My how time flies. The awesome little Volkswagen Up! has been with us for nearly two years now and over 4 800 of them have been sold. Actually I would have expected a whole lot more to have found homes because it is, without a doubt, the best damn small car money can buy at the moment. Well to make it even better Volkswagen has just given the Up! an, uh, update. These are the five most important things you need to know about it:
1: It looks a little meaner
There was some past criticism that the original Up! looked a tad too soft. So the Wolfsburg aesthetics department went and bolted in some new front and rear bumpers, a more contoured bonnet as well as a pair of LED daytime running lights. You’ll also find redesigned taillight clusters, a rear air-diffuser and some exciting new wheel designs – some that now measure 16-inches in diameter. Now although this doesn’t sound like much it’s enough to move the Up! a notch or two, uh, up the manliness scale. Good job, Volkswagen.
2: There’s no turbo motor under the hood
When the facelifted Up! launched overseas earlier this year the biggest news was the addition of the turbocharged 66kW/160Nm 1.0-litre TSI motor. Why? Well simply because it bestowed the littlest Volkswagen hatch with performance not dissimilar to that of the very first Golf GTI. Rad. Unfortunately us South Africans aren’t getting this engine. At least not for the time being. Which means we have to make do with the normally aspirated 55kW/95Nm 1.0-litre three-cylinder MPI.
3: The interior is more entertaining
Okay so the entry-level Take Up! model now gets a 3.1-inch ‘Composition’ media system with a simple monochrome display that’ll take you right back to the 1980s. Features include radio/CD, an Aux-in jack as well as a SD card slot that nobody will ever use.
Buy a Move Up!, Up Beats (see below) or Cross Up! and you’ll be blessed with the new ‘Composition Phone’ infotainment system that sports a 5-inch colour display, radio (no CD), USB, Aux-in port as well as full Bluetooth connectivity. It too has a SD card slot that nobody will ever use. On top of this you also have the option of specifying Volkswagen’s ‘Maps + More’ smartphone app (standard with the Up! Beats) that adds features such as navigation, telephony and all sorts of car-specific information (coolant temperature etc) to the digital fray.
4: There’s a Beats model for annoying the crap out of your neighbors
If you enjoy making a noise, terrorizing the neighborhood with your crunk, dub or two-step then you’ll dig the Up! Beats model that gets a 300-watt Beats Audio sound system armed with no less than seven speakers: two tweeters in the A-pillars, two woofers in the front doors, two broadband speakers in the back and a subwoofer neatly integrated into the spare wheel well. Yes this means that there’s no spare so if you do get a puncture the provided tyre-sealant can’t fix then you’re basically screwed. The Beats also gets its own unique set of 15-inch ‘Radial’ alloy wheels.
5: The cabin is more contemporary
Contemporary? What the hell does this even mean? It means that I’ve pretty much run out of important things to say about this new facelifted Volkswagen. Instead I’ll end off by highlighting its new dashboard inserts (above) and revised ambient lighting package. Oh and the fact that all models except the Take Up! now sport a leather multi-function steering wheel and gear knob. – Thomas Falkiner
Retail Prices (VAT and emissions tax included)
1.0 MPI Take Up!: R164 700
1.0 MPI Move Up!: R178 300
1.0 MPI Up! Beats: R194 700
1.0 MPI Cross Up!: R194 700