VW’s most recent diminutive hot hatch drew many comparisons between the Volkswagen Up GTI and the original Golf GTI. It’s a fair association to make, too – both have similar power outputs (110hp for the Golf vs 115hp for the Up) and both are even a similar-ish size.
There’s a fair difference in weight, though: the Golf was a whisker under 800kg, while the Up tips the skills at a rather heftier 1,070 kg. That’s mostly down to the 21st-century necessities of decent safety kit and portly luxuries such as air conditioning and electric windows.
Fortunately, the Up’s chirpy little three-cylinder turbocharged 1.0-litre engine is suitably torquey and responsive, giving the Up GTI exactly the sort of fizzy performance you expect from a junior hot hatch.
The car arrived relatively late in the Up model’s lifespan, hitting the streets of the UK towards the end of 2017 – almost six years after the launch of less fun-focused derivatives. It also took a break from April 2019 to January 2020 while VW fettled it gently to get it through new WLTP regulation tests, but this peppy performer continues to be a popular and desirable car.