The VW Up! GTI Might Be Small, But It’s No Slouch

The most affordable hot hatch in Volkswagen’s modern range is the Up! GTI, and the German automaker wants us to perceive it as the spiritual successor to the CAR that established the whole GTI segment.

Dressed in a fun-to-drive package, enhanced by the tweaked suspension and other work carried beneath the body, along with some exterior and interior add-ons and ‘Clark’ seat cover pattern, the Up! GTI pays homage to the “original GTI from 1976″, in the automaker’s own words.

Tipping the scale at 997kg (2,198lbs), the small hot hatch is powered by a turbocharged 1.0-liter three-banger that pushes 115PS (113hp) and 200Nm (148lb-ft) of torque to the front axle. Officially, the 0 to 100km/h (62mph) sprint takes 8.8 seconds, which is exactly what AutoMannTV did in their video drive of the car.

The film doesn’t show the Up! GTI being pushed to its top speed, but we do know that, given enough space, it will top out at 196km/h (122mph).

So, how much does one need have pay for this exciting little car? That would be at least £13,750 ($19,583) in the United Kingdom for the three-door body style, or £400 ($570) more for the five-door version. In Germany, however, it has a starting price of €16,975, which equals to $21,100 at today’s exchange rates.


  • Bash

    I said this before and I still saying it, I’m really not convinced in it!

  • dhoosee

    This would be a fun drive. Being more realistic, really wish that I could own a Polo GTI, but alas, Volkswagen refuses to bring it to the United States.

  • ace_9

    Only a fool would consider this instead of a new Swift Sport…

    • Vassilis

      Well, it does look better and it’s probably a nicer every day car.

      • ace_9

        Yes, it looks better for most people, but swift does not look so bad, that it would justify choosing the up! And I disagree about every day usage. I may be wrong, but I don’t see much regarding practicality that would benefit the up!

        • sidewaysspin

          The Swift Sport is a proper compact hatch while this VW is just a micro-car for the city, you cannot even compare the two.

        • Vassilis

          Well, according to pretty much every review, the Up is the best car overall in its segment. In combines every day use, practicality and build quality in a better way than the rest.

          In terms of looks, the Swift only comes as a 5door nowadays. That’s enough to be a no-no for a lukewarm hatch. The previous generation was awesome though.

          • ace_9

            There are only very few cars in Ups segment, so it is not that big achievement if it is considered the best from them. Swift is above the Up, not the true competitor. It’s bigger, equally well made, it’s better equipped, has a better suspension, better and much more powerful engine… You actually didn’t point out anything that is better on Up compared to Swift, apart from styling (which is not really an objective point). You are even contradicting yourself by at first pointing out that Up is supposedly better every day car, but later your argued, that five doors on Swift are worse. But five doors are better for every day practicality, so what exactly is it on Up that makes it nicer every day car and a better warm hatch ? And btw. even three door Up (997 kg) weights more than a Swift, if the 970 kg figure will prove to be right…

          • Vassilis

            Yeah you’re right actually, I rushed into this. They aren’t on the same segment so there’s no point comparing them. Regarding the 5 doors thing, yes they are more practical but specifically in this case we’re talking about sporty hatches. Three doors are simply more appropriate in most of them.

  • Mr_Fanta_Pants

    The regular Up! is such a fun car to drive that I imagine that this would be an absolute hoot!

  • Wandering_Spirit


  • SteersUright

    8.8 sec 0-60mph is indeed, definitively an absolute SLOUCH for anything marketed as “sporty”. And stop praising cars from automakers known for polluting our air and getting ahead by betraying the public’s trust and cheating.

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