The VW e-Up is a small electric city car that shares lots of its mechanical bits and pieces with the slightly cheaper SEAT Mii Electric and the Skoda Citigo e. Here is a detailed Volkswagen e-Up review that you should read to consider this car.
Volkswagen e-Up Review
1. Performance and drive
Making an electric version of an existing car can sometimes play havoc with weight balance and handling, but that’s not the case with the Volkswagen e-Up.
True, the addition of a big battery pack means it’s around 250kg heavier than the petrol Up, but the instant availability of power when you push the accelerator pedal actually makes it feel quicker than its fossil-fuelled stablemate, especially as that car is only available with a measly 59bhp.
Around town, the e-Up certainly feels a lot quicker than its official 0-62mph time of 11.9sec suggests; you’ll have no problem quickly jumping into a roundabout gap. Top speed is limited to 82mph to preserve the car’s electric range, though, and acceleration at motorway speeds is rather more gradual.
You can knock the gear shifter into ‘B’ mode to maximize the effect of the e-Up’s regenerative braking system. This takes energy that would otherwise be wasted when you lift off the accelerator and uses it to top up the battery.
There are three different driving modes to choose from to help make the most of your battery range: Normal, Eco, and Eco Plus.
The e-Up does well when it comes to riding quality; bumps are dealt with better than in many much more expensive cars, and even potholes don’t unsettle it too badly, so it’s a comfortable car to scoot around town in. It’s a considerably more enjoyable ride than you’ll experience in the firm Mini Electric.
The latest e-Up’s electric driving range is far greater than was the case in earlier models, but it’s not class-leading. Volkswagen quotes 161miles in optimum conditions.
Despite costing quite a bit more than the standard petrol-powered Up, the VW e-Up EV doesn’t come with any posher-feeling materials inside. The dashboard, doors and centre console all feel equally hard and brittle and there are plenty of exposed painted metal areas on the doors.
Thankfully, all the buttons and switches you’ll use regularly feel nice and solid and you can get a few slightly more colourful trims on the dashboard to liven the VW e-Up’s cabin up a bit. Although – depending on which paint colour you pick – these may clash with the body-coloured areas on the VW e-Up’s doors.
This might seem a bit old-fashioned, but many modern smartphones are more responsive and come with better touchscreens than your average built-in infotainment system.
This arrangement also lets you use your favourite music-streaming and navigation apps directly through your phone, so you needn’t fiddle about with a USB cable to connect your phone using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto screen-mirroring services.
You do get a hidden USB plug behind this cradle so you can keep your phone battery charged during long drives, but there aren’t any other USB sockets in the e-Up’s cabin.
Passenger and boot space
The petrol Up comes in three-door and five-door forms, but the e-Up is available only as a five-door. Otherwise, there are no differences in practicality. The electric motor sits under the bonnet and the battery pack fits neatly under the floor and rear seats, so you don’t lose any boot space.
Considering its compact city car roots, space in the e-Up’s rear seats is good, with decent headroom thanks to its boxy dimensions. There are only two seatbelts back there, though, so you’ll only be able to carry two passengers. The Renault Zoe is a more practical option if you regularly need to carry more than one passenger.
The e-Up also has a smaller boot than its closest rival, the Renault Zoe, so don’t expect to carry more than a few small bags of shopping. The rear seats do split and fold down if you need to carry anything bigger, though.
From this Volkswagen e-Up review, you can consider if it is good to buy this car.