Down­size to the best small one

ROAD TEST/ It might not be cheap but the Volk­swa­gen Up is rather cheer­ful, writes Ler­ato Matebese

Business Day - Motor News - - MOTOR NEWS -

Down­siz­ing has be­come the rule rather than the ex­cep­tion, par­tic­u­larly in the mid­dle seg­ments of the mar­ket where many peo­ple tend to buy down a seg­ment due to the volatile eco­nomic land­scape.

For many, buy­ing down would be ideal should it mean they do not com­pro­mise on those con­ve­niences and niceties. The A-seg­ment, it can be ar­gued, has lit­tle to of­fer in the way of con­ve­nience items, but mostly, many of the of­fer­ings here im­part to the driver and passenger a feel­ing be­fit­ting be­ing in an en­try-level ve­hi­cle.

Well, there seems to be an ex­cep­tion to the rule in the form of the Volk­swa­gen Up that was launched in three-door only guise in 2014 that com­pro­mised its prac­ti­cal­ity. Now the model is of­fered in five-door con­fig­u­ra­tion and has been given mi­nor cos­metic tweaks.

CLASSY CABIN

These in­clude an up­dated lower valance, new 15-inch al­loy wheels in the in­stance of the flag­ship Move Up de­riv­a­tive and dark­ened rear light clus­ters. The cabin has been given a few new items such as a Blue­toothen­abled in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem, while the mul­ti­func­tion steer­ing wheel has been bor­rowed from the Polo. It is a classy cabin that feels a cut above most of­fer­ings in the seg­ment.

The doors close with re­as­sur­ing so­lid­ity, while the cabin ma­te­ri­als are any­thing but cheap. In fact, the only thing that

Styling changes are min­i­mal on the new Up, in­clud­ing a re­vised front bumper. Right: Dark­ened light clus­ters give the rear a more ur­ban look.

The in­te­rior gets some changes in­clud­ing a new Blue­tooth­com­pat­i­ble au­dio sys­tem.

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