What Car? says...
No, the Volkswagen e-Up isn’t named after a familiar Yorkshire expression; the extra vowel denotes that this is the all-electric version of VW’s smallest car. Electric cars tend to make most sense in built-up urban areas, so surely the Up, a great city car, is the ideal starting point for one?
Well, in many respects, yes, because, just like the regular petrol-powered Up, the fully electric e-Up is blessed with tidy driving manners and turn-on-a-dime manoeuvrability. The trouble is, a great electric car also needs to make sense financially and have a long range, particularly when it's battling for sales against the likes of the larger Renault Zoe, more expensive Mini Electric and the e-Up’s own close cousins, mechanically identical Seat Mii electric and Skoda Citigo e iV.
The e-Up first arrived in 2013 and was updated in 2019, the main change being a new battery with twice the capacity of the previous version. That allows for a WLTP-tested official range of 161 miles. Also new for 2019 was standard-fit lane-keeping assistance and extra airbags inside for a boost in passive safety.
The e-Up stands as a model in its own right, with a single trim level and an 82bhp electric motor. There are no other trim or propulsion options, but Volkswagen does offer plenty of personalisation choices, such as a contrasting roof colour and different interior inserts.
So, does the e-Up have what it takes to compete with today’s best electric cars? Is it just the thing to match your lifestyle? Or would you actually be better off with a petrol Up? Read on over the next few pages and we’ll tell you all you need to know, and don’t forget to head to our New Car Buying pages for a hassle-free new car purchase.