Northstar Motor Group blogs about cars
New VW Polo and Golf : 2012 Volkswagen Up auto: first drive review
comments by Bob Aldons - Northstar VW
Peter Barnwell of News Limited Community Newspapers provides insightful comment on the new VW Up auto. And Peter's first impression is that you should stick to the delightful 6 speed manual rather than the automatic.
Whilst some of his critique may be harsh, having driven a Smartfor recently, I'd agree that technology doesn't transfer into small clutchless manuals. If you're thinking it will be like Volkswagens impressive DSG gearbox, then think again. Simply the engineers at VW couldn't fit the dsg box into the Up. If you have to, then you'll have to put up with the quirkiness of the gearbox, but if not, then the manual version, will be your pick.
How does 4.5l/100k sound - the Volkswagen Up is all about providing a fun but economical car - for city commuters. Northstar VW can't wait to see it later in the year.
VW Up is built on a new platform that will be leveraged for quite a few other models in the near future.
Peter Barnwell road tests and reviews the five-speed auto 2012 VW Up in Germany.
We have been waiting for a while to drive this little car, which Volkswagen is adding to the city light-car field.
They trotted out a cute little red Up five-door with the 'big' 55kW, 1.0-litre three cylinder petrol engine. This was also the first drive by anyone outside Volkswagen of the new five-speed automated manual model - the "auto" for want of a better description.
Up is a while away scheduled for a local launch late this year probably in three and five door variants with two versions of the 1.0-litre three pot, the 55kW and the 44kW. Up has been built to cater for a growing call for smaller city cars that offer many attributes from larger cars.
VW Up is built on a new platform that will be leveraged for quite a few other models in the near future. In Europe, Up is available in a number of grades starting with the Take Up then moving through Move Up, High Up, Black Up and White Up in ascending equipment order.
The car gets a Euro five star crash rating (equivalent to four here) and as such has four air bags and stability control as well as high strength steel chassis components.
The five-door model we drove seats four in relative comfort with adequate rear seat leg and headroom. The boot is a useable size, deep but not very wide. We couldn't find a spare in there.
It scores plenty of features including aircon, Bluetooth connectivity and on the Bluemotion model, auto stop/start, regenerative electricity harvesting and low rolling resistance tyres. Fuel economy is in the low 4.0-litres/100km bracket for both engines and both five speed transmissions.
Up passes Euro 5 emissions regs and can be optioned with a portable Maps and More sat nav system that is networked into the cars electronics. This was fitted to the drive car and proved a godsend in the back blocks surrounding Wolfsburg. It even tells you when you are exceeding the speed limit.
Our drive car also had the large blue tinted glass sliding sunroof, daytime running lights, 16-inch alloys and City Emergency Braking that operates up to speeds of 30kmh. The auto is likely to be a low cost option but after our drive, we wouldn't recommend it because it causes the car to lurch with each gear change and rushes to a higher gear to cut fuel use at the expense of driveability.
We'd go for the manual every time. The little warbling 1.0-litre donk has good pick-up and hums along like a beauty on the highway at the speed limit. There's a bit in reserve if you need it and fuel economy at these speeds is phenomenal down into the 3.0s.
Ride is surprisingly good for such a small and short car and it has a small turning circle. We rate it a fun car to drive in a range of driving environments.
The interior looks good but doesn't have many soft surfaces except for the seats with perforated upholstery in the test car. It has a decent audio system and plenty of storage options.
We like the painted interior surfaces and the contrast interior colours. It has a cheeky face and pert tail and is a whole lot more functional and better to look at than the Smart for Two for example bigger and less expensive too.
What we want to know is how VW in Australia is going to fit this car in around the Polo, Skoda Fabia and same under the skin Skoda Citigo?