Volkswagen up! goes

higher

Volkswagen up!, 2016, front, action
Volkswagen up!, 2016, side
Volkswagen up!, 2016, front
Volkswagen up!, 2016, line up
Volkswagen up!, 2016, dashboard
Volkswagen up!, 2016, rear
Volkswagen up!, 2016, interior
Volkswagen up!, 2016, seats

VOLKSWAGEN'S entry level motor, the highly successful up! city car, has been around since 2012 and has been sold to around 700,000 people in Europe and around the world.

It still looks fresh and lively but VW has decided to give it a facelift, including snappier body design and interior improvements plus a new top of the range turbo powered three-cylinder engine which will be the most powerful in the line-up.

This TSI petrol unit gives the new up! 90bhp which results in acceleration from standstill to 62mph in just under ten seconds and even with this extra power VW claims on a combined run you could get around 64mpg.

I have always admired the little VW's looks but this second generation up!, although not a radical change, makes it even more attractive.

It comes with newly designed headlights with LED daytime running lights, a modified bumper with re-designed front trim strips and a more contoured bonnet which give it a sharper, sportier look and it appears wider and more mature.

Coming in either three or five-door, other changes to the up! include new wheels of up to 17 inches in diamter, wing mirrors with integrated indicators and new light clusters at the rear.

The interior, as you'd expect from VW, is made from quality materials and I found the revised seats very comfortable and supportive when sitting in front of a new media screen and multi-function leather steering wheel.

The new display screen, with redesigned button controls, houses the radio plus air con controls and other features including a clip on unit on top to house a smartphone connected to a downloadable Volkswagen app. It will hold a mobile up to 5.5 inches in size but I would have preferred if this had been a built-in unit.

The up! feels much bigger inside than you'd expect and VW says its internal space is the same as a VW Polo.

In the UK the new up! will come with a choice of two petrol engines offering three engine outputs of 60bhp or 70bhp, plus the new turbocharged 1.0-litre TSI which I found to offer excellent overtaking ability, aided by a very slick five-speed manual gearchange.

On the road the little German motor, which goes on sale in September, is a pleasure to drive.

Despite its diminutive size there is very little road, wind or engine noise and it's an ideal super-mini for nipping in and out of tight situations in town traffic and is surprisingly agile out on the open road.

It cornered well on a pretty demanding twisty route with very little body roll and on the motorway could hold its own with much bigger motors.

The new up! will also be offered as an all-electric model powered by a compact AC motor producing 82bhp.

Prices for the new up! are expected to start from £8,995 entry level three-door 60bhp and trim levels are Take up!, Move up!, High up! and up! Beats.

The up! Beats version comes with a 300-watt sound system from the American audio specialist and comes with an eight-channel amplifier and a digital signal processor and the system provides seven high-end speakers for concert style sound.

There's a lot of competition in the small city car sector, from the likes of the Fiat 500, Citroen C1, Peugeot 108 and Hyundai i10, but I can see the new VW up! continuing to lead the field.

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