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Discussion Starter #1
Fed up of dealers not having an ASG to test drive and with no motivation to actively search one for me even though I intended to give them an order for a new car, I was lucky to locate a private seller.
After driving the car, this is what I feel. Do bear in mind I am coming from a Mini Cooper S:

1. Small - A bit too small, smaller than the Mini. Of course, it feels spacious inside on the front, but also a bit claustrophobic if u glance back to the backseats. I wonder if anyone else felt the same.

2. Odd shape boot - Boot is spacious (read deep). It is just a very deep boot, not necessarily the best way to provide boot space. For instance, I was able to purchase a 46inch TV and push it with the box inside my Nissan Micra K12. I cannot do the same in the VW UP.

3. Steering has no feel - It is light, too light. It reminds me of video game parlours from the 80s which had this car racing game with a free-wheeling steering wheel attached. I will reiterate, the steering has no feel and no feedback. Leaves me feeling insecure when driving.

4. Too light & insecure - On the dual carriageway, and it was raining too, I just felt very insecure. The feather light steering and 'fragile' feeling gearstick did not help either. I felt too 'vulnerable'.

5. Unsteady ride - Maybe the short wheelbase does not marry well with the light weight of the car. I traveled the same road with both the Mini and the UP... the UP was bouncing along the road. The suspension seemed to be over-compensating for the bumps.

6. Last, but not the least, the ASG gearing - I must let you know that I have driven 'ASG' drive before in a Honda civic. The Civic suffers the lack of torque between gearshifts as well, but because its a 1.8 litre engine, it does not have to change too often. The VW UP on the other hand, was only too eager to quickly upshift all the time. This had two issues -- one, I had no torque at any time. Even a slight nudge on the accelerator (to escape at the roundabout) was met with reluctance and the car downshifting two gears, wasting what seemed like eternity of a time. I was left without power all this while, felt helpless. The other issue is that every time the car shifts gears under 'normal' acceleration, it lurches badly and I mean badly. It was comical how I was moved about in the car between lurches. I was able to manually downshift when approaching a roundabout so I would have 'some' power available to pull out when I needed to, but really, it just gets to you. That is not why you buy an automatic. Another point - the ASG has no creep. So, when trying to park the car on a slight incline, it kept rolling back whilst I took my time steering it. Conventional torque convertors are so much better in these situations. The Civic has the same issue and it gets to me especially when trying to park.

7. The good - It did feel that if you drive it 'slow' and accept the fact that it will never be fast even under emergency situation ( wife going into labour/ kids late for school), then its a v good, small and frugal car that returns 60mpg or so. However, lets get real, in everyday city life, I've always seen people driving nippy little things and taking every opportunity to squeeze into traffic.

Verdict - Even though this was a 75ps engine, I am going to walk away from what I considered my 'ideal' car until I test drove it. Your experience may vary, but this is me and that is saying a lot given that I've been driving for 16 years, am a car enthusiast (but not petrol head) and that I've driven only small cars, so I know what to expect from them.
 

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Fair comments there. It all depends what you're looking for, I suppose. I sold my 420hp Jaguar XKR for the Up and don't regret my choice at all.
 

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1. Small - A bit too small, smaller than the Mini & 2. Odd shape boot - The Mini is in the segment above the Up, so I'd expect it to be a bit bigger, however the Mini has a much smaller boot than my Lupo, which is like a glovebox, so the Up boot is HUGE in comparison!!


3. Steering has no feel - Most modern cars lack real feel due to their power assistance, and remember, the Up is a small city car, and the steering is light to help with parking and nipping through gaps ect.. You can have more weight added to cars with the electro-hydraulic steering by someone with VCDS if needed.



4. Too light & insecure - Again, I disagree. I find the Up quite a well-planted car, the gearshift sweet and easy to use. I have to admit I've not driven an ASG version, so can't comment on the gearstick in this model.



5. Unsteady ride - I do find that over large bumps, the rear end does feel like its 'stepping out', which is a bit un-nerving, but I think this is inherent with short wheelbase and wheels at the four corners. At the moment, mine is on the factory 'sports' suspension and I find the ride extremely comfortable, though I haven't really pushed it hard through the corners yet. I am planning on coil-overs when the warranty runs out, as I've been running AP's on my Lupo for a few years and they transform the handling so much!



6. Last, but not the least, the ASG gearing - The techs at the garage where I work hate this gearbox! I went out for a ride in one when it first came out, and it was a bit comical. It was eternally changing up and down the gears, never sure what gear it needed to be in! It sounded like a grannie screaming her Nissan micra at 6000 rpm in first gear, but only doing 20mph! I don't understand why it has no park position either. Not one of VW's finest hours in my opinion!



I've owned my Up for nearly a month now, and I'm very happy with it. Fuel economy is amazing, I've covered 200 miles this week and still have over half a tank! My Lupo GTI would be in the red! I find the seats very comfortable, the driving position is good and visibility is good too. My few gripes are lack of illuminated switches on the doors and no passenger window switch on the driver's door, and I too keep forgetting to put the parcel shelf down!



I do agree with some of your findings, but for a car in this sector of the market, I believe it is by far the best!
 

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I echo what Lupogti says.....for what it claims, it does what it says on the tin and rather well in my opinion...but hey, everyone has different views and that is why there are so many cars around...you pays your money and takes your choice.......your comments are balanced, constructive and YOUR opinion, therefore, imho a useful contribution to the forum....would love to know what you end up going for

cheers

PD
 

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I've been driving a Fabia vRS for the past couple of years and honestly found the Up more planted and less skittish than the Fabia. Also, the Fabia crashes over imperfections in the road and jars my back - the Up feels a lot more comfortable. Granted this is based on only a 30 minute test drive but I did try and take a few speed bumps at close to the speed limit and drive over a few shallow potholes to check it out :)

I've also driven a Polo SEL 1.2 TSI recently and that was very skittish over bumps and lumps.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you people for your comments/feedback.

This review was written to help people in a similar position to me - wanting to read about people who have tried the ASG before buying, to help make a better decision. I hope it helps. Believe me, I was depressed to write the review because I really wanted the Mii/Up to be a success and a good ride with the ASG. My own little bubble has been burst as I have been eyeing this car for a while ,reading all reviews, watching all youtube videos. Sad, but thats what it is for me, ASG a disaster.

That said, someone asked what I may go in for next.
I am booked tomorrow with VW dealership to check out the Polo/Golf. From what I have read so far, some Golf engines will do 60mpg combined (in real life, for real people and not just manufacturer figures).
 

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The MK7 Golf is a lovely car - I was lent a 1.4TSI DSG when my Fabia went in to get the alarm fixed. I can't justify spending twice as much on a car that won't do more than about 7 or 8000 miles a year.

I hear what you are saying about the ASG - the majority of reviews I've seen have said similar. The DSG is something else, though...
 

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Agree, the dsg is a fabulous gearbox.....have fun tomorrow
 

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Discussion Starter #10
folks,

here is an update, and again this is from the point of view that potential UP buyers can have another opinion if they wanted to see how the next upgrade feels like:

Remember last I said I was not happy with the Seat Mii/UP ASG and decided to drop into the dealership today to test drive a Polo. Here goes:

The Polo in question was the 1.4 DSG. The dealership offered me a 'longer' demo out of courtesy.
First Impression:

-Ride: Very smooth ride over the UP. Very composed over bumps.

-Noise: Sound dampening is great. As soon as I close the doors, the cockpit is 'silent'. No road noise, minimal wind noise at 70mph. I cannot remember the noise levels in the UP to compare with.

-DSG: The smoothest automatic gears I have experienced. I drive a Mini Cooper S (R53) currently with 6 speed automatic transmission, so that's saying quite a lot. The Polo DSG beats the Mini (And I thought the Mini was good). The smoothest gear changes I've ever experienced.

-Steering: Very light but smooth and not free-wheeling like the one on the UP. What I mean is that it has some inertia when it is 'stationary' in a position but as soon as you begin to move it, it overcomes that inertia or 'weighty feeling' and is light and smooth to turn until the point you stop moving it again. This renders a solid feel to it without making it any less lighter to steer. Also, the steering is very direct.

-Space: There is of course, more space than the UP both in terms of storage and in-cabin. However, I found that there is a lot more space upfront which helps the cabin feel 'roomy' and 'airy'. This may also be aided by the fact that the seats can be adjusted quite high in the Polo as opposed to the Up. Since I was seating quite high, that too renders a feel of 'roominess' around you.

Acceleration: Smooth as silk, enough torque, just the right punch it keeps up with the traffic but at the same time is very very smooth picking up speed. It feels like a proper luxury car, if I may call it that.

Fuel efficiency: The model I test drove suggested on the trip-meter that the car was averaging 30mpg. Because this is a demo car, I expect it to have lots of frequent short trips. So its safe to say that within city it is 30mpg. To be honest, I expect a lot more from a new car with new technology and a 1.4 naturally aspirated engine. And I am not disappointed, because in a few weeks we will have new engines for the new 2014 polo which will be more efficient.

Verdict: I was instantly sold on it. The dashboard, exterior looks, in-cabin build quality, sound proofing, ride & Handling and the excellent DSG did it for me. I found this car perfect. I did not even test drive the Golf. I was about to drop the money when I was told that within 1 month they will start to take orders for a 'new' 2014 Polo with new engines and hence I am holding on eagerly to be amongst the first few to order. I have never felt happier test driving a car and that includes the recent BMW 1 series and Mini Cooper SD that I test drove.

Suggestion: To everyone booking a new UP. My request to you is, please test drive the Polo once if you are going for an automatic car.
 

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I see what your saying, but both boxes are very very different. Asg is a manual box with a robot clutch the dsg is dual clutch system very very different. Also the price point is something to consider.
Not driven a up with asg but I have driven a smart car with the same type of box. Not for me in afraid. The dsg fabia vrs I test drive was brilliant, would have one - but would cost a small fortune to run in Oil/petrol.
 

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Exactly why I'm changing from a Fabia vRS to an Up :)
 

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A quick look on the VW website shows that the cheapest Polo DSG is nearly £5,000 more expensive than the cheapest ASG up! If you pay an extra 50% more than the purchase price on any car, you'll probably end up with a 50% better vehicle, or maybe I've missed the point.
 

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I suppose it is a bit like marmite. I have had my Up! ASG for sixteen months and twelve thousand miles without a bit of bother and am extremely pleased with it. It does not have an automatic gearbox but has an automated clutch and when driven properly it performs perfectly. I think the car is terrific value for money and is so economical to run. I have driven automatics for over sixteen years and would not be persuaded to return to a manual car. Incidentally I have driven with people with a manual gearbox and been thrown around due to bad clutch control and listened to the driver moaning about the poor gearbox!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
a 1.2 Bluemotion DSG may be coming to the Polo soon...That would mean a lot less spent on fuel, especially for my friends who went from a Fabia to an UP:

"The big news here is the new petrol-powered Polo TSI BlueMotion."
Link:http://www.polodriver.com

"1.2 TSI 105PS **BlueMotion Technology" - might be coming from the Golf to the Polo..."
Link:http://www.volkswagen.co.uk/new/golf-vii/which-model/engines/overview
 

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One would think that the coasting function being spoken about elsewhere could save considerable amounts of fuel on an ASG equipped Up!

http://www.gizmag.com/bosch-start-stop-coasting/30380/

10% is quoted.

DSG gearboxes are mentioned but the primary difference between an ASG and a DSG is the number of clutches. If it is coasting then the number of clutches doesn't matter.

This could easily bring an Up! under 90g/km with practically no further engineering. In fact an ASG equipped coasting car might be the easiest way for manufacturers to get to the next threshold for CO2 emmissions in 2020. Well that and light hybrid technology.
 

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gordoac said:
A quick look on the VW website shows that the cheapest Polo DSG is nearly £5,000 more expensive than the cheapest ASG up! If you pay an extra 50% more than the purchase price on any car, you'll probably end up with a 50% better vehicle, or maybe I've missed the point.

You haven't missed the point at all, you have hit the nail on the head. Would I like a Polo instead of an Up!, of course.
Would I pay 50% more, Nooooo waaay
 

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I have a 64 plate ASG high up . It is my first automatic car and I was very worried about it having read all of the bad press about ASG gear boxes. I had to make the change due to incurring a bad shoulder injury last year.

I'm pleased to report that I am delighted with my up. The ASG on my 64 plate is much smoother than it was on the 12 plate ASG that I test drove,

I agree with Beevee that you need to know what you are driving but I have adjusted to it quickly. I live in a hilly area and drive a lot on both country twisty roads and on motorways. The up copes with both wonderfully and it is definitely getting nippier as it passes the 3k mark. I regularly over take surprised looking drivers in bigger cars.

I find the up to be deceptively spacious. My daughter prefers the passages front seat on the up to the equivalent seat in our other car, a Renault scenic.
Yes it is more sluggish than the scenic on accelerating but then it has almost half the engine size. It's making me a better driver though as I have to read the road better rather than rely on the power behind the accelerator to get me out of trouble!
 

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Hi Kat. I don,t know what you think but I am thinking we should put this myth away for good now about how bad the ASG UP is
I have had my ASG HIGH UP for Three weeks now, 64 plate after part exchanging for a manual. I am like your thinking with all the mods done on it over the past year, I cannot fault it and find it a pleasure to drive even with only 400 miles on the clock If someone would like to drive it like a boy racer it is not the car for them , and I am finding it is so easy to flick the gear lever down a notch to manual to get a little more speed to overtake works a dream, but I am taking things steady for the first 1000 anyway. Mike
 

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Well said Mike. Keeping it steady for the first 1000 miles will be of great benefit. Then you can try kick down and be surprised how nippy it is. Happy motoring.
 
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