Though the rise of crossovers is unsettling Europe’s love for hatchbacks, their demand remains strong. After hatchbacks, Europe also loves small cars. Many people turn to these small cars to escape high fuel prices. The small cars also come in handy when maneuvering in narrow streets common in most of the continent’s cities. Well, Volkswagen has a firm presence in this small segment and at the recent Geneva auto show; the automaker showcased their latest small car, the 2017 Volkswagen Up.
According to the automaker, the small car is a best seller in its segment in Netherlands and in Germany. The car is still well received in Japan, Brazil and South Africa which means it has a stable presence in all continents. To even attract more buyers, VW has completely redesigned the model in all fronts including hooking it up with a more powerful drive-train. However, it remains to be seen if buyers will be so much enthusiastic about the model since fuel prices seem to be stabilizing which is fueling the huge demand for crossovers.
2017 Volkswagen Up Exterior
Well, don’t think because the VW Up 2017 is small it looks bland and unexciting, far from it, the small car looks modern and has a somewhat attractive exterior look. It has a new bumper at the front. This bumper features black trim pieces. Above the bumper is a huge VW emblem that slots in between its pair of LED headlights and LED DRLs. The model also features a tall greenhouse which supports its large windshield and side glass which makes its front look attractive. On the sides, the side mirrors are integrated with turn signals.
Changing gears to the rear, the 2017 Volkswagen Up comes with a new diffuser and revised taillights. The rear window flows smoothly onto the vehicle’s hatch. It’s rather interesting when it comes to its emblems which are pasted on the glass instead of the body panels.
Overall, the small car features sharp lines all over its body as well as creases on a number of its panels including on its hood, beltline, a lower part of the doors and on its fender wells. To finish off the excellent design which makes the Up look more upscale than other members of this segment, buyers will have an option of 13 body colors, 3 roof colors and 9 different decals. It rides on colored wheels.
2017 Volkswagen Up Interior
Unlike the outside, the cabin features a more extensive redesign. To start with, the dash panel is new. The cabin features a yellow accenting which spills over to seats and upper door panels making the cabin lively but if yellow is not your favorite color don’t be put off, as it is just optional. The cabin can be had in other color trims.
Directly in front of the driver is a new steering wheel and new gauges along with a modified center stack. The center stack holds controls of the vehicle’s AM/FM radio and the HVAC system. The HVAC system is actually a new Pure Air Climatronic system that uses a biogenic filter to protect the cabin from allergens and pollen. VW designers have also added a lower console which holds the shifter, a small shelf and a cup holder. For extra convenience, you will find two more cup holders on door panels to hold your refreshments.
The most enchanting interior feature is its Smartphone integration system. Volkswagen designers really put their best creativity in this feature. Instead of using an infotainment screen, a phone mount holds a Smartphone. Then, by using a downloaded app, the phone itself is used as the infotainment system supporting Bluetooth connectivity, navigation and other computer operations of the vehicle.
The good news does not end there, there is a 300 watts Beats Audio sound system that makes the Up a small mobile clubhouse.
Engine Specs and performance
Despite the small look, the car packs an awesome amount of power considering its size. It is hooked up with a new turbocharged 1.0 L, TSI 3-cylinder engine with direct fuel injection. The engine produces 89 hp and 118 lb-ft of torque which is available at only 1,500 rpm.
Though the 2017 Volkswagen Up engine is not that powerful, its light curb weight enables it to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 10 seconds and has a top speed of 115 mph which is quite commendable for a car its size. Power is channeled to the front wheels through a 6-speed manual gearbox.
In terms of performance, the engine is quite frugal only sipping a gallon every 53.4 miles meaning you can rush to town and back without much of a change on your fuel gauge. The car is a blessing for many stay-at-home moms as now they can rush to the grocery store, take their kids to and from school without spending much on fuel.
Price and release date
VW is still keeping official prices of the Up a secret. Don’t expect prices to change much from those of the outgoing model. Currently, the base Take Up has an MSRP of $ 12,710 (£8,945) while the range-topping Rocket Up attracts as much as $20,000 (£13,695). Don’t expect the Up in the North American market, as people on this side of the Atlantic prefer the bigger guzzlers.
The Up is not alone in the market. It will have to contend with the likes of Fiat 500 which costs as much as $ 22,000, and the ‘Smart for Two”, one of the few small cars sold in the U.S.A.