0 - 62 mph8.8s

WLTP - CO2 (g/km)

WLTP - CO2125 g/km

Volkswagen's up! GTI takes pretty much all of the hot hatch purity that marks out the Wolfsburg brand's larger Polo and Golf GTI models and distills it into something smaller and more affordable. There's a perky 115PS three cylinder 1.0-litre TSI turbo engine, agile handling, light weight and plenty of scope for personalisation. Sounds promising.


With the up! GTI, now lightly improved, Volkswagen rekindles the spirit of shopping rockets past. Jonathan Crouch checks it out.

Ten Second Review

Volkswagen's up! GTI takes pretty much all of the hot hatch purity that marks out the Wolfsburg brand's larger Polo and Golf GTI models and distills it into something smaller and more affordable. There's a perky 115PS three cylinder 1.0-litre TSI turbo engine, agile handling, light weight and plenty of scope for personalisation. Sounds promising.


I don't remember the original MK1 Golf GTI of the mid-Seventies and I'm almost certain that you won't either. However, Volkswagen tells us that most of what made that iconic shopping rocket truly great is brought back to us by its smallest hot hatch model, the up! GTI. In many ways, it's surprising that there aren't more options for buyers wanting something citycar-sized with a bit of extra zip. If that's your bag, then there's the Abarth 500, the smart BRABUS forfour and... Well not a lot else. Not a lot then for this contender, the Volkswagen up! GTI to beat. But on paper at least, it looks a pretty complete proposition anyway. Volkswagen claims to have lightly revised it but not too much has changed. Not too much needed to.

Driving Experience

Some junior shopping rockets require you to thrash the engine within an inch of its life if you're to release respectable performance. The up! GTI isn't like that. The 1.0-litre TSI turbo three cylinder powerplant beneath the bonnet is a reworked 115PS version of the 90PS unit we've tried in the ordinary up! and like that unit, develops most of its punch in the mid-range. So you won't be thrashing about, ramming the rev limiter in the way you would in some rivals. But that doesn't mean this dinkier GTI can't charm you in a different way. Power on and it delivers a fizzy, effervescent feel thanks to sharp throttle response, super-light weight and an engine note boosted with surprisingly realistic drama by the stereo speakers. By modern hot hatch standards, you're not actually going very fast - rest to 62mph takes 8.8s and the top speed, at 122mph, is not much more than your local sales rep's Ford Focus. But you quickly forget about that and adjust to a different brand of performance motoring. You learn to rely on momentum to urge you on from turn to turn, rather than wasteful bursts of planet-sapping power that you'd normally almost instantly scrub off again at the next bend. At Car & Driving, we've got used to needing to hire a track to really explore the limits of the average modern hot hatch. In this case, all you need is a lightly-trafficed stretch of your favourite route back from the school run. On such a road, you'll notice cornering roll's impressively controlled, thanks to revised dampers, stiffer springs, a lowered ride height and a beefed-up rear axle. Yet despite all this - and a bespoke set of 17-inch wheels - the ride remains compliant. We'd like a little more feel from the steering, but it's pleasantly direct. Our only significant issues lies with the gearbox, lifted pretty much straight from an ordinary up!. The shift ought to have been tuned into the spirit of this car, as it has been in some rivals.

Design and Build

Not much has changed visually, apart from the adoption of the new Volkswagen brand badge. Styled inside and out to be an unmistakable member of the modern day GTI fraternity, the up! GTI of course boasts the famous GTI branding front and rear, along with other details synonymous with the GTI such as the sporty honeycomb front grille, darkened side windows at the rear and bright red brake callipers. There are also red trim strips front and rear, bold 17-inch alloy wheels, a chrome tipped exhaust and sporty twin side stripes that are supposed to recall the styling of the original '70s Golf hot hatch. Inside, this sporty up! Is distinguished by both traditional and modern GTI trademarks. The recognisable 'Jakara Red' checked cloth trim on the front sports seats for example; and the GTI gear knob and flat-bottomed three-spoke multifunction steering wheel which is leather-bound and features contrasting red stitching. Plus there's red ambient lighting and a 'Red 2D Pixel' dashpad, all allowing this up! To make its style statement. As with the ordinary up!, there's a 251-litre boot. Push forward the rear bench and the 959-litre total is 50% more than you'd get in the ordinary boot of a huge Volkswagen Passat Estate.

Market and Model

If you're wondering about the price, well we'll tell you it lies within the realms of affordability - just over £17,500 for the 3-door version, or just over £1`8,000 for the 5-door.Standard kit includes 17-inch 'Oswald' alloy wheels, GTI badging and the hallmark 'Jacara' checked cloth upholstery, as well as ambient lighting. Other creature comforts include Volkswagen's Composition Colour radio system with a five-inch colour screen, a 4x20W output via six loudspeakers, a Bluetooth telephone and audio connection and a USB interface. There's also air conditioning, heated seats, electrically adjustable and heated wing mirrors and front fog lights with static cornering lights, all of it standard fit. Paint colours are also reminiscent of the Golf that started it all: "pure white", "red", "dark silver metallic" and "black pearl" are the options available, plus if you order your car in white, red or silver, there's the option of a contrasting black roof.

Cost of Ownership

WLTP Combined cycle fuel economy is rated at 51.4mpg - but if you get close to that on a regular basis, then you probably shouldn't have bothered buying this car in the first place. The official WLTP CO2 reading is 125g/km. The up! GTI was one of the first Volkswagen cars to launch with a close-coupled petrol particulate filter. Its use reduces particulate emissions by up to 95%. After flowing through the turbocharger, the exhaust gas gets fed directly into the particulate filter, which, with its special coating, also works in parallel as a regular catalytic converter. And warranties? Well the standard package is three years and 60,000 miles. We can't see why Volkswagen couldn't extend that mileage limit to 100,000 miles, since that what you get on its mechanically very similar Caddy model. Doing that though, wouldn't give Volkswagen dealers so much of an opportunity to sell extended warranty packages. There's one for four years and 75,000 miles or, if you plan to see a bit more of the world in your up! GTI, there's a five year / 90,000 mile package.


We can't imagine that Volkswagen will have very much trouble shifting as many up! GTI models as it can make to bring to these shores. British buyers love a small hot hatch with agile handling, a perky feel and a bit of heritage. This car ticks all those boxes emphatically. Ultimately, of course, it's not that fast. But on the right road on the right day, you won't care too much about that. A hot hatch should be about the smile it can paint across your face. This Volkswagen has been engineered to deliver that - just as its Golf predecessor was. Nothing changes.

  • Electric front windows
  • Rear wash/wipe
  • Heated rear window
  • Windscreen wipers intermittent wipe
  • Rear tinted glass from B pillar backwards, approx 65% tinted

  • Hill hold control
  • Red brake calipers
  • Engine drag torque control
  • Front disc brakes
  • Rear drum brakes
  • HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist)
  • Anti-lock braking system with EDL, EBD + TCS

  • Front and rear carpet mats with contrast stitching in red and grey

  • Body lowered sports suspension
  • Galvanished body

  • Volkswagen connect

  • Multifunction camera with lane assist
  • Speed sensitive power steering

  • Rev counter
  • Digital clock
  • Trip computer
  • Multifunction computer
  • Speedometer, electronic odometer and fuel gauge

  • Manually dimming rear view mirror
  • Door mirror integrated indicators
  • Black door mirrors

  • Red pixels dash pad
  • Chrome-plated light switch surround
  • Chrome surrounds to the air vents, radio controls and air conditioning
  • Matt chrome trim on interior door handles, air vent surrounds, infotainment system + instrument cluster

  • Start/stop function with battery regeneration

  • Composition colour system with 5" screen, DAB, AUX in socket, SD card, MP3/WMA/AAC, 4 X 20W, bluetooth, audio connection and USB connectivity
  • Smartphone interface navigation system

  • 'GTI' sports bumpers with chrome bezel for front fog lamps
  • Door sill protectors with GTI design
  • Antenna
  • Body colour door handles
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Black radiator grille
  • Left side chrome exhaust tailpipe
  • GTI on front and rear red stripe on lower radiator grille and tailgate
  • GTI badge
  • Rear tailgate spoiler in gloss black
  • Front air intake in black honeycomb

  • Halogen clear headlights with integrated indicators and range adjustable
  • High level 3rd brake light
  • LED rear number plate lights
  • Rear fog lights
  • LED daytime running lights

  • Heating/ventilation unit with 4 speed fan

  • Height adjustable steering wheel
  • Variable boot floor
  • Luggage compartment cover
  • Jack and tool kit
  • 12V accessory power point in centre console
  • Cooled glovebox
  • Jacara cloth upholstery
  • Storage compartment in front doors
  • 2 cup holders in the centre console
  • Multifunction leather trimmed three-spoke steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake grip
  • Black headliner
  • Easy entry aid for access to rear seats with memory function
  • GTI logo and red contrast stitching on steering wheel

  • Ambient lighting
  • Luggage compartment lighting
  • Delay courtesy light function

  • Winter pack - Up

  • Tyre pressure loss indicator
  • High tone horn
  • Curtain airbags for front and rear passengers
  • Driver and front passenger airbag with front passenger airbag deactivation
  • 3 point front seatbelts with pre-tensioners
  • Two 3 point rear seatbelts
  • Driver/front passenger side airbags
  • Seatbelt warning lamp and buzzer

  • Front head restraints
  • Driver seat height adjustment
  • Front sports seats
  • Folding front seat backrest release on front passenger seat
  • Isofix Preparation 2 Rear child seats
  • Height adjustable rear seat head restraints with contrast stitching (x2)
  • Two rear seats with 60/40 split folding rear seat backrest

  • Electronic engine immobiliser
  • Locking fuel filler cap
  • Remote central locking with 2 remote folding keys

  • Drivers and front passengers sun visors with vanity mirrors

  • 17" Oswald alloy wheels with anti theft wheel bolts

  • Tyre mobility system

  • CO2 (g/km): 110
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low: 145
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium: 112
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High: 104
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High: 130
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 125
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max: 126
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min: 125

  • CC: 999
  • Cylinders: 3
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Number of Valves: 12
  • Camshaft: SOHC
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Transmission: MANUAL
  • Gears: 6 SPEED

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • EC Urban (mpg): 47.1
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg): 67.3
  • EC Combined (mpg): 58.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Low: 44.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium: 57.6
  • WLTP - MPG - High: 61.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High: 49.6
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 51.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min: 51.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max: 50.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low: 6.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium: 4.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High: 4.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High: 5.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 5.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 5.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 5.6

  • Generation Mark: 1
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12
  • Coin Series: Up GTI
  • Coin Description: N
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 17E
  • Service Interval Mileage: 10000
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 12
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: 89
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: 80
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: 46
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: 86
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 3
  • Badge Power: 115
  • Badge Engine CC: 1.0
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1

  • Engine Torque - MKG: 20.4
  • Engine Power - BHP: 115
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 8.8
  • Top Speed: 122
  • Engine Power - KW: 85
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5000
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 148
  • Engine Torque - NM: 200
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 2000

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2

  • Tyre Size Rear: 235/700 R17
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 17" ALLOY
  • Tyre Size Front: 235/700 R17
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False
  • Wheel Style: OSWALD

  • Width (including mirrors): 1979
  • Height: 1492
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 3600
  • Width: 1641
  • Wheelbase: 2412

  • Minimum Kerbweight: 995
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 1360
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 35
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: N
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: N
  • Max. Loading Weight: 365
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 251
  • No. of Seats: 4
  • Max. Roof Load: 50
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 959
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 9.8

  • 6 speakers: Included

  • Solid paint: Included
  • Metallic paint: £575
  • Black roof: £125
  • Special non-metallic paint: £350
  • Pearlescent paint: £575

  • 2 zone electronic climate control with allergen filter: £280
  • Manual air conditioning: Included

  • Cruise and park pack - Up: £440
  • Beats sound pack - Up: £410
  • Light and sight pack - Up: £150

  • Metallic - Tungsten silver: £575

  • Pearl - Deep black: £575

  • Special non-metallic - Tornado red: £0
  • Special non-metallic - Pure white: £350

  • Height adjustable front passenger seat: £85

  • Jacara cloth - Fusion Grey: £0

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

Novuna Vehicle Solutions
Lex Autolease
Leasing Broker Federation

Join our Newsletter

Join our newsletter to receive our latest offers & news

Tilsun Leasing is a trading style of Tilsun Leasing Limited. Tilsun Leasing Limited is a credit broker not a lender.

Tilsun Leasing Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FRN: 670872.
All our calls are monitored for compliance and training purposes.

Registered address: Tilsun Leasing Limited, Verity Court, Pochin Way, Middlewich, Cheshire, CW10 0GW.
Company Registered in England and Wales No. 4393228 Data Protection No. Z7014603 VAT Reg No. 400 8929 64

Tilsun Leasing 2022. All Rights Reserved