Volkswagen Up raises the standard

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The Up has been a huge hit for the German manufacturer Volkswagen since hitting the showrooms in 2012, with UK sales at around 35,000 to date. Since VW ceased production of the disappointing Fox, the Up has proven the posh-but-cheap city car segment can be taken on with distinct aplomb. In short, it’s among the elite in its class; an easy decision.

VW now wants to widen its appeal even more, so it was only a matter of time before they made a five-door version, which the German giant says will eventually account for 50 per cent of sales.

So it’s just a normal Up with twice as many doors? Well, yes, pretty much.

The five-door carries a dinky £375 increase over the regular three-door across the entire range. The 1.0-litre 74PS engine manages 60.1mpg, while the Bluemotion engine – which for its extra cleanliness and frugality carries a £360 surcharge over the regular engine – manages 67.3mpg and sub-100g/km of CO2. And because the car is light on its feet, the small engine never feels seriously overworked and settles down rather nicely at a 70mph cruise.

The modest increase in price will presumably be mostly thanks to the fact that the five-door shares the same exterior dimensions as the three-door, so new and costly extended floor plans or chassis were not needed, keeping build costs in check. Therefore the more practical car is still great value, starting at £8,640.

The five-door still drives with the same gusto as the three-door but now you can treat two rear passengers to easier access using their own door, while six-footers will find headroom and legroom in the back is exactly the same, so it’s just as comfortable.

In the High trim tested here, it has goodies such as 15” alloys, “Maps and More” touch-screen satnav, piano black dashboard inserts and heated front seats – everything you could possibly want in a city car. At the other end of the range, the base-trim Take five-door costs a sizeable £3,095 less but still gives you 90 per cent of the driving fun, while making do with essential kit.

Maybe it’s a German trick of the eye, but adding another set of doors has really detracted nothing in the looks department – its sleek and futuristic body thankfully still remains.

And to make your easy decision a bit more difficult, Volkswagen has now added some extra trim levels to the Up range such as Groove, Rock and special edition black and white variants, all available in five-door guise.

Thanks to the team at Barnetts Volkswagen, Dundee

VITAL STATS

Car Volkswagen High Up 1.0 75PS Bluemotion 5dr

Price £11,735

Engine 1.0L petrol, 3 cyl, 74bhp, 70lb ft

Performance Max speed 106mph; 0-62mph 13.2s

Economy 67.3mpg

CO2 emissions 98g/km

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