigo from Skoda and Seat’s Mii. Then you have the Ford Ka, Fiat 500 and a new edition of the Fiat Panda is also in showrooms now.

The Up is a tall city car with room for four people, well maybe five at a squeeze. Legroom in the back will depend on how far back the front seats are pushed back, but there is plenty of headroom in the rear. As I said earlier the black anthracite on the dash is very attractive as is the sporty-looking steering wheel. The dash itself is well laid out and there are decent controls for the radio. In most cars the driver can open or close the electric window on the passenger side, but not in the Up.

On the road the 1.0 litre engine is lively and you won’t be left behind at the traffic lights. But while it’s fast enough there is a bit of road noise, but then nothing that the excellent radio won’t drown out. There is also a city emergency brake function where the brakes are applied if somebody walks out in front of you in slow moving traffic.

Apart from the hassle of getting out to allow a back seat passenger in or out, the other problem with a two-door car is the wide sweep you get when opening the doors; be careful or you will scratch that car near you in the supermarket car park.

Prices start at €10,995 for the entry level Take Up, the Move Up is €11,895, while the top of the range High Up model will cost you €12,895. Naturally emissions are low at 108 g/km and the car comes in at the lowest possible road tax rate that is now €160 per annum.

Volkswagen is expecting to grab at least ten per cent of the small car market with this model. VW also provide finance from their own bank and you can get an Up for €99 per month, but you will also need a trade-in or a deposit of approximately €3,000 and then it will be €99 per month for 36 months.

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