This time last week we came across a former PH longtermer in the classifieds, a car which we thoroughly admired at the time but decided we'd find even easier to enjoy with the added benefit of a year's depreciation. The same is undoubtedly true for today's Spotted, which in three-door format also spent a perfectly pleasant six months on the PH fleet last year - and is already available with a hefty discount.
When it joined us, Volkswagen's new Up GTI was burdened with a great deal of expectation for such a little car. On paper, similar kerb weights, power outputs and proportions meant that comparisons to the legendary Mk1 Golf GTI were inevitable, despite the standard Up's city car billing making for a decidedly different starting point. Once driven, it soon became clear that filling such sizeable shoes was perhaps an unfair job - but that didn't detract from its true appeal.
The peppy 1.0-litre turbo three-pot provided plenty of mid-range torque, making for a zippy and nimble machine which never failed to improve a daily London commute. And, while its six-speed manual transmission may not have been the slickest ever fitted to a sports car, it did offer the tactility that any good driver's car should. Fuel economy frequently in the 40mpg+ region certainly didn't hurt its cause either. It felt in its element during this sort of urban, light to light, junction to junction driving. While not a B-road blaster in the truest GTI tradition, as a sporty city car the Up GTI excelled.
If there were any other stumbling blocks to recommending Up GTI ownership, the biggest was that 'our' car cost a fiver over £16,000 as tested. That may not be an enormous amount by modern standards, but for such a relatively basic machine - and compared to a standard Up's circa £10,000 entry point - it seemed a lot. Which is where today's Spotted comes in. At £11,692 it's nearly £4,500 cheaper than our test car - the cost of an upgraded sound system on something more expensive - but more than a quarter of the car's original value at this end of the market.
If the 13,000 miles showing on the odometer are an issue, then there are of course alternatives with few miles and lesser discounts - this £13,000 car with 2,000 miles looks like a good option. But it's hard to argue with the GTI's appeal at this price. Sure, we would go for two doors over this car's five - though the added practicality will certainly appeal to some - but other than that this one-year old example looks pretty much perfect. All you have to do is stick your phone in the holder, and go enjoy yourself.
SPECIFICATION - VOLKSWAGEN UP! GTI
Engine: 999cc, 3cyl, turbocharged petrol
Transmission: 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 115@5,000 rpm
Torque (lb ft): 148@2,000 - 3,500rpm
Top speed: 122mph
MPG: 49.6 - 50.4 (combined)
CO2: 127 - 129g/km
First registered: 2018
Price new: £14,150+
Price now: £11,692