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Expert Rating

Volkswagen e-Up (2014 to 2022)

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Expert Rating

Volkswagen e-Up (2014 to 2022)

Not a current model

    Summary


    The Volkswagen e-Up (styled as e-up!) had been around in the UK since 2014, undergoing a major update in 2019, before it was discontinued in 2022. It was developed from the mainstream Up range which is still available – regarded by many reviewers as the best small car on the market.

    The e-Up arrived in early 2014, two years after the original petrol Up. Facelifted versions had a far more efficient drivetrain than earlier models. An 82hp motor was paired a 32.2kWh battery to porduce an official range of 161 miles – further than the more recent Mini Electric and brand-new Honda e, both of which cost rather more than the Volkswagen.

    Plus points included a charging socket where the fuel filler cap would normally be, a full recharge from a 7kW home wallbox taking around four hours. Reviewers pointed out the flaw in Volkswagen’s much trumpeted claim that a fast charger will add 80% to the battery in under an hour, as most rapid chargers are at motorway service areas and the e-Up was more likely to be employed around town than eating up motorway miles.

    The e-Up was like many EVs; quiet and refined on the road, but for a small car its handling was considered ponderous. Reviewers did like the extensive regenerative braking options though, helping to put charge back into the battery. 

    Despite equipment including two-zone air-conditioning, heated seats and a rear-view camera, the £24K starting price of the e-Up! earned criticism. The fit and finish was highlighted as tired compared to more recent rivals. Instead of a proper infotainment system, drivers were expected to plug in their phone – the interior was not significantly updated in the decade the car was on sale.

    After production stopped and started during 2020 and 2021 thanks to Covid-19 factory shutdowns and then supply shortages, the Volkswagen e-Up will finally end production in 2022. Apparently the company is still building cars to fulfil previous orders, but the e-Up can no longer be ordered new in the UK.

    The Volkswagen e-Up has an Expert Rating of 64%, based on 19 reviews. This is some way behind the regular petrol Volkswagen Up, and also a few points the almost-identical SEAT Mii Electric which was discontinued around the same time.

    e-Up highlights

    • Better battery range than some pricier rivals
    • Refined and quiet on the road
    • Generour reat-seat space and boot
    • Sensible placement of charging socket

    e-Up lowlights

    • Expensive for a city car
    • Modest equipment levels
    • Uninspiring handling
    • Now dated against newer rivals

    Key specifications


    Body style: Small five-door hatch
    Powertrain: electric motor, battery-powered
    Price when new: From £24,085 on-road

    Launched: Winter 2013/14
    Last updated: Winter 2019/20
    Ended production: Summer 2022


    Media reviews


    Reviews, road test and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

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    Green Car Guide

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    Honest John

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    Motors.co.uk

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    Parkers

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    The Sun

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    The Telegraph

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    Top Gear

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    What Car?

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    Which?

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    Safety rating


    Independent crash test and safety ratings from Euro NCAP

    Overall score: 3 stars
    Date tested: December 2019
    Read the full Euro NCAP review

    Adult protection: 81%
    Child protection: 83%
    Vulnerable road users: 46%
    Safety assist: 55%

    Notes on safety

    The Volkswagen e-Up shares its safety rating with the rest of the Up range, which is not always the case for an electric model. The Up was initially given a five-star safety rating by Euro NCAP when it was first assessed, which was way back in 2011. However, it was reassessed in 2019 and downgraded to a three-star rating. Testers highlighted marginal chest protection in some tests, and that autonomous emergency braking was not a standard feature on the Up!

    In summary, the e-Up still provides competitive protection in the event of an accident, but it no longer meets the highest standards for avoiding an accident in the first place.

    Eco rating


    No eco rating

    As of June 2022, the Volkswagen e-Up has not been lab tested by Green NCAP. Now that it is ending production, it’s unlikely to be put through Green NCAP’s testing process.

    Awards


    Trophies, prizes and awards that the Volkswagen e-Up has received

    2016

    • Next Green Car Awards – Best City Car

    2013

    • Next Green Car Awards – Next Generation Award

    Similar cars


    If you’re looking at the Volkswagen e-Up, you might also be interested in these alternatives

    BMW i3 | Fiat 500 Electric | Honda e | Mini Electric | Peugeot e-208 | Renault Zoe | SEAT Mii Electric | Smart EQ Fortwo | Smart EQ Forfour | Vauxhall Corsa-e

    The rapidly expanding electric car market is changing almost monthly, but is still relatively small compared to the number of petrol and diesel models available. That means that there are fewer direct competitors but a variety of different cars for a given price point. Of the cars listed above, few are genuinely similar to the Volkswagen e-Up in terms of size and specification, but all are trying to fill a similar role for urban driving.

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    Volkswagen e-Up (2014 to 2022)The Volkswagen e-Up! has undergone significant improvements since its launch back in 2014, but the cabin and safety tech are now dated.