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.

Things To Do In Denver When You’re Drunk: Let A 15-Foot Snake Slither Out Of Your Car

This firefighters who came upon this strange incident by chance probably had the scare of their life until they contained it.

Hennessey Gives Chevy Silverado Extra Pair Of Wheels, Calls It The Goliath 6×6

Based on the Trail Boss Z71, it can be upgraded to 705 HP and starts at $375,000, donor truck included.

Uber Driver Gets Mistaken For Getaway Driver, Gets Arrested, Then Released

The Uber driver gave a ride to a man who had just robbed a gas station with a pair of scissors.

Prancing Horse Invites The Public To Maranello With Universo Ferrari Event

The Universo Ferrari event will allow visitors to see the company’s best road and race cars of all time.

2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 4Matic Launches With 385 HP

The new 2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 4Matic features a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6.

2020 Cadillac CT5 Costs Nearly $10,000 Less Than The CTS

Tired of fighting the Germans head-on, Cadillac’s CT5 looks like a bargain.

Tuned BMW 640i Doesn’t Give A Hoot About The New 840i

Senner has made this 640i Convertible more powerful than its 8-Series counterpart.

Continental Says Fully Autonomous Cars May Not Arrive Before 2030

Tech needs to be improved, regulation put in place and the public must trust them – and that will take time.

New Lotus Sports Car Coming Late Next Year, Will Be Launched In 2021

The upcoming model could be a replacement for the Elise, Exige or Evora.

Alpina Once Considered Making A High-End Mini

Alpina couldn’t justify the complexity and cost involved in making its own version of the Mini.