Volk­swa­gen e-up!

FIRST DRIVE Elec­tric baby tweaked to match rest of range

Auto Express - - Contents - Sam Nay­lor Sam_­nay­lor@den­nis.co.uk @Sam­nay­lor_ae

We plug into fresh-faced elec­tric city car. Is it a win­ner?

VOLK­SWA­GEN’S re­vised up! range is now avail­able in the UK. While we’ve al­ready tried the facelifted car – in­clud­ing the ex­cel­lent 1.0-litre TSI turbo – here we drive the all-elec­tric e-up! for the first time.

The changes are fairly mi­nor over the pre­vi­ous ver­sion. The main vis­ual tweaks com­prise up­dated lights, new bumpers and fresh door mir­rors. Aside from the sharp C-shaped LED day­time run­ning lights and e-up! badg­ing, it looks a lot like any other up!. In fact, it’s the same story in­side; the only clue is a dis­play show­ing range and bat­tery ca­pac­ity.

There are new seats, a dif­fer­ent steer­ing wheel and a re­freshed in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem with a neat dis­play screen on the dash­board. The small screen that used to sit on top of the dash is gone, re­placed by a univer­sal smart­phone holder, which works in con­junc­tion with an app for your phone.

With a 99-mile range, the e-up! is about on par with the older 22kwh Re­nault ZOE – although its com­peti­tor now of­fers a 180mile 41kwh ver­sion for a lit­tle more cash per month. For those who charge at work and home the VW should suf­fice, but we found longer drives un­pleas­ant, be­cause the heater stops work­ing with around 20 miles re­main­ing. Per­for­mance is lim­ited when you run the bat­ter­ies low, too, con­serv­ing power un­til you recharge.

Still, use it as in­tended and the e-up! is punchy, quiet and pleas­ing to drive, thanks to the in­stant torque from the elec­tric mo­tor. The ex­tra weight hasn’t af­fected agility, although it’s much more out of its com­fort zone on the mo­tor­way, where the car is ham­pered by its lim­ited top-end grunt.

Prac­ti­cal­ity is un­changed, with de­cent space in the rear and boot. Be­ing an EV, it’s only avail­able in au­to­matic guise, of course.

Elec­tric up! gets same tweaks as petrol cars; in­stant torque makes it feel nippy

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