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Ok before I picked up the car I had some worries""¦ Downgrading
from the BMW 1 Series with its serious image and bigger and powerful engine I feared
the up would feel slow; that I'd miss the storage, the torque, the speed and
the comfort. Having chosen the Move up without a metallic paint option on cost
cutting grounds I was concerned about the steel wheels, solid paint finish and
general interior trim level.

As the pick up date grow closer, the doubts increased. As
much as I looked forward to the experience of changing cars to drive something
different, the more my thoughts turned to questions of have I done the right
thing? So one week on, have I done the right thing""¦?

Well yes I am delighted to report I'm really pleased with
the new motor. My fears have proved unfounded and I am proud, not embarrassed as
I had feared I might be to be the owner of a shiny red VW Move up, even the
cars steel wheels are saved by the massive VW wheel caps.

The drive

The 59 BHP engine is a delight to drive, it's not too noisy
and its little occasional thrum feedbacks nicely to the tap of the right foot
and makes you feel a part of the driving experience unlike some other small
cars I've driven. The steering is light and glides you through traffic while
the up keeps you firmly on track, holding the road confidently. This is the
ideal car for the town / city driver, and that's embellished by its parking
performance. Even against the parking sensors of the BMW this car is an
absolute breeze to park, the rear view visibility is sublime for reversing and
the cars extremities mean you always know where the car is.

At speed where I feared the car would suffer most it really
feels nippy even on A roads and motorways and in no way does it at least feel significantly
slower than the heavy 1 Series. I would really question the official 0-60 time
of this car as it's so light and has proven to me to be a busy mover up to the
bench mark speed. Once it hits 75 it doesn't have a lot more in it, but it
performs acceptably at that speed and it reasonably quiet and is perfectly
happy there at relatively low revs and its quiet there too.

You are probably starting to think this is one sided review
at this point and although I am pleased with the car there are of course
limitations. The first is the lack of covering in the rear wheel arches. I'm
not sure why VW have scrimped here as this really compromises the poised
handling and generally quiet and refined driving experience. Anyone who owns an
up will know the confused feeling you get the first time the car has pulled up
a stone chip and its ""pinged""� in the rear wheel arch. Worse still in heavy rain
of which we've experience a lot recently the sound of the spray sounds like a flowing
river!! Not too good, but certainly liveable.

Going up a hill can feel like, well going up hill! In order
to avoid reasonable speed loss you really do have to drop a gear or two in
timely fashion going up relatively minor hills. Again this is completely liveable
with, but something you might need to prepare yourself for if you are coming
from a bigger engined car.

I've not owned a car as small as this before and must say
when larger vehicles drive past at speed I do feel more vulnerable than in
prior cars including the MINI. I just keep reminding myself that the car got
full marks in the Euro NCAPS so it's got to be safe! And let's keep sight of
the track that these negatives are more than made up for by the excellent
driving experience and the cost which I'll share my thoughts on later.

The interior, practicality
and tech


I chose the Cornsillk Dash option on the Move up with grey /
anthracite seats and the light colour interior really gives the car a spacious
feel. I've not had a light interior before and for me and it really is no going
back as the car looks terrific inside! With limitless funds I could imagine the
sunroof would be an especially good pick too.

Beyond optical illusions the cockpit is really roomy. There is
bucket loads of internal space and the car truly feels really comfy. Coming
from a car with no cup holders to a car with six I may have come from the
sublime to the ridiculous, but I can't emphasise enough how practical this car
is.

The boot is a terrific design the additional shelf really
works. For the OCD this chest like feature means you can hide away reasonably
sized objects and in effect doubles your storage. With the shelf down the boot
is really deep and I reckon you could, at a push get a couple of mid sized
cases standing up. I am yet to test this yet, so could be overly optimistic!

All the controls are well within reach; the center console
is easy to work out with the A/C heating and cooling a doodle to adjust. Likewise the radio is simple to operate. I
invested in the maps and more and the sound pack which sounds great and is a
better sound setup than the 6 speaker BMW business radio on my previous car and
light years better than radio on the 2007 MINI I had prior to that.

The maps and more is good, but not great. The user interface
is basic and there are a lot of button pushes to perform simple actions like switching
albums. It just doesn't feel intuitive a lot of the time and this is
distracting as you drive. I would have liked to have seen more presentation of
and greater configurability of the options related to the car on the device.
For instance it would be cool if you could configure a dashboard of frequently
used options, display a speedometer, view gauges in a number of formats.

I am perhaps being
overly critical here as someone who has worked in IT for over ten years in a
world blessed with Apple and Android touch screen devices with a revolution in
user centric interfaces. Worse still I was disappointed that the maps and more
wouldn't read out the texts on my HTC Wildfire smart phone.

Once the novelty wears off it does become tiring taking the
device in and out of the car especially as it doesn't remember the last feature
used so upon connection it defaults to controlling the CD which you need to
alter if 99% of the time you want to listen to music from the SD card like me.
It would be so much better (and I'm sure expensive!) if the device was
integrated fully with the dashboard in a pop out fashion. Oh and shouldn't a
media device built in 2012 use its Bluetooth functionality to tether the
Internet connection from my smart phone? And why didn't they commission a
company to build device on an open platform like Android? That would have been
a killer feature and real headline functionality in scope I'm sure for a device
priced at £290 ""“ a trick has been missed here.

Ok I'll stop now, I said maps and more is good and it is
good please don't get me wrong. The navigation functions works well, Think Blue
keeps you focussed on eco driving, the in call quality excellent and the sound
quality sparkling through the well balanced times six speakers in the sound
pack. Maps and more for me is resigned to longer journey given the start up
time to connect, but I am looking forward to those longer journeys without the
alternative of Sat Nav and iPod wires trailing everywhere, oh and did I mention
the cup holders!?!

Other notable drawbacks in terms of practicality are the
lack of reach adjustment for the steering wheel. The driving position is
comfortable once you've found what works best for you, but the addition of
reach adjustment would make this more comfortable and easier to achieve. One
touch electric windows and passenger window controls should come as standard as
should auto locking at speed for the doors, but c'est la vie! One feature I
thought I'd miss on the Move up is electronically adjustable mirrors, but this
hasn't proved a drawback at all.

The look

The car looks excellent and the solid paint finish in my
choice of Tornado Red colour gleams and I love how it the colour flows from
outside to inside the car. A lot of reviews slate the exposed metal in the car,
but personally I find this far superior to probable cheap plastic alternatives
and I see this as a real design feature to applaud. The wheel trims and giant caps
look great even at only 14""� in diameter. I never thoughts I could live without
alloy wheels, but this car gets away with and more importantly saves me a bag
fell of cash!

Design wise the exterior of the car has a masculinity about
it. The black glass under the rear window gives a two tone feel to the look
which I think looks really good with the red colour. There isn't much orange glow
from the indicator and I in particular love the mesh grill and the VW signature
front end and lights.

The numbers

This is where the car really stacks up. It's sipping fuel at
50 MPG on the short 10 minute runs I'm doing, my VW dealer gave away the 3 year
service pack and to top it off the finance is cheap. The positives here are
compounded by the fact the Move up was just £8970 on the road to begin with (excluding
the sound pack and Maps and More that I added). Given high petrol costs and
typical inflated service costs from German car makers the lack of spend
required to run this car more than makes up for any negatives I may have listed.
I can barely believe I've gotten such a practical car for so little money.

Would I make the same
choice again?


Undoubtedly yes! The Move up is the car for me ""“ it meets my
requirements perfectly as a city / town dweller making frequent short runs. I
felt I was burning money and forever watching the fuel gauge on the 1 Series
the up replaces and I just wish I had the opportunity to switch sooner. Despite
its size the car's design is well thought out and highly practical. It is a
pleasure to drive and speaking as someone who parks on a tight, busy street everyday
it's exceptional to manoeuvre and park.

VW have almost created a near flawless car for a driver in
2012, if they could just add some better covering to the rear wheel arches, reach adjustment for steering, a more dynamic
media device and further electrics for the windows, locks and mirrors the car
would be without fault. Despite those small niggles given the combination of looks,
image, price, economy, running costs, comfort, practicality and performance
this is the car of the moment and the best fit for the austere driver of today.

If anyone is doubting the decision to downsize and leave a
brand such as BMW / MINI behind read this review ""“ you will not be disappointed
with the VW up and if you are there is simply nothing that will please you or
you have an unrealistic expectation that this car is a hot hatch, suitable for transporting
a gaggle of kids or the equivalent of an estate car! It is course none of those
things, but in short the up is great!
 

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excellent and balanced opinion....downsizing from a fully loaded merc so glad to hear your opinion.

Think I paid £850 for last service and the insurance on the up is actually 1/4 of the merc!...roll on the savings, esp as I do upto 25k miles in a year!
 

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Thanks for that terrific review! My tornado red Move up should be here the week after next, maybe earlier if I'm lucky. I didn't order the maps and more - don't need satnav and didn't like the look of it on the dash, and your review has helped to banish any lingering regrets. Did get the sound pack though and good to know its sounding good. Also agree about the exposed paint inside. It looks cool. I'm driving a fiesta rental in Finland right now an the plastic cocoon is fairly nasty. Nice country btw!
Edited by: yapmaul
 

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Thats one detailed review, thanks :) and comparing to BMW too...
 

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That was very interesting read... sounds like I won't be disappointed either comparing it with my EOS...

Cheers
 

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Excellent review upupandaway and I totally agree with everything you've said (apart from the M&M which I haven't really tried out yet so can't comment on).

Interesting point about the sound of spray when it's raining. I experienced that for the first time yesterday evening and at first, I thought I must have left the boot open, it sounded so close and loud.

Doesn't detract from the driving experience though and I actually feel like I've significantly upsized in terms of quality, my last car being a cute but flimsy and tinny Toyota Aygo.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Really glad you enjoyed the review and found that useful :)

Hopefully this will help honestly inform future decisions - satisfaction is all about expectation so if you are expecting the car to be more than it is than you will be disappointed! Both the BMW and the MINI I owned prior are better cars, but in terms of bang for your buck they don't come close to the up! And the up certainly meets my requirements way better at this point in my life which is why I'm so chuffed with it.
 

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I think youre review is the most perfectly balanced Ive read yet, so perfect for prospective owners, thanks :)
 

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Hi, disagree about the Mini though... I drive one sometimes at work and I think its a dreadful car... even the bottom model Up drove for the test drive was nicer to drive than the Mini!
 

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A good review and one that echoes the thoughts I had after a test drive.

I too noticed the noise generated by the rear wheel arches on very wet roads which is made more noticeable because the up! is so quite and refined in other areas.

I am waiting with interest to see if my 5 door version is any quieter in this respect - as the metalwork is so different in this area.

If not I can easily live with it, although I suspect it could also be improved with some additional sound-deadening material in the boot.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I have been wondering if a set of rear mud flaps would help the situation, but personally I am loathe to add them as they really ruin the look of the car.

Incidentally on collection there was a small mark on the paintwork on my up so while it's in being sorted I have a 1.4 Polo Match with all the extras and genuinely much prefer the up! The Polo is very grown up and boring by comparison...
 

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SiJ2000 said:
Hi, disagree about the Mini though... I drive one sometimes at work and I think its a dreadful car... even the bottom model Up drove for the test drive was nicer to drive than the Mini!
The problem with the mini is that it makes the driver look like an estate agent. I suspect the Up will become a favourite of driving schools.
 

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Actually bsm got 500 fiats at a knock down price, hence so many bsm liveried fiats, this sept they are doing the same and will therefore dump all the ex-driving school fiat 500s onto the used market....watch their value plummet!

Most private driving instructors round these parts are using mini ones, there was a deal BMW ran a while back giving them cheap service and cheap purchase because they were mainly poverty-spec and minis rarely get bought without a shed load of extras.
 
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