Well everybody drives differently. I think you are overdoing it on the side of caution. Myself I have always got in to top gear as soon as possible, for the simple reason is that once you are at a speed that will take that gear the car will use less fuel in the top gear. I very seldom use fourth gear at all. I change straight in to fifth from third as long as I know I am doing thirty or above. I also tend to go from second to fourth but not very often. Maybe if I am starting on a downward slope, then in to fifth as soon as possible.
So I recommend that you get the car up to 40 mph and get it in to fifth as soon as you are over 35 mph say. That way you are running the fifth gear cogs in as well. The system on the Up! is telling you to get in to fifth gear to save you fuel. You certainly will do no damage to anything. If you are uncertain about this then why not ask your local dealer, and tell him what a silly old soldier has told you on this forum. Oh yes then when you are in fifth be a devil and get teh speed up to whatever the limit in the area allows. maybe 70 mph even. But don't go flogging it along the motorway at eighty for lots of hours. Not until it is run in as the dealer said.
Mine keeps telling me to change to 5th even going up hills, but I've decided to ignore it - especially if we're not to labour the engine for the first 1000 miles! Chugging up the hill on the way home from work was ridiculous!
Gear change indicators are a nice idea but I find I'm just ignoring them on the Up. I just use the old fashioned method of listening/feeling what the car is doing and changing when it's 'happy'. VW should add a little accelerometer to the car's electronics so the gear shift indicators are a bit more intelligent i.e. the car can detect whether it is going up or down hill.
I'm with you luckyjimmy. I've occasionally tested out the gear change indicator and it's OK in some circumstances but when the car's telling me I should be in fifth whilst climbing up a hill at 35mph, I just ignore it and go back to the tried and tested method of listening to the engine.
I try to do as I'm told, but do change down earlier or don't go up so quick on a big hill. I don't disagree with it much I must say, but it is so not my usual driving style. I used to drive my Loop like a go cart, but I am trying to be more fuel efficient with the Up! and am desperately trying to drive more sensibly (or like an old granny, I'm not sure which) ‘µEdited by: bugbabe34
Collas: I remember reading something similar a few years ago and quite often drive about in 3rd in town (25 - 30mph). The Up seems to drive quite nicely in this gear at this speed. In fact the engine is very quiet due to it turning over at about 2000rpm in its sweet spot. Also, as you mention, 4th gear for forty or so.
Incidentally, one of my first cars (mk 1 Ford Fiesta) went better if driven in the above manner although, with only four gears, you needed ear plugs at motorway speeds. Those were the days...
A 2CV at 70 mph was very noisy. The trip from Rochdale to Swindon and back was a true slog. 602 ccs of pulsating power! Rubber mats for the floor. A canvas roof. Advanced aerodynamics (for the 1930s). They don't make 'em like that anymore.
You certainly wouldn't hear the seat belts thrumming in the wind with that racket.
The StreetKa isn't very frugal and hovers around 30 mpg no matter what I do on my 8 mile trip to work on B-roads. It's only on a long trip that it struggles up to 40 mpg, so I didn't see that very often.
The Up drives better if you increase the engine speed a bit more and I've found there is no significant penalty with respect to fuel consumption. In fact you will probably get a few more mpg if you keep the engine turning smoothly i.e. change gear a bit later than indicated by the shift indicators, if you are on anything other than level ground.
For info - on a recent 120 mile trip I got an average mpg figure of 67.2. I've no reason to doubt the accuracy of this Maps & More figure, so I was really pleased.