RE: VW Up GTI: PH Fleet

RE: VW Up GTI: PH Fleet

Friday 15th February

VW Up GTI: PH Fleet

From city slicker to motorway mile muncher for the Up this month



With the Fiesta ST gone from the fleet, responsibility passed to our Volkswagen Up GTI to transport me from London to Thirsk and back in a day. The trip, which was for our recent Twisted feature, was a 500-mile-round one, starting in the narrow confines of London and charging up the motorways of the Midlands before arriving amongst the fields and forests of North Yorkshire. Quite the task for a little 1.0-litre car, you'd think.

In all honesty, it was one I wasn't too excited about. After growing accustomed to the Fiesta's thick padded seats, surprisingly effortless engine and generous dimensions, the dinky little Up looked, well, underprepared. There can't be many Ups out there that embark on four-hour stints of motorway driving twice in one day.


But, as we know from the previous Up vs Up GTI comparison test, the GTI is in another league than you'd expect when it comes to refinement. On the northbound journey, it barely broke a sweat, sitting quite happily with the cruise set to outside lane pace and muscling its way along in convoy with far larger machines. In fact, in this setting it had much in common with the ST, with the triple ahead feeling like it was always on the boil, yet a trip readout of 53mpg was easily reachable.

Sure, in a 50-70mph sprint the ST would walk away with its stronger reserves of torque and quicker-spooling turbo, but at no point did the Up feel like it was close to its engine's limits. Quite the opposite actually. Perhaps this is evidence of Volkswagen having Autobahn'd its smallest GTI. Certainly the sure footedness of its comparably narrow tracks was an example of how it punches above its weight.


That being said, when we swap motorway for B-road, the Up can't as convincingly switch from a mature cruiser to adept country road hack, like the ST can. The GTI is quick and builds speed with real enthusiasm, but, as we've previously explained, its damping feels too soft and body control slightly too loose to be serious. Oh, and the gear shift is too vague when worked quickly. It's therefore not as satisfying as the ST, but at no point does it feel out of its depth. And that's important for a GTI.


FACT SHEET
Car:
Volkswagen Up GTI
On fleet since: August 2018
Run by: Dafydd Wood
List price new: £14,055 (As tested £16,005 comprising Deep Black paint (£520), Vodafone Protect and Connect 6 (£485), City Emergency Braking Pack (£380), Cruise and Park Pack (£300), Climate Control (£265)
Last month at a glance: Sam becomes the Grand Old Duke of York(shire) as he slogs up north in the Up

Previous reports:
PH gets All Fired Up about the latest Fleet arrival
When is a GTI not a GTI? When it's an Up!
Getting a leg Up on the competition
Pondering room for improvement
Taking the SEAT for a trip to Ibiza
Coming Up against a friendly foe



Author
Discussion

Halo in reverse

Original Poster:

69 posts

48 months

Friday 15th February
quotequote all
Interesting read but don't get the constant comparison & reference to the Fiesta ST.

The ST costs £8K more than the Up GTi, surely a closer comparison would be a Swift Sport ?

geeks

4,300 posts

80 months

Friday 15th February
quotequote all
Halo in reverse said:
Interesting read but don't get the constant comparison & reference to the Fiesta ST.

The ST costs £8K more than the Up GTi, surely a closer comparison would be a Swift Sport ?
All hot hatches regardless of class etc get compared to the Fiesta ST.

Price aside cars should be compared to class which aims the Up GTi squarely at the Abarth 595 but this is always left out of the equation for reasons I cannot fathom, the recent test of an Up GTi, Mazda 2 and Swift, a few PH'ers pointed out that the omission of the Abarth continues to baffle...

Gandahar

6,390 posts

69 months

Friday 15th February
quotequote all

Looking back it is a shame that the original Aygo / C1 / 107 cars with their 1 litre 3 pot engines did not have a turbo fitted by Toyota, Citroen or Peugeot, I really think they missed out there on a fairly quick, but highly chuckable little car.

Balance motorsport did a turbo version for the C1 and TTS did a supercharger conversion for the Aygo.



https://youtu.be/PjLPeAcUD6k?t=60

and

http://www.c1oc.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11082


A cheap way to start trackdays.

Which is good as I found out when I rolled my Aygo at 70mph at a Javelin one biggrin


Darren93

49 posts

46 months

Friday 15th February
quotequote all
It's a shame they didn't put a decent set of seats in these... The ones from the polo GTI would be much more I keeping with the type of car and I'm sure the cost would be minimal.

KP328

1,461 posts

136 months

Friday 15th February
quotequote all
My Dad has one. I had a quick look at it while i was visiting and like the look of the retro tartan seats.
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DazzaSport

45 posts

7 months

Friday 15th February
quotequote all
Halo in reverse said:
Interesting read but don't get the constant comparison & reference to the Fiesta ST.

The ST costs £8K more than the Up GTi, surely a closer comparison would be a Swift Sport ?
I don't think it even compares with the Swift Sport to be honest. In price or performance.

The Swift Sport is quicker than Suzuki have let on. They claim 140 HP for the car... but virtually every one that's dyno'd the car has got 155 HP out of it.

Even better, the Japanese found that by running it on premium fuel as well - draining the tank and everything when dyno testing - that it actually makes exactly another 10 HP more. Bringing it up to 165 HP total.

165 HP (on premium) and just 975 kg means it can be quite quick. Especially in-gear.

ToothbrushMan

1,569 posts

66 months

Friday 15th February
quotequote all
needs must I guess but surely there was other cars in the fleet to do a London to Thirsk and back (in a day) schlep? It might be surprisingly flexible for a 1 litre buzz box but I wouldnt fancy doing that jaunt myself in a car the size of the Up.

also comparing it to a 595 seems unfair on VW. the Abarth may be similar in size/car class and sporting intent but thats about it. The Up is cheap, its a 1 litre with about 115bhp, . The abarth is none of those things least of all its a 4 cyl with 1.4 litres. even a base 500 abarth is the next step up with 135/140bhp let alone the 595. whether the abarth would offer more room inside than the Up I dont know but at least it would have more power for such a long journey without wringing the engines neck to make progress.


Tin Hat

747 posts

150 months

Friday 15th February
quotequote all
Just got mine, it’s a cracking car, really pleased with it- Having run a C63 for the last 7 years, the fuel economy is quite astounding!

Alucidnation

10,304 posts

111 months

Friday 15th February
quotequote all
geeks said:
All hot hatches regardless of class etc get compared to the Fiesta ST.

Price aside cars should be compared to class which aims the Up GTi squarely at the Abarth 595 but this is always left out of the equation for reasons I cannot fathom, the recent test of an Up GTi, Mazda 2 and Swift, a few PH'ers pointed out that the omission of the Abarth continues to baffle...
Sponsorship.

SwUp

1 posts

3 months

Friday 15th February
quotequote all
Just purchased an Up GTI to replace a Swift Sport (2013).

Go with either, after 80,000 miles without a missed beat in the Swift, the up seems to be the nearest modern replacement. Having picked one up for £12k, it's also several thousand cheaper than a new Swift Sport, cheap to insure and so far seems almost as good fun. No it doesn't have the great throttle response of the Swift (last one) and could do with Sports Seats, but it still puts a smile on your face every drive.


Swift is still with us -I can't bear to sell it!

Ron99

940 posts

22 months

Friday 15th February
quotequote all
author said:
'.......The GTI is quick and builds speed with real enthusiasm, but, as we've previously explained, its damping feels too soft and body control slightly too loose to be serious......'
To me, that sounds like the Up GTI might be comfier on longer journeys, better suited to no scrabbling and sliding about on the poor surfaces of the B roads in my area, with better pothole resistance.

A real-world usable car, which is something I've struggled to find in warm/hot hatches.

Halo in reverse

Original Poster:

69 posts

48 months

Saturday 16th February
quotequote all
There appears then to be a lack of direct competitors (£/ perf / size) for the Up GTi, explains the long wait lists.

Im going to test drive one & see what all the fuss is about

AshD

88 posts

190 months

Saturday 16th February
quotequote all
I’ve had everything from a Tesla Model S to a V8 Esprit and a Golf R... my red Up Gti is fab.

You can drive it to its limit and beyond and not excees the speed limit (or not by much!)

Yep, it’s not the last word in suspension capability, but for the price it’s great.

Trophy Husband

1,260 posts

48 months

Sunday 17th February
quotequote all
AshD said:
I’ve had everything from a Tesla Model S to a V8 Esprit and a Golf R... my red Up Gti is fab.

You can drive it to its limit and beyond and not excees the speed limit (or not by much!)

Yep, it’s not the last word in suspension capability, but for the price it’s great.
I'm not a VAG fan apart from those possessed by the female of the species. However, this little Up has piqued my interest having had immense fun in a 1995 Cinquecento Sporting. Is the Up not its natural successor? Full tilt, flat out, screeching tyred fun at 'I'm not going to die speeds'! Add a little lift off and you're there!