The exciting Volkswagen up! has been an acknowledged leader in the city car class since its launch in 2011. Setting the pace in its segment, strong sales around the world have underlined its credentials as a lively little car that’s practical, accessible, and fun. A punchy yet frugal three-cylinder 1.0-liter petrol engine offered in one of two states of tune, allied to impressive packaging and smart styling, define the up! and these strengths have all been significantly enhanced in the new-look model.
The revised up! boasts a subtly enhanced exterior design, the option of a new 1.0-liter TSI turbocharged engine offering up to 90 ps (90 horsepower) and extra equipment as standard. A significantly broader range of exterior colors, decals and roof colors, allied to a large number of interior personalization options, mean today’s up! can be carefully tailored to a buyer’s precise requirements, too, for the ultimate in city car personalization.
The four-seat Volkswagen’s exterior changes focus on the front and rear of the car, which is offered in either three- or five-door configuration. The front has a new bumper, which gives the up! a mature look and works with the revised radiator grille and bonnet to give the car a purposeful stance. The Volkswagen roundel is now chrome-on-black, the new LED running lights are an additional styling cue – enhancing safety, too – while the up!’s angular door mirrors and rear bumper has also been redesigned to give the diffuser a dramatic look.
An all-new steering wheel design brings the interior of the up! bang up to date, and is combined with a revised dash that offers exceptional quality in the class. Equipment is upgraded, too. All up! models now include, as a minimum, Volkswagen’s Composition media system, electric front windows and remote central locking. The up! also benefits from new seat cloth options, available in seven different colors, while a new USB port adds connectivity and convenience.
The revised up! range now also includes the new-for-2016 up! Beats model. Created in conjunction with high-end Californian electronics company Beats Audio, and joining the familiar Take up!, Move up!, and High up! trims, the up! Beats feature a powerful 300-watt seven-speaker sound system, including a potent subwoofer in the boot. External styling cues include bespoke color combinations, Beats graphics and, depending on the color of the car, red or black door mirrors. There’s also a subtle Beats badge on the B-pillar. Inside, the up! Beats has a 3D dashpad design, which includes the Beats logo, and a cream colored interior.
The number of up! exterior paint color options has increased from 10 to 13 and, of these, seven are new colors including Costa Azul, Honey Yellow and Savanna Gold. The roof of the new up! can be colored separately, via the new Roof Pack, in either black, white or Urano Grey. The roof pack also adds color coordinated door mirrors and 65 percent tinted rear side windows.
The personalization choices continue with four carefully constructed color packs. These bring colored alloy wheels to the up!, and the particular hue is repeated in the door mirrors and the styling decals. The choices are La Boca Goldbeige, La Boca Hot Orange, Polygon Fortana Red, Polygon Black or Polygon Sandstorm Yellow. Additional options are centered on the interior. The High up! is available with five different dash colors, including the striking Pixels Red and Pixels Honey Yellow.
Volkswagen has packed the revised up! with class-leading features that come as standard. The range opens with the Take up!: a car that includes the Composition infotainment system, remote central locking, electric front windows and driver’s seat height adjustment.
The next model in the range is the Move up!, which adds 15-inch Fortaleza alloy wheels, a color infotainment touch-screen with the Composition Phone system and Bluetooth connection.
The High up! has the Calzone design of 15-inch alloy wheels, a navigation interface and elegant ambient lighting mounted in the dash. The multi-function steering wheel allows the driver to access key controls – such as the radio – without taking his or her hands off the wheel. And the multi-function computer gives information about fuel economy, journey times and expected mileage before refueling is necessary.
The excitement around the new up! continues under the bonnet. There is now the option to specify BlueMotion Technology engines throughout the up! range. BlueMotion Technology, or BMT, saves fuel and cuts CO2 emissions. For example, when the up! comes to a halt, the engine stops and restarts automatically, thanks to the now familiar Volkswagen Stop/Start technology. BMT also includes regenerative braking, which stores energy by charging the battery as the car slows.
The engine line-up comprises two petrol engines that offer three different power outputs. A naturally aspirated three-cylinder 12-valve petrol engine is available with an output of 60 or 75 ps (59 or 74 hp), or for the first time in an up! there’s the option of a turbocharged petrol powerplant in the shape of a new three-cylinder 1.0-liter TSI engine that has an output of 90 ps. The lower output engines are offered with a five-speed manual or ASG automatic gearbox, depending on trim level.
This new turbocharged engine endows the 2016 up! with, broadly speaking, similar performance statistics to those of the original 1976 Golf GTI – that icon of hot hatches – with a sub-10 second 0-62 mile per hour (0-99 kilometers per hour) time and a top speed ,where legal, of 114 mph (182 kph). It’s 160-Newton-meter torque peak, meanwhile, ensures swift pick-up and a willing nature regardless of engine revs or gear choice. The new motor comes with a manual five-speed gearbox. Economy and emissions range from 60.1 miles per gallon (combined) to 68.9 mpg (combined) and 96 grams per kilometer to 108 g/km depending on engine and gearbox choice.
The up! includes a host of features that make driving a relaxed experience. Cruise Control maintains speed, while ParkPilot utilizes ultrasonic sensors in the rear bumper to make maneuvering in tight spaces simpler. This is further enhanced by the use of a rear-view reversing camera that is available with the Composition Phone system.
Smartphone integration has taken a significant step forward in the new Volkswagen up!. The Composition system features a 3.1-inch monochrome display, DAB radio and a CD player. This is standard in the entry-level Take up! trim. Meanwhile all other trims come with the Composition Color system as standard.
This features a five-inch color display screen and uses Bluetooth connectivity for audio. With the Maps + More Volkswagen App, all smartphones with iOS or Android operating systems can be clicked into the USB-enabled docking station above the dash and the smartphone is then turned into a handy extension of the infotainment system. This enables access to navigation, speakerphone, trip computer and other features.
At the cutting edge of this technology is the new up!’s handwriting recognition system. It is used when the driver or front passenger is searching for names, phone numbers, addresses or music titles. Each letter entered refines the search and large icons simplify the intuitive input.
The revised up! is packed with safety features. ESC is Volkswagen’s Electronic Stabilization Control that helps reduce the risk of skidding. It’s backed up with anti-lock braking system). Additionally, driver and front passenger airbags and an early crash sensor, which activates the seatbelt tensioners feature in the car. The two rear seats are fitted with the ISOFIX system to make child seat installation simple, and City Emergency Braking predicts frontal impacts and primes the brakes. If the driver doesn’t intervene, the brakes are then applied, reducing accident severity or even avoiding a collision entirely.