The Volkswagen e-Up! Is a worthy contender in the electric supermini market. It has some tough competition from the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive and its larger rivals, the Renault Zoe and BMW i3.
The Renault Zoe and BMW i3 are well known names in the EV industry but the Volkswagen has always flown somewhat under the radar. There are only 171 VW e-Ups in the entire UK!
The little VW has a typically well-built German feel and an equally strong price tag. The electric Up comes in at almost twice the price of the petrol equivalent. Luckily VW have tried to justify this price point by throwing just about every option at the car. The e-Up comes with heated seats, auxiliary app control, and a Maps & More Multimedia control system from Garmin.
The e-Up also drives amazingly well. The acceleration is impressive with a stronger push from a standstill than a Renault Zoe or Nissan Leaf. The handling is also composed and comfortable. This is possible because Volkswagen designed the e-Up as a full electric model from the outset rather than shoehorning an electric motor into an existing petrol body.
There is no denying that the e-Up is a small car and for some it is hard to justify the level of expense required for this rare car for such a small reward. In truth, if money were no object, there is no better alternative out there in this segment. The Zoe is just a little bit bigger but it is noticeable in day to day city driving. The e-Up does lose out on boot space however there is still enough room for an average shopping trip and a separate cable storage area.
The e-Up is also a full five door vehicle. This makes a huge difference when it comes down to actually using the car as a four-seater.
Overall, the e-Up is a well-designed and solidly built option in the rather empty electric supermini segment. If you can afford the upfront outlay the e-Up will no doubt impress you. The big problem might just be finding one!