New Volkswagen up! GTI 2018

Volkswagen are guaranteeing plenty of smiles.

The Volkswagen up! is known to be the spirit of original hot hatches since the year of 1976 - which most car lovers will understand was a big event due to the launch of the Volkswagen Golf GTI.
On paper and in real-life, this speedy version of VW’s smallest model looks remarkably similar to the Golf, although is it in the same league as the iconic original?
It’s looks
The up! GTI is really looking the part, it consists of the traditional VW GTI add-ons such as the red strips in the bumpers to the GTI badges front and rear. Inside, it contains the tartan upholstery – which if you’re a Volkswagen fan, you’ll know this a throwback to the first GTi.
From looking at its body, it still manages to stay stylish, as its exposed body-coloured metal door tops look cool, and even with the hard-plastic features – these still look satisfactory and feel sturdy.
The dashboard is simplistic, so it’s great for new drivers who just want something easy to get to grips with. Although, we do have an issue amongst many others who may feel the same, that the top of the steering wheel gets in the way. We have found this has been the case with many people, regardless of their build and height – everyone has struggled.
Tech-wise, a sharp 5.0-in colour screen comes as standard, however, if you wanted to upgrade to the high-end system, this will include Bluetooth, a USB socket and a six-speaker hi-fi. It’s worth mentioning, if you download a free app to your phone (we love the freebies), this can be operated via the screen and use it as a sat-nav. In addition to this, there’s even a cradle on the dashboard to hold the phone, although this accepts devices with a screen size of up to 5.5in only.
In comparison to larger hot hatches like the Honda Civic Type R – then there is a substantial difference between that and the up! GTI. In the front, there’s plenty of head and legroom for tall adults.
Due to its “boxy” exterior, this means it’s not too bad in the rear, as there’s at least as much room as there is in a Renault Twingo GT and more than an Abarth 595 offers. That means two six-foot individuals can just about get comfortable behind a couple of occupants in the front.
In terms of storage, we’d say it’s quite beneficial, with its wide, deep door pockets and a single cup holder located centrally at the bottom of the dashboard. Also, you have the option to add extra space, you simply drop the standard one-piece folding rear backrest and there you have it! With the seat folded, there’s a sizeable step left in the extended boot floor, but simply lifting the standard dual-height boot floor to its higher setting helps level this out.
Driving capability and performance
When first taking it out on the road, it has an additive noise you’d never get tired of, due to the revs of the engine. To be honest, you don’t need to, because the response from low revs is very good. Although, it isn’t very powerful, as it’s a small car – its engine makes it feel very nippy. As its stronger the nearer you get to that red line.
The heart of the up GTI! is its 113bhp engine, and when you consider that most three-cylinder turbo units are needed in order for it to be worked like a washing machine on the fast spin to get them going, this one’s a revelation. Although it’s not fair to compare it to the Abarth 595, however, it’s a lot quicker than the Renault Twingo GT.
The standard six-speed manual gearbox’s well-spaced ratios play a role in the up FTI’s verve, while the smooth gear change, positive clutch action and progressive brakes make it appear more refined than any other city car around.  On the open road, the slick gearbox helps, and it’s enjoyable working your way up and down the gears to keep the engine spinning. The truth is, while the up! GTI is pretty nimble, its handling isn’t quite up to scratch to compare it to the nowadays hottest hatches like the Ford Fiesta.
Depending on your needs for a car – if you would only use it for short-distance journeys, this is a great car for you.
Interesting Facts:
Price - £13,750
Engine – 1.0-litre 3cyl turbocharged petrol
Power/Torque – 113bhp/200Nm
Transmission: Six-speed manual, front wheel drive
0-62mph – 8.8 seconds
Top speed – 122mph
Economy/CO2 – 58,9mpg/100g/km
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