Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 4.4
  • Three petrol engines available on regular Up models
  • Plus a 115hp petrol for the Up GTI
  • And an 82hp electric motor fitted to the E-Up
VW Up powertrains

The Volkswagen Up is available with three engines – all 1.0-litre petrol three-cylinder TSI units with varying power outputs – plus a punchier 115hp version for the GTI and an all-electric motor for the E-Up.

A choice of a five- or six-speed manual or five-speed auto is available depending on version, with the E-Up simply using an electric motor to provide drive.

Volkswagen Up engines

Kicking off the range is a 60hp 1.0-litre producing 95Nm of torque and capable of accelerating from 0-62mph in 14.4 seconds. Top speed is a claimed 101mph.

VW Up petrol

For those after more performance, the 75hp version has the same level of torque but the extra 15hp brings its 0-62mph time down to 13.2 seconds, with a top speed rated of 106mph.

VW Up TSI

The most powerful engine available on the regular Up benefits from turbocharging and thus produces 90hp and 160Nm of torque, meaning a 0-62mph time of 9.9 seconds. Top speed comes in at 115mph.

Volkswagen Up GTI engine

Powering the Up GTI is a 115hp 1.0-litre petrol, producing 200Nm of torque and a 0-62mph time of 8.8 seconds. Top speed is a claimed 122mph. It’s a lively feeling engine, with plenty of low down pulling power and a growling engine note helped by the standard-fit sound actuator.

Its relatively low power may disappoint some, but the Up GTI never feels slow or weedy, plus there’s every excuse to rev the engine right to its red line – even if peak power does arrive at 5,500rpm.

Volkswagen E-Up motor

If low running costs are your priority, the 60kW (equivalent to 82hp) E-Up is capable of a claimed 99 miles of range from a single charge, all the while emitting zero CO2 emissions. Acceleration to 62mph is a reasonable 12.4 seconds (although it will feel quicker than this up to around 30mph) while top speed is 80mph.

Volkswagen Up transmissions

A five-speed manual is available on all versions of the Up (apart from the Up GTI and E-Up). If you want the five-speed automatic, it’s offered on 60, 75 and 90hp variants.

The Up GTI comes as standard with a six-speed manual, while the E-Up uses its electric motor to provide drive to the front wheels. 

  • Agile, nimble and easy to drive…
  • Yet encouragingly stable at high speeds
  • Up GTI is enormous fun on a twisty road

VW Up drive

The Volkswagen Up handles with more poise and stability than other city car rivals, yet still feels nippy and manoeuvrable around town. There’s enough grip on offer, and the body resists roll through all but the sharpest corners.

VW Up engine

Parking is easy thanks to non-existent blindspots and short overhangs, while the steering – feather light at low speeds – weights up nicely when you get onto a faster road. Overall, the Up – regardless of which engine you opt for – is great fun to drive, yet safe and stable at the same time.

VW Up GTI handling

If you’re intent on extracting the maximum amount of fun from the Up, the GTI model is the place to be. Lower to the ground than the regular Up, it feels that bit more stable at speed and builds on the what is an already capable chassis with bigger brakes and tweaked suspension.

VW Up GTI

Corners are a joy to negotiate and, while grip levels aren’t endless, it only adds to the fun that can be had at sensible speeds – a rarity in the power-obsessed world of modern performance cars. For more information on how the Up GTI drives, head to our Buying and Selling section for the full road test.