First drive Volkswagen Club up!

Volkswagen’s up! is already one of the stand­outs in the city car sector ­ not least because it offers a surprising amount of space for a small car and does so with exceptional quality.

Indeed, one of the few criticisms which has been levelled at the up! is that it can come across as a little bland. Now, to up the stakes – if you like – Volkwagen have come out with a special edition model, the Club up!

Based on the existing High up! model, the Club up! boasts an impressive specification which includes such delights as air conditioning, heated front seats, electric front windows, heated electric door mirrors and a leather steering wheel.

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In addition, it comes with a Garmin­based portable infotainment system which clips onto the dashboard. Simple and quick to fix and remove – it even has a pouch for storing in the glovebox out of sight of prying eyes – it has a five-inch touchscreen and easy to operate sat­nav, Bluetooth connectivity, MP3 playback and motoring information, part of VW’s ‘Maps and More’ package.

Our five-door test car was finished in ‘Blueberry’ – an attractive dark blue – but there’s also a ‘Black Pearl’ metallic. The Club up! also boasts 16-inch alloy wheels and privacy glass on the rear windows. On the inside, there’s a body­-coloured dashboard, special carpet mats and an attractive tartan cloth trim.

The additions are just enough to give the Club up! a lift from its more ordinary stablemates, and give it more character without going over the top into the realms of becoming gaudy.

So far, so good – but enough of aesthetics. Does the Club edition live up to expectations?

Well, as you might expect from VW, it offers exceptional ride and handles like a dream. It may be a cliche, but the Club up! really does drive as if it’s on rails. It’s fun to drive, turns on a sixpence and – perfect for a city car – squeezes into the tightest of parking spaces with 

Fast Facts

Engine: 999cc three-cyulidner petrol, 74bhp and 70lb/ft

Transmisson: Five-­speed manual

Performance: Top speed 106mph, 0-62 13.2

Economy: 60.1mpg combined

Emissions: 108g/km