Pint-sized and perfectly formed, the Up is Volkswagen’s most recent foray into the diminutive city car market. (Also look out for both its sister cars on the list — the Skoda Citigo and the SEAT Mii.)
Launched relatively recently, the Up attempts to take everything good about a Volkswagen (supreme build quality, great engines, comfy rides, effortless driving and meticulous cabins) and condense it down into a city car-sized chassis.
And the good news is that it does so incredibly well. The Up is unmistakably Volkswagen from the inside, outside and when you're sat behind the wheel. It’s nimble enough to cope with congested city roads, comfortable and stable enough for motorway driving and, thanks to the exact German build quality, depreciates slowly.
Under the bonnet, you’ve not got too much choice but all the units have enough low end punch for zipping through city streets and its long fifth gear means you’ll manage on fast motorways.
With a city car, space is always at a premium and the good news is the Up hides a decent amount of storage in its pint-sized body.
In the boot you’ve got 251 litres of space with the seats up and 951 litres with them collapsed. So it’s slightly smaller than a Hyundai i10 (252/1046 litres) but slightly larger than, say, the Peugeot 108 (196/868 litres).
All in all, the Up is an outstanding car, managing to be exactly what it sets out to be. A slick, sensible and fantastically made car built for the city.