The Volkswagen Up! makes no bones about what it is and what it isn’t. What it isn’t is a thoroughbred car that will satisfy all your speed thrills. What it is, however, is a smiling, fun-loving, economical city car that will net you plenty of mileage and provide state-of-the-art technology for compact vehicles.
Built in numerous concept forms over the past couple of years, the Volkswagen Up! has finally been given the production green light, and its getting ready to debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month.
For the production version, Volkswagen will be offering the Up! in three different trim versions with "take up!" being the entry level version, "move up!" being the comfort-oriented version, and "high up" being the top-of-the-line version with two special edition models of the "high up!" - "up! black" and "up! white" - scheduled to be introduced when the car officially makes its official launch at the end of the year.
UPDATE 10/10/11: Volkswagen has finally revealed the pricing details for the Up!, which you can check out after the jump!
Find out more about the Volkswagen Up! after the jump.
Exterior and Interior
For a small compact car, the Volkswagen Up! is remarkably long, measuring 3.54 meters long, 1.64 meters wide, 1.48 meters high, and a wheelbase of 2.42 meters.
The whole idea behind the Up! was to build a small compact car that maximizes space while not compromising on the car’s design and not opting for just a bland rectangular box shape. The Up! manages to come across as a heavily designed compact car that takes elements from traditional Volkswagen styling while also crafting a personality all its own.
The front end of the car is a lot similar to that of the Volkswagen E-Up! Concept from the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show with design elements that include the connection of the grille and the headlights to form a band, accented by small angles and combined with VW-signature headlights. The smiling fascia of the Up! pretty much says what the car is all about: a fun-loving city-car for the urban jungles of the future.
The Volkswagen Up!’s interior is what separates it from other cars of its segment, thanks to the long wheelbase that, in turn, results in plenty of cabin space for the driver and the passengers. Despite being a small car in every definition of the word, the Up! still has 251 liters in boot space and when the rear seat is folded, the cargo space increases to an unbelievable 951 liters. More than the spacious nature of the interior, the Up! also carries a clean and well-organized layout that includes the Dash Pad, an instrument pad that extends crosswise in the front of the driver and front passenger.
The Up! will also be offered with Volkswagen’s new maps + more system, a tool designed in collaboration with Navigon that uses a touchscreen and effectively manages all of the car’s infotainment systems.
The Volkswagen Up! will be offered with a number of engine options, including a new 1.0-liter three-cylinder gas engine that produces an output of either 60 or 75 horsepower while a natural gas engine delivers 68 horsepower.
Since the car is more about fuel efficiency than it is about performance, the Up!, when equipped with Volkswagen’s BlueMotion Technology, will return a combined fuel consumption of 55.6 mpg for the 60-horsepower version and 54.7 mpg for the 75-horsepower model. Also, according to Volkswagen, both these models are capable of emitting less than 100 g/km CO2.
Another unique technology that will come with the Up! is the optional City Emergency Braking. As a new safety technology system, the CEB is automatically active at speeds of under 30 kmh (18.6 mph) and uses a laser sensor to detect the risk of any imminent collisions. In these instances, the City Emergency Braking system initiates automatic brake interventions to significantly reduce accident severity, or even better, avoid it altogether.
The price details of the Volkswagen Up! vary depending on the trim of the car. Check out the table below how the numbers all break down:
| Trim || Engine || Price ($) |
| Take up! || 1.0-liter 5-speed manual || £7,995 ($12,500) |
| Move up! || 1.0-liter 5-speed manual || £8,970 ($14,000) |
| Move up! || 1.0-liter BlueMotion Technology 5-speed manual || £9,330 ($14,600) ||
|| High up! || 1.0-liter 5-speed manual || £10,390 ($16,200) |
| up! black || 1.0-liter 5-speed manual || £11,180 ($17,500) |
| up! white || 1.0-liter 5-speed manual || £11,180 ($17,500) |
In the name of fuel economy, the Volkswagen Up! will try to compete against other city cars that include the Fiat 500 and the Scion iQ. None of these cars will offer a high-level output to satisfy your thrill-seeking ways, but if you still want the numbers, the 2011 Scion iQ’s 1.3-liter four-cylinder produces a grand output total of 90 horsepower, which, compared to what the Up! is capable of, makes it a through and through "powerhouse." As for the 500, it gets even better, thanks to its 1.4-liter, in-line four-cylinder engine with state-of-the-art MultiAir Technology, netting an output of 101 horsepower.
But where the Up! lacks in ponies, it more than makes up for in its top-of-the-segment cabin space and excellent fuel efficiency ratings. Plus, it looks about as cute as any Volkswagen model we’ve seen in a while.
The big question now is how much the Volkswagen Up! is going to cost. At the end of the day, that’s still the biggest factor in all of this.
New technologies offer plenty of potential
Great fuel efficiency rating
Not as powerful as its competitors
No price yet
First generation model still has questions