VOLKSWAGEN

VOLKSWAGEN UP ELECTRIC HATCHBACK 60kW E-Up 32kWh 5dr Auto

Fuel

FuelElectric

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph11.9s

WLTP - Pure Electric Range

Electric Range160.9 miles

The Volkswagen e-up! is an electric version of the popular up! city car with a now-longer WLTP-rated range of around 159 miles. It remains a strong package, but after a glance at the asking price, you might wonder how it can justify itself on the balance sheet against a more conventional petrol-powered up! That's what we're here to find out.

TOTTING UP

The Volkswagen e-up! is an electric version of the up city car. Jonathan Crouch takes a look at the Wolfsburg brand's now-improved representative in this rapidly burgeoning sector.

Ten Second Review

The Volkswagen e-up! is an electric version of the popular up! city car with a now-longer WLTP-rated range of around 159 miles. It remains a strong package, but after a glance at the asking price, you might wonder how it can justify itself on the balance sheet against a more conventional petrol-powered up! That's what we're here to find out.

Background

Shall we get the jokes about this car being trialled first in Yorkshire out of the way good and early? Let's get to the facts here. Back in 2014, the e-up! was Volkswagen's first toe in the water when it came to electric cars. Back then, the battery range was rated at just 83 miles - and that was on the old, rather unrealistic NEDC cycle. Today's e-up! can, in real terms, go almost twice as far, thanks to a larger lithium-ion battery pack and it's been much improved in terms of comfort and safety. As it needed to be to combat the new wave of small battery-powered models now hitting the market. Should this one be on your shopping list? Let's find out.

Driving Experience

The Volkswagen up! actually makes a great basis for an electric vehicle. The powerplant sits low in the car, a lithium-ion battery pack that in this revised model has almost doubled in capacity, up from 18.7kWh to 32.3kWh. The fact that this battery weighs 230kg and is sited under the floor area has benefits and drawbacks. The plus side is that the centre of gravity is good and low, something you'll feel when tipping the up! into a corner. The downside is that whereas an entry-level petrol-powered up! weighs around 929kg, this electrically-powered version tips the scales at nearly 200kgs more. The sheer amount of torque available masks this fact quite well though, and the car steps off the line briskly, making 37mph from rest in around 5 seconds. Acceleration does tail off markedly above 45mph or so though, but given that this car's going to spend most of its time in urban areas, that's not really a pressing concern. As well as a standard driving mode, the e-up! has two economy profiles as standard: 'Eco' and 'Eco+'. 'Eco' cuts the vehicle's peak power to 50 kW, reduces the output of the air conditioning system and modifies the throttle response. 'Eco+' limits maximum power to 40 kW, further modifies the throttle response and disables the air conditioning. On top of these different operating modes, the range of the e-up! can be greatly influenced by regenerative braking. There are five modes available: D, D1, D2, D3 and B. In D, the vehicle coasts when the accelerator is lifted. In each of the next levels, lifting off the throttle pedal provides an increased level of regenerative braking. In D2, D3 and B, the brake lights are automatically activated when the driver's foot is lifted from the throttle pedal. If anything, the extra weight means that the e-up! rides better over typical city streets than its petrol counterpart. Refinement is very good, as you'd expect from a car with no internal combustion engine. There's just a background whine from the electric motor and some bump and thump from the suspension but otherwise it's extremely serene and takes the stress out of nose-to-tail queuing.

Design and Build

Externally, the e-up! can be identified by badges on the front wings and bootlid, as well as by distinctive C-shaped LED daytime running lights, and 15-inch 'Tezzle' alloy wheels. But these are details. Essentially, aside from the lack of tail pipes, the five-door e-Up is hard to identify without looking for the badging. At just 3.54 metres in length, 1.64 metres in width and 1.48 metres in height, the Up is one of the smallest four-seater city cars, measuring a full 11cm shorter than a rival Fiat Panda. Clever packaging means that interior space is maximised. The wheelbase of 2.42m is one of the biggest in class, which combines with that compact engine and lateral radiator to allow the front bulkhead and crash structures to shift forward too. There's also decent room at the back, with a 251-litre boot being a tad bigger than is typical in this class, the e-Up sharing this capacity with the petrol cars. The 923-litre capacity with the seats folded is marginally down due in part to the higher floor height. The port for charging the battery in the e-Up is hidden behind the fuel filling flap. The interior is colourful, with bespoke upholstery edged in blue, while the leather-covered steering wheel, gearlever and handbrake all have blue stitching. There's also the option of painted body-coloured panels. You need to look fairly hard for the e-Up specific switchgear, but that means the cabin design is clean and easy to get to grips with, featuring a compact centre pod for many of the minor controls. There's loads of storage and the cool dished three-spoke steering wheel frames an instrument cluster of impressive functionality.

Market and Model

You'll pay just over £20,000 for this car after subtraction of the generous £2,500 government grant for plug-in cars. As would be expected, that's not too much different a cost from that which has been applied to this model's two identically-engineered Volkswagen Group design stablemates, SEAT's MIi Electric and the Skoda Citigoe iV. As you'd expect given that this is a city car-sized model, the asking price is quite a lot less than you'd pay for an example of Renault's slightly larger ZOE pure electric car. And it's significantly less than other supermini-sized EV models like the Peugeot e208 and the Vauxhall Corsa-e. You'll want to allow a little extra for the optional wall box for home garage use. This provides a 3.6kW supply and can recharge a completely flat battery in six hours. The standard e-up! specification is roughly equivalent to that of a range-topping petrol-powered up! model and includes luxuries such as heated front seats, cruise control and the Maps and More navigation system. Plus the e-up! adds a heated windscreen, DAB digital radio with six-speaker Sound Pack, the City Emergency Braking system, all-round parking sensors and an electronic climate control system. As well as the standard Bluetooth connectivity and navigation functions of the petrol-powered up!'s Maps and More device, the e-up!'s unit includes charging point location details, range mapping (both one-way and round-trip) and vehicle charging management functions, including the ability to pre-set the vehicle's interior heating or cooling for certain times. Certain vehicle functions can also be operated remotely using Volkswagen's Car Net services on an Apple iPhone or Android mobile device. The e-up! comes with a three-year Car Net subscription that allows users to control or get information on charging status, battery management, doors and lighting, driving data, climate control and the location of the vehicle.

Cost of Ownership

The problem the e-up! faces that cars like the Renault ZOE don't is that it has a conventional petrol-engined sibling that throws costs into sharp relief. True, you'll pay very little to 'fuel' the e-up!; around £1 per charge on a typical UK electricity tariff based on about 30 miles per working day, which would total up to about £23 per month. In contrast, your monthly fuel bill in a petrol car based on that sort of mileage would be around £70 per month. So is saving £47 per month worth the inconvenience of owning a car that would take some planning to undertake a longer run at the weekend? Then there's the fact that a £47 fuel saving a month over three years comes to a mere £1,692, which, given that the e-up! is over £5,500 more expensive than the plushest five-door petrol-engined up!, rather casts a shadow on its value proposition. In order to justify this expense, you'd have to cover a lot more miles. Either you won't want to or the e-up! won't be able to. Free congestion charge entry is one recompense though. Your WLTP-rated driving range in this model is now around 159 miles if you drive it reasonably gently, but that'll drop to well under 100 miles if you pedal it hard and run it with everything switched on, using the 12v socket to boil a kettle. A standard full charge takes less than nine hours from a standard 230-Volt, 2.3 kW household socket. On top of this, all e-up!s have a DC fast-charging circuit as standard. Using the Combined Charging System (CCS), this enables a flat battery to be charged to 80 per cent in 30 minutes, at levels of up to 40 kW using a DC supply. Cables are provided to connect to both a standard UK three-pin socket and a CCS socket.

Summary

Viewed as an EV entity, the e-up! works well. It'll cost you a lot less than many other small electric vehicles, though you'll have to accept that it's slightly smaller and won't go as far as some rivals on each battery charge. It'll go a lot further than before though, in this improved form; that range increase has put this contender back in the game. Only if you start to consider it against a petrol-engined up! does the value proposition start to falter. Could you really justify the substantial premium necessary to own this Zero Emissions variant? If you can, then this VW might prove to be a great urban buyer's choice. This car offers everything you need in a 21st century modern shopping runabout - and nothing that you don't. One thing's for sure: it won't be long before buying a small Volkswagen with an internal combustion engine will seem like a very odd thing to do.

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

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

  • Front + rear carpet mats

  • Galvanished body

  • Volkswagen connect

  • Multifunction camera with lane assist
  • Speed sensitive power steering

  • Digital clock
  • Rev counter
  • Trip computer
  • Multifunction computer
  • Speedometer, electronic odometer and fuel gauge
  • E-Vehicle information via 'Maps + More' smartphone integration

  • Manually dimming rear view mirror
  • Body coloured door mirrors

  • Chrome-plated light switch surround
  • Chrome surrounds to the air vents, radio controls and air conditioning

  • Type 2 mode 3 16 amp charging cable
  • Start/stop function with battery regeneration
  • Type 2 mode 2/G (10A) charging cable

  • 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
  • 6 speakers

  • Antenna
  • Body colour door handles
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Black radiator grille
  • Sports bumpers with air intakes and honeycomb structure
  • e-up Badge on Front doors and rear tailgate
  • Blue stripe on lower radiator grille and tailgate
  • Volkswagen roundel with blue and chrome strips below bonnet lip

  • High level 3rd brake light
  • Halogen clear headlights with integrated indicators and front 'C' signature LED daytime running lights
  • Rear fog lights
  • Dusk sensor + auto driving lights

  • 2 zone electronic climate control with allergen filter

  • Headlining in Light grey
  • Sound generator
  • Storage compartment in front doors
  • Fusion cloth upholstery
  • Multifunction leather trimmed three-spoke steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake grip
  • 2 cup holders in the centre console
  • Cooled glovebox
  • Luggage compartment cover
  • Jack and tool kit
  • 12V accessory power point in centre console
  • Height adjustable steering wheel

  • Luggage compartment lighting
  • Delay courtesy light function

  • Light and sight pack - Up
  • Cruise and park pack - Up
  • Winter pack - Up

  • Tyre pressure loss indicator
  • High tone horn
  • 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
  • Warning triangle and first aid kit
  • Curtain airbags for front and rear passengers

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

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

  • Drivers and front passengers sun visors with vanity mirrors

  • Low rolling resistance tyres

  • 15" Tezzle alloy wheels with anti theft wheel bolts

  • Tyre mobility system

  • Battery Charge Slow Time (Minutes): 720
  • Battery Charge Slow kW: 2.3
  • Battery Charge Slow Percentage: 0-100
  • Battery Charge Fast Time (Minutes): 480
  • Battery Charge Fast kW: 3.7
  • Battery Charge Fast Percentage: 0-100
  • Battery Charge Rapid Time (Minutes): 30
  • Battery Charge Rapid kW: 50
  • Battery Charge Rapid Percentage: 0-80
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Time (Minutes): N
  • Battery Charge Super Charge kW: N
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Percentage: N
  • Coupler/Connector Type: Type 2
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Years: 8
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Mileage: 99630
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 36.8
  • NEDC Electricity Consumption kWh/100 km: 11.7
  • NEDC Maximum EV Range Miles: 99
  • Battery Leased: False
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb: 259
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb - Min: 259
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb - Max: 259
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb: 14.5
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb: 4.29
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb: 160.9
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb - Max: 160.9
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb - Min: 160.9

  • CO2 (g/km): 0
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • Noise Level dB(A): N
  • CO: N
  • HC: N
  • NOx: N
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N

  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): N
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): N
  • CC: 1
  • Cylinders: N
  • Cylinder Layout: N
  • Number of Valves: N
  • Camshaft: N
  • Fuel Delivery: N
  • Catalytic Convertor: N
  • Engine Layout: N
  • Compression Ratio: N
  • Transmission: AUTO
  • Gears: 1 SPEED
  • Engine Code: N

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: N
  • EC Urban (mpg): N
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg): N
  • EC Combined (mpg): N

  • Coin Series: E-Up
  • Coin Description: N
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12
  • Service Interval Mileage: 18500
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 24
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: 81
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: 83
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: 46
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: 55
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 3
  • Badge Power: 82
  • Badge Engine CC: 0
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Generation Mark: 1
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 10E
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False

  • Engine Power - BHP: 82
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 11.9
  • Top Speed: 81
  • Engine Power - KW: 60

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

  • Tyre Size Rear: 165/65 R15
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 15" ALLOY
  • Wheel Style: TEZZLE
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 165/65 R15

  • Length: 3600
  • Width: 1645
  • Wheelbase: 2417
  • Width (including mirrors): 1910
  • Height: 1507
  • Height (including roof rails): N

  • No. of Seats: 4
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: N
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: N
  • Max. Loading Weight: 370
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1160
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 1530
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): N
  • Max. Roof Load: N
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 9.8

  • Black cube 2D upper dashpad: Included

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

  • Variable boot floor and luggage net: £70

  • Interior design pack with Sharkskin dash - E-up: £370

  • Metallic - Tungsten silver: £575
  • Metallic - Honey yellow: £575
  • Metallic - Costa Azul: £575

  • Pearl - Deep black: £575

  • Solid - Teal blue: £0

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

  • Fusion cloth - 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.

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