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Discussion Starter #1
I think so after 9 months of ownership ... in no particular order...it’s a hoot to drive on most roads, looks and feels distinct enough from the rest of the range to feel a bit special, it’s lightweight by modern standards, nicely judged visually, sounds nice from the driver’s seat and practical to boot.

Is it a Golf GTI? No. Is it perfect? No. Is it the ultimate drivers tool? No. Is it genuinely rapid? No, but properly perky and quick enough to get the pulse racing. Is it a drivers car...subjective, but I’d say definitely Yes, on the basis of my earlier points (once you change the tyres). Grab it by the scruff of the neck, plant your right foot and there isn’t much I’ve driven that’s been a more enjoyable steer (given me a bigger smile), particularly within the realms of reasonable road speeds.
 

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You can probably guess but for me it's a no.

There's too many little things that over time become less quaint over time and more irksome. Seats, tc control, rear suspension, hard plastics...... For me mainly it was the frustrating TC and the rear suspension mainly, the first just hinders things way too often and the second becomes unruly when pushing on down anything less than smooth. The seats start to irritate when pushing on with the lack of support. I know both of those can be sorted but then you start to throw more and more money at it, you might as well have bought a few years old Golf.
Once you add that together then for me it was a no-no, i felt more frustrated by it's limitations than enjoyment in the driving experience.

I've said this too many times but if you want a fairly inexpensive, comfortable city car that has a bit more about it then you've struck gold. But for me it falls short of being a GTI.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
You can probably guess but for me it's a no.

There's too many little things that over time become less quaint over time and more irksome. Seats, tc control, rear suspension, hard plastics...... For me mainly it was the frustrating TC and the rear suspension mainly, the first just hinders things way too often and the second becomes unruly when pushing on down anything less than smooth. The seats start to irritate when pushing on with the lack of support. I know both of those can be sorted but then you start to throw more and more money at it, you might as well have bought a few years old Golf.
Once you add that together then for me it was a no-no, i felt more frustrated by it's limitations than enjoyment in the driving experience.

I've said this too many times but if you want a fairly inexpensive, comfortable city car that has a bit more about it then you've struck gold. But for me it falls short of being a GTI.
Hard plastics isn’t a proper GTi factor though...in my opinion.
I think I’m in the minority but I’ve only ever seen the TC flash when I’ve been taking ridiculous liberties. I have to try hard purposely to get it to flash, at least on the Michelin PS4s. At one point I thought it was broken in my car!
Seats (if you mean lack of side bolsters) not an issue for me, though I think possibly would be if I was a front passenger on a spirited drive (as the driver, I have the lovely steering wheel to hold on to).
I imagine on really undulate-y roads it would be less enjoyable due in part to the short wheelbase just as a sporty Mini or Fiat might. I would say on most roads I’ve tried it’s a decent drive though on standard suspension.
I feel like such a fanboy but it’s so subjective isn’t it? I have to admit I see myself as a pretty blunt instrument when it comes driving so that could have something to do with it! I find myself more frustrated with it as a city car because of the shocking state of our urban roads but get it on a nice Cumbrian B road etc, it really starts to shine when pushing on. Almost sounds like a different car but that’s how subjective it clearly is!
 

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Very subjective. I'm used to cars that move with the road and give you confidence to explore your talents (or not), That basic rear suspension when going down certain back roads made me slow down on several occasions including one in France where the whole rear felt like it jumped sideways and i had to correct when going down a straight dry road.
I've been down that same road with different cars at greater speeds and never had that happen. Also had it happen a few times on back roads around Essex and Kent but it was the France journey that sealed it, went up for sale after that.

But i know i'm repeating myself here....
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Your frustration reminds me of my old Mini Cooper S I had a few years back (mk2 new mini, so turbo rather than supercharged) I hated the power delivery, the torque steer and the bounciness of the ride on typical B roads, so much so I sold it within a few weeks. Much preferred the supercharged S or the standard Cooper to drive. Everybody else seemed to love them but I just did not get it at all. I think the GTi is most of what I’d hoped the mini might have been.
 

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Its probably the only Gti in the Vw range, that has any resemblance to the original 1977 Mk1, so in my book, the Up Gti is probably the finest current version of that iconic brand.
Both the new 2020 Polo and Golf GTis, as so far removed in spec and refinement, to the original car, that in my opinion they have little in common with what the Gti should represent.

If we are to base what the Gti concept really represents, then affordability, and very basic warm hot hatch, is what the car should be.

The Polo and Golf variants of the Gti, are neither basic, or bargain priced vehicles, and they may be a 21C recreation of the Gti brand, but the Up is more in tune with the original, and in most cases, the original is always best.

Just watch the very informative Quentin Wilson video on YouTube about the Mk1 Golf Gti, and you will soon discover how close the Up Gti comes in recreating what made the original Gti such an icon.
That's why i think the Up Gti is a true Gti, all because of its failings, and recreation of what made the Mk1 such a great vehicle.
 

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Having had a plethora of Golf Gti's over 30 - odd years, from Mk1 through to an 1800T Mk4, I've done the GTi thing, (with an odd Astra SRI / GTE thrown in), and I wanted something that would on occasion give me the ability to have a bit of a play, and the Up Gti fits the bill perfectly for my requirements at this time of my life. I have other toys which I can use more dramatically when I need to, and what does it for me above anything else, is the sheer smiles per pound you get with this car. It's my daily driver, and I find it does everything I want from a small relatively quick car at the right price.
Sure, it's no modern Golf Gti, but mine was literally half the cost of a base new GTi, so I can live with it's minor shortcomings,
Nothing else comes close from a value for money point of view, and having had an early Mk1 Golf Gti in the past, it certainly embodies the Mk1 experience more than a modern Golf Gti.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You’ve probably already seen it but I think this review makes a lot of these points...
 

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That;s how i feel about my car.
I can still remember collecting FKG15W from the dealership in Penarth Road.
A very basic, thrill a minute warm hatchback, that handled well enough on its skinny 185 Good Year Grand Prix S tyres.

It was few on thrills, no A/C, no cruise control, and very basic suspension, but it handled like a dream, and it became a legend in its own lifetime.
The Up is almost a carbon copy, but for a modern age, with a few essential standard accessories, like A/C, but the Up Gti confirms everything that made the original Mk1 so great.
 

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I sort of get the comparison to the Mk1 Golf GTi. The basic interior, bare painted metal etc. But the Mk1 was a game changer (that's probably over hyped tbh) the UP just isn't. In case some of you haven't noticed things have moved on. My Edition 30 GTi runs rings around my UP even though it's 13yrs old now. The UP's underpinnings are unsophisticated and worse still use budget components. For what it is it's great.
It's a fun car, that's it. I appreciate it's basic uncomplicated build. But GTi? No, not ever.
Marketing, money spinning yes.
 

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I still like it, but when pushing on I wonder weather a chipped TSI 90 might have suited me better. The GTi is often rough on lots of our roads, but the tyres do help a lot if you change them. It’s not as good as I thought it would be, but it is cheap for what it is. Sometimes you get on the right bit of road and it’s magic, but not quite as often as I’d hoped if I’m honest. It’s really like a breathed on hire car and that’s the way I think of it
 

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You might be right there, but comparing like for like, very basic, mildly tuned, light weight, affordable transport, that handles those B roads brilliantly, and is affordable.
That what made the original Golf such a huge success.

Both the Polo and Golf Gti, cost quite a large amount of money, both well over £23k, hardly budget affordable transport, and their too high tec.

I can see why Wolfsberg are describing the UP, as the true successor to the original GTi, as the car is closer in character to the original.

I think it is more worthy to wear that coveted badge, than the Polo.

The Golf, well that's the car that started it all back in 1976, but does it put such a huge smile on your face like the UP ?
 

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All cars have bits you like and bits you don’t. Just enjoy it for what it is and for the money you can’t get much more exclusive!
 

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I sort of get the comparison to the Mk1 Golf GTi. The basic interior, bare painted metal etc. But the Mk1 was a game changer (that's probably over hyped tbh) the UP just isn't. In case some of you haven't noticed things have moved on. My Edition 30 GTi runs rings around my UP even though it's 13yrs old now. The UP's underpinnings are unsophisticated and worse still use budget components. For what it is it's great.
It's a fun car, that's it. I appreciate it's basic uncomplicated build. But GTi? No, not ever.
Marketing, money spinning yes.
Agreed. The Mk1 was great for it's time, the 70s. But we're now 50 years on and i'm sorry but i don't watch a CRT television either.

The original was a game changer because it took a fairly light car, put some "premium parts" on it (rev counter) and gave it some slightly wider tyres. But having owned what was apparently a good stock one i can tell you that they're not that good handling wise. Understeer is the order of the day, you have to wring its neck to make it go anywhere and the interiors are basic. It's fun (ish) in a retro kind of way but just about every modern car i've driven since would run rings around it (mk4 Golf included). It was a car that was better driven at 7/10 than 10/10. I still have a cellar full of parts, lol.

But I will say this for it as a motorway cruiser it was great, comfortable and generally a nice place to be which is not something i can say for the ride on the Up.
 

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It is a GTI because it's got GTI written on it from the factory.
I'm being literal here, but the idea that this matter is somehow subjective, I'm afraid is the issue at hand.
Volkswagen have decided.

My advice: think as if you are a teenager, on the cusp of being able to purchase your own car from new. You settle on the Up! GTI. Small, sweet, sporty and styled.
Now, think how proud you'd be of those three letters nestled in its grille.

That, folks. Is marketing.

No one is safe.
 

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It is a GTI because it's got GTI written on it from the factory.
I'm being literal here, but the idea that this matter is somehow subjective, I'm afraid is the issue at hand.
Volkswagen have decided.

My advice: think as if you are a teenager, on the cusp of being able to purchase your own car from new. You settle on the Up! GTI. Small, sweet, sporty and styled.
Now, think how proud you'd be of those three letters nestled in its grille.

That, folks. Is marketing.

No one is safe.
So what you're saying here is it doesn't matter what anyone thinks because it has the badge on? Hmmmm, ok, i guess that ends this debate then.
 

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For those old enough to remember the 70s and early 80s, Sunbeam Lotus, Escort Mexico, RS 2000, XR3, Fiesta XR2.
Those cars were pretty special, a cut above the rest, and all available at the top of the range, when most people were driving the standard cars, because they suited their lifestyle, and probably had kids in tow as well.

The only car of that era to have survived the test of time, is the Golf Gti, which is now in its seventh model creation.
I am more than happy to be seen in a tiny city runabout, wearing that distinctive badge.

My little Vw Up, is not a boy racer recreation, of someone who dreams of a Golf Gti, but cannot afford the insurance or the car, so buys the badges off ebay, and pretends his UP is a Gti.

Its a proper Gti, no questions asked, and confused members of the public, seeing this rare little car for the first time, will not laugh, they will probably admire its sharp looks.

It may be a tiny city car, but it looks just right, in all depts, and wears those badges with pride.
 
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