The Straits Times
Published on Nov 28, 2011

Drive Up in style

The new VW hatchback may be tiny but it boasts a gentle ride quality, easy handling and funky looks


Making a modern entry-level car is harder than it sounds. It has to be cheap and compact yet roomy enough and be both economical and enjoyable to drive.

The task becomes even harder if said car is a new Volkswagen because people will expect it to compress the Polo's practicality and the Golf's goodness into a smaller package, rather than compromise on those familiar virtues.

The Up is indeed small, but it is big on style. That four-square shape is adorned with a friendly face, a glassy tailgate, avant-garde tail-lights and a lovely choice of 15- or 16-inch alloy wheels.

Despite its petite dimensions (the wheelbase is a mere 2.42m), the Up is surprisingly spacious inside, not only on the front seats but also on the rear bench and in the boot.