Volkswagen UP and e-UP are fun little city cars – history and review

The VW up! is a small car from Volkswagen AG. It is counted among the “New Small Family” in the group. The vehicle is the successor to the VW Fox in Europe. The car entered the German market on December 3, 2011 and has been available in all European markets since April 2012.

VW up! (2011-2016)

Model history

The vehicle is part of the new small family modular system. In addition to the up!, also the Seat Mii and Škoda Citigo. The bodies hardly differ for the individual brands. Externally, the changes are limited to the rear side walls, the bumpers, the bonnet and the grille.

All model and brand variations for the European market are manufactured at Volkswagen Slovakia in Bratislava. For the Russian market, the assembly of the vehicle at the factory, Volkswagen Group Rus in Kaluga, Russia. For the remaining markets, however, the assembly of vehicles is planned at Škoda Auto India.


The vehicle has been available as a five-door model since May 2012.

Since November 2012, it came with natural gas powered engine as an option. It costed around 2,000 euros more than a petrol engine; these additional costs were amortized after around 50,000 km.

Rear view three-door (2011-2016)

In 2013, a purely electric variant of the car called e-up! and a range of up to 160 km or 100 miles.

The load up! has four doors, but only two seats, the cargo area is separated from the passenger compartment by a grille.

Since 2014, the cross-up! (only as a four-door) was available on the market.

VW high up! Five-door (since 2016)

In May 2017, Volkswagen presented the up! at the GTI meeting at Lake Wörthersee. The concept and power of the 85 kW (115 hp) model are based on the Golf GTI I with 81 kW (110 hp) presented in 1976. The series version of the up! GTI was launched in January 2018.

VW up! GTI at the IAA 2017


On December 3, 2011, the production and sale of the three-door basic version began. This and the five-door version – which has been available since the beginning of 2012 – are offered as three different models with different equipment variants. The three standard models of the up! are:

  • take up! (Basic equipment including ABS and airbags)
  • move up! (additionally with height-adjustable driver’s seat, partially foldable rear seat backrest, power windows in the front and central locking)
  • high up! (in addition to equipping the move up! with fog lights, CD / MP3 radio, air conditioning and higher quality optics)

At the start of production, there were only three-cylinder in-line engines with a liter capacity producing 44 or 55 kW with a consumption 4.5 to 4.7 l / 100 km.

The VW up! can be supplied with BlueMotion technology as an option. This model with energy efficiency class B is characterized by lower fuel consumption, namely combined of only 4.1 and 4.2 liters / 100 km. These values ​​are achieved by means of a start-stop system and a system for braking power recovery in conjunction with a specially coordinated chassis, in the take up! and move up! with BlueMotion Technology additionally with tires optimized for rolling resistance.

Interior (from 2016)

From June 2012 the up! also available with semi-automatic transmission (ASG), the take up! is excluded.

Special models

There are also the variants black up! and white up!, which differ from the high up! among other things by 16″ wheels, darkened rear and side windows and a navigation system. However, their functional equipment (radio, power windows, air conditioning, etc.) is identical to that of the high up!. The special on the two models is the respective design of the interior and the external appearance.

The cheer up! on offer. The vehicle is equipped with 15-inch alloy wheels’ spoke Anthracite and has Galvano Gray exterior mirrors. The “RCD 215” audio system is included as standard with this variant. It differs from the high up! By a large number of special design elements such as the chrome fog lights.

From January 2019, the special model “up! IQ.Drive” is available.

Model maintenance

Since the introduction of the five-door model in May 2012, the up! optionally available with semi-automatic transmission. A hill start assistant has been installed as standard since June 2012.

With the model year 2015, which was delivered from May 2014, a tire pressure control was added to the standard scope. The rear view camera “Rear Assist” has been renamed to “Rear View”. The cross up! can now be configured with the “Black Style” design package. An option that includes darkened side windows and a darkened rear window can now be added independently of the sports package. A black headlining is now included in the sports package.

In 2016, the VW received up! a facelift. An engine with turbocharger and direct injection was introduced. Externally, the new headlights include LED daytime running lights as standard. Both the bumpers and the taillights have been redesigned. The interior receives a new infotainment system. With the “maps + more” option, a detachable screen is no longer used, but your own smartphone as a display. This can be connected via cable or Bluetooth.


The three-door basic model is 3540 mm long, 1641 mm (with exterior mirrors 1910 mm) wide and 1489 mm high, the wheelbase is 2420 mm. The vehicle has a turning circle of approximately 9.8 m. The payload should be approx. 400 kg. The trunk volume is 251 liters and can be expanded to 951 liters by folding down the rear seat. The drag coefficient is given as 0.32, the end face as 2.08 m².


In Euro NCAP crash test, the vehicle in 2011 was rated with five stars out of five. The vehicle tested scored 89% in adult occupant safety and 80% in child occupant safety. In the area of ​​pedestrian protection, the vehicle received 46% of the points, the standard safety equipment was rated with 86% of the possible number of points.

At the end of 2019, the up! tested again. It received only three out of a possible five stars.

Sales performance

From the market launch in 2011, up to and including December 2019, a total of 307,032 VW up! were sold. In 2017, around three percent of a total of 36,685 registered vehicles were electric versions, in 2018 it was just under eight percent of 35,401 vehicles and in 2019: 28,982 vehicles just under two percent. The identical Seat Mii and Skoda Citigo have significantly lower registration figures.

VW e-up!

The e-up! is a battery-powered variant of the vehicle.

2013 model

The e-up! was introduced as a concept in 2009 and was available from November 2013. After delivery difficulties, Volkswagen has not accepted any orders since January 2019, but announced that it wanted to keep the model in the program.

Pre-series vehicle at the Hannover Messe 2013

The e-up! is powered by an electric motor with 40 kW (54 HP). For a short time, e.g. for overtaking, the engine can produce up to 60 kW (82 hp), the maximum torque is 210 Nm. The engine is installed at the front and drives the front wheels. The energy required for the drive is stored in a 240 kg lithium-ion battery attached to the vehicle floor with a usable capacity of 16.4 kWh (18.7 kWh gross). A charge at a household socket (2.3 kW) takes 8 hours. The car can be charged with 16 A 1-phase (3.6 kW) in 5.5 hours via the type 2 connection. The charging socket is located on the rear right. The battery consists of a total of 204 cells in 17 modules. If necessary, these can be replaced individually.

With a fully charged battery, the vehicle has a range of 130 km, the top speed is 135 km / h. To accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h, the e-up! takes 12.4 s, for the more relevant acceleration in city traffic from 0 to 50 km/h in 3.5 s.

An e-load-up! 2015 at the Hannover exhibition! in the Hannover Historical Museum

The luggage compartment holds 195-795 liters. The empty mass of the e-up! is 1,214 kg. The list price starts at €26,900.

At the end of 2014, an e-load-up! designated commercial vehicle variant with four doors was launched. With a payload of 285 kilograms and a loading space of 990 liters, the vehicle is aimed among other things at service technicians, mobile care services or courier, pizza and express delivery services.

Engine compartment e-up!

In November 2018, the standard equipment was reduced together with the starting price. The new list price was €22,975. As a result, no new orders have been accepted since January 25, 2019, because according to Volkswagen, the production capacities are exhausted.

In April 2019, a recall program for all e-up! was started. The reason is an adhesive seam in the battery housing through which moisture can penetrate.

2019 model

In September 2019, details of the new e-up! were released. It should have a usable battery capacity of 32.3 kWh (36.8 kWh gross) and a range of 260 km (162 miles) according to WLTP. The list price should start at €21,975 (before government incentives). The battery now consists of 168 pouch cells (84 cells in series, each two cells connected in parallel), each having 60 Ah capacity and weighs 248 kg in total. The drive train remains almost unchanged, the output rises minimally to 61 kW (83 hp), the torque to 212 Nm. The charging power of the onboard charger was increased to 7.2 kW (16 A, two-phase). DC fast charging with up to 40 kW is still available for an additional charge.

The battery is guaranteed for 8 years or 160,000 km. The charging process and the air conditioning can be started, stopped or programmed via the “maps + more” app.

Design Concepts

VW up! – concept car from 2007 with rear engine

The up! was presented as a concept vehicle at the International Motor Show in 2007.

2007 up! concept

It is a 3.45m long three-door small car for four people. The width is 1.63m and the height is 1.50m. To make better use of the interior for transport, the bucket seats can simply be folded down or completely removed, except for the driver’s seat. A special feature of the concept is the rear engine. Volkswagen, like in other models, wanted to use components that were already in production. That is why transmission and steering parts from the VW Polo were used in the production vehicle. This would have been difficult with a rear engine and would have resulted in higher costs. Another reason for turning away from the rear engine was technical problems with the engine cooling. Problems with the “package” (body) were also mentioned by Volkswagen. A rear engine could take up more space in the production vehicle and reduce the volume of the storage space.

VW space up! – five-door concept car from 2008

The five-door space up! was unveiled as a concept car at the Washington Motors Show in January 2008. A variant of this is the electric car space up! blue with solar cells on the roof.

VW space e-up! concept

VW up! Lite – concept for a mild hybrid diesel-electric

The up! Lite is a four-seat concept low-consumption vehicle from Volkswagen that was presented to the public at the LA Auto Show in 2009. The standard consumption was 2.44 l (diesel) for 100 km, equivalent to 65 g CO2/km.

VW up! Lite concept

The empty weight of the vehicle was reduced by the use of aluminum and carbon fiber reinforced plastic – with its dimensions of 3.84 m length, 1.60 m width and a height of 1.40 m – reduced to 695 kg. The drag coefficient is 0.237 by adapting the vehicle contour and cladding the vehicle front.

Rear view

The drive is ensured by a supercharged 2-cylinder diesel engine with 0.8L displacement and an output of 38 kW (corresponds to 51 hp) as well as a 10 kW electric motor. The power of the diesel engine can be limited to 26.5 kW (36 hp) by pressing a button. The vehicle can only achieve the specified consumption values ​​in this operating state, which is referred to as “eco mode”. For shorter distances, the drive can be taken over by the electric motor alone, but in normal operation it should only support the diesel engine during power peaks, for example during overtaking maneuvers. The electric motor is powered by a lithium-ion battery that uses regenerative braking, i.e. energy recovery during braking.

Front view

The engine power is transferred to the drive wheels via a 7-speed double clutch transmission with dry clutches. The maximum speed of the concept is given as 160 km / h, the acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h takes 12.5 s.

Author: Nabeel K

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