You’re after a small car to hitch behind your motorhome, for use on tour and perhaps at home, too. One thing is for sure these days – small cars needn’t be dull to drive, especially the sport versions.

One example of these small, city-type cars is the VW up!, which has been a great success in this sector.

Our test model was the recently launched GTI version – and, of course, the GTI tag has pedigree.

This one was loaded with extras, pushing the price from the RRP of £13,880 to £17,499. There’s no sat nav, but after one week and 850 miles, we were reluctant to hand back the keys.

The optional black finish and standard alloys make this car a head-turner. It also manages the trick of looking small on the outside but seeming bigger inside.

The sporty leather steering wheel gets you instantly into the GTI driver mode, and it adjusts, so the dials are unobstructed. All of the controls are easy to reach, and the Beats 300W sound system makes your favourite tunes sound even better.

Although the rear legroom is a little bit restricted, our passengers didn’t complain, even on a 300-mile trip. The front is spacious and the quality is immediately apparent, with everything well-finished. Start up the up! to get that sporty roar, and once on the road, the six-speed ‘box is a breeze.

The VW picks up its feet nicely, even if you slouch with the gear change. On motorways and back roads, it handles well. However, the stiffer suspension is fine on smooth road surfaces, but hit a pot-hole and you feel it.

A weekend trip in the up! meant the boot was put to the test. It’s deep and took our case and other luggage with relative ease.

Put the rear seats down and you have more space, although the boot lip is quite high for heavier items.


  • Price £17,499 as tested
  • Extras Beats 300W audio, climate control, panoramic sunroof, City emergency braking, Vodafone 55-VTS Tracker, Black Pearl paint finish, Jacara red cloth upholstery
  • Engine 1-litre petrol turbo three-cylinder 115ps
  • Economy Combined: 49mpg
  • Warranty Three years/60,000 miles/12 years body