VW Up! GTI Tested: Does It Really Deserve The Iconic Badge?

Petrol heads love hot hatches, and as of earlier this year, Volkswagen has a new one to cater to its clients: the Up! GTI.

It’s their smallest and most affordable fun-to-drive car, slotting under the Polo GTI and Golf GTI. And since the Up! is already a great city model, the GTI can only be even more interesting.

With the slightly more aggressive exterior styling, it certainly looks the part. There’s a lowered ground clearance compared to lesser versions, larger alloy wheels and even a tartan upholstery inside to remind enthusiasts that they’re indeed sitting in one special VW.

Also Watch: GTIs Galore: VW Hot Hatch Family Feud Ends With Near Photo Finish

Speaking of the interior, the build quality is just fine, but when they’ll remember that they’re sitting in a hot hatch that starts at £14,455 ($18,554/€16,270) in the UK, they’ll definitely come to appreciate it. All versions have a 5-inch infotainment system, Bluetooth, USB and a 6-speaker sound system as standard. There’s a phone app that can be downloaded, and only then drivers will be able to control the screen and use the sat-nav. Securing their mobile device is a built-in mount.

The small petrol engine sounds meaty, but it was digitally enhanced. Don’t expect explosive performance from the little the Up! GTI. However, 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) takes 8.5 seconds, and top speed is 210 km/h (130 mph) – which, for a city car, is more than enough. Especially if you consider that power comes from a 115 PS (113 hp / 84 kW) and 200 Nm (148 lb-ft) of torque 1.0-liter three-banger that’s paired to a six-speed manual transmission.

Gear shifting is smooth, road and wind noise are quite decent, and the suspension is on the firm side, but not harsh. So, what else is there to know about it? WhatCar has the answers, in their review that you can watch in the video right below.


  • Paul

    A little Giddy UP go.

  • Bash


  • Miknik

    Reviewers (or the BS they get to tell form the press release) make it look like this was the first small hot hatch, because cars like the Abarth 500 (only on sale for 10 years in various stages of “bad boy”), the Opel Adam with 150hp or even the 2nd gen Twingo RS (again, not even on sale anymore, yet more powerful than this) didn’t exists; A few tartan seat covers and larger wheels don’t magically reinvent a segment, because otherwise, this is nothing special.

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