Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 4.4
  • Excellent all-round build quality
  • Good seats
  • No reach adjustment for steering wheel

How is the quality and layout?

Despite being the smallest and cheapest car Volkswagen makes, the Up benefits from excellent all-round build quality that none of its rivals can match. The Hyundai i10 feels solid, but the quality of materials on offer falls short of the Up’s.

All-round visibility from the driver’s seat is excellent thanks to the car’s boxy design and large windows. 

Regardless of which trim you go for, driver’s seat height adjustment comes fitted as standard on the Up. Sadly, reach adjustment of the steering wheel isn’t available (even as an option) meaning some drivers may find it tricky to get completely comfortable. Also, for a car that may be driven enthusiastically from time to time, the seats lack lateral support.

Infotainment and tech

All versions of the Up come with a 5.0-inch colour screen in the middle of the dashboard.

It’s not a touchscreen, but it does come with the smartphone navigation interface and cradle, which allows the driver to use their phone as a built in sat-nav via a Volkswagen App.

It’s a fiddly system, however, so a Parkers top tip would be to still use the handy cradle, but stick to a navigation phone app that you’re happy with. Alternatively, buy a suction mount phone cradle and use the standard USB or Bluetooth connectivity to play music and make hands-free phone calls. 

Comfort

  • Good ride quality
  • Comfortable at high speeds
  • Impressive refinement 

The Up continues its grown-up feel with a well-judged ride that feels neither too firm nor too soft over all road surfaces. You’re best sticking to the 15-inch wheels of the entry-level Up or the Beats model for ultimate comfort – anything larger has a habit of crashing over large bumps – but overall the general comfort levels are among the best in class.

Road and wind noise are subdued for a car of this size, and while the engine is noisy when revved (E-Up excluded) it settles down nicely when cruising. The seats are comfortable and have good longitudinal support, even if drivers with a smaller frame may long for larger side bolsters.

With lower suspension, larger wheels and an all-round sportier set-up, the Up GTI has a noticeably firmer ride than regular versions. It’s not excessive, though, and is well suited to darting around city streets or flying down bumpy British country roads.

Just watch out for potholes, where the 17-inch alloy wheels transmit much of the shock into the cabin – not to mention their susceptibility to kerbing.