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New VW e-Up! is More Desirable Than Ever.

VW e-Up! – More Desirable Than Ever.

The stylish e-Up is proof that Volkswagen’s smallest electric vehicle (EV) has lots to offer. With its blue decorative trim strips, together with the striking C-signature LED daytime running lights, the e-Up! is easily identified as being a proud member of VW’s expanding EV passenger car range. The first-generation VW e-Up! was launched in 2013 and it has received some relatively minor improvements during the intervening years, but the most relevant upgrade is the new Lithium-ion battery, which has increased from just 18.7kWh to a more practical 32kWh.

Electric Drive System.

The efficient electric drive system in the new VW e-Up extends the range to 253km, and it also extends the driving pleasure. Thanks to the time-delayed charging option, the car doesn’t have to be charged as soon as you plug it in. Depending on electricity rates, drivers may be able to charge at night and take advantage of lower prices. You simply enter your desired departure time under the e-manager in the maps + more app, or the We Connect app, press the charging mode button in the middle console and plug the car in to the wallbox. Then, at the pre-programmed time, the car will be ready to drive away. The car can be fully charged via a 7.2kW domestic wallbox charger in around 5h 30m, with a full charge via a domestic three-pin electric socket taking a little over 16 hours to complete.

More Features, Lower Cost.

The new e-Up offers even more standard features than before, yet it now costs less than ever to buy. A traffic sign reminder, ‘Lane Assist’, and fully-fledged head and side airbags, as well as the new ‘seat occupant detection function’ for rear passengers are all on board to protect all occupants at all times. The e-Up is available in just one trim grade (Style) and it  comes with a range of packages as standard, such as the ‘comfort package’, ‘assistance package’ and ‘winter pack’. Additional key standard equipment includes 15” Blade alloy wheels with low rolling resistance tyres, ambient lighting, rear privacy glass, air-conditioning (Climatronic) with enhanced air filter, multifunction display, 6 speaker stereo system, 12v outlet in front, rear view camera, Park Distance Control, cruise control, leather multi-function steering wheel, ‘Shark Skin’ dash pad, unsplit rear bench seat for 2 people, height-adjustable front seats, auto headlights, auto wipers, front passenger airbag deactivation, Electronic Stability Control with hill hold control, halogen headlamps, LED Daytime running lights, remote central locking with SAFELOCK, heated front seats, laminated and heated windscreen, and power-adjustable and heated exterior door mirrors. The standard grey cloth upholstery in the e-Up features a ‘Cross’ design that compliments the stylish 3-D ‘Shark Skin’ dash pad, and immediately catches your eye upon entering the car. The height-adjustable front seats feature seamlessly-integrated headrests for a sporty look and feel, and overall head and legroom in the front is impressive. Connectivity is taken care of by way of the maps + more dock and the standard ‘Composition Phone’ radio system. Simply connect your smartphone, and the e-Up is transformed into a networked car in only a matter of moments. The car’s dashboard is logically laid-out, and its clean, simple design will appeal to driver’s who prefer buttons for the heating and ventilation system, as opposed to the touchscreen-operated set-up that has become so popular over the last few years. The exposed painted metal areas at the top of the doors add a touch of character to the cabin, and overall build quality is impressive.

Test Car Details.

My VW e-Up Style test car was finished in ever-popular Pure White paintwork with a contrasting black roof for terrific visual impact. I found it easy to get comfortable behind the multi-function steering wheel, and the car’s relatively tall stance ensures there is plenty of headroom available too. Instant torque from the e-Up’s electric motor enables the car to sprint from 0-100km/h in 11.9 seconds, and it can confidently overtake slow-moving traffic with ease. Given the fact that the e-Up is a city-focused EV, it is admirable that it can happily tackle motorway journeys too. The e-Up weighs over 200kg more than the petrol version, and the extra weight is consumed by the batteries that are located beneath the floorpan and between the axles. This means that the e-Up has the same precise turn-in and excellent body control as conventional versions, and this also allows the car to feel well planted on the road at all times. The steering is reassuringly sharp and it provides good levels of feedback to the driver, so nipping up and down congested city streets is a pleasurable exercise. The overall ride quality in the e-Up is good, while the near-silent cabin ambience is truly satisfying, with only the gentle buzz of the electric motor, and minimal road noise getting in the way of total silence. There are five levels of brake regeneration available (D, D1, D2, D3 and B), so drivers can choose the level of braking assistance that suits their driving style.

Verdict & Pricing.

The VW e-Up is a practical, and immensely likeable, small EV that is fun to drive, cheap to run, and such an easy car to manoeuvre in and out of busy shopping centre carparks. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the e-Up recently, and it should not be overlooked by buyers who want a fully-electric city car that is full to the brim with character, easy on the eye and easy on the pocket too. The VW e-Up Style is priced from just €27,850 (on-the-road price including grants – terms & conditions apply).


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