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Volkswagen e-Up

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The Volkswagen e-Up (styled as e-up!) is one of the older EVs available today, having been around in the UK since 2014 and undergone a major update in 2019. It was developed from the mainstream Up range, 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. Newer versions have a far more efficient drivetrain than earlier models. An 82hp motor is now matched to a 32.2kWh battery producing 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 VW.

Plus points include a charging socket where the fuel filler cap would normally be, a full recharge from a 7kW home wallbox taking around four hours. Reviewers point 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 more likely to be employed around town than eating up motorway miles.

The e-Up is like many EVs; quiet and refined on the road, but for a small car its handling is considered ponderous. Reviewers do 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 £23,000+ price of the e-Up!, even with a Government plug-in grant, earns criticism. The fit and finish is highlighted as tired compared to more recent rivals, while instead of a proper infotainment system drivers are expected to plug in their phone, the interior having not been significantly updated in the decade the car has been on sale.

The Volkswagen e-Up has an Expert Rating of 63%, based on 18 reviews. This is some way behind the regular petrol Volkswagen Up, and also a few points the almost-identical SEAT Mii Electric.

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: From £23,555 on-road*
* includes £2,500 plug-in car grant

Launched: Winter 2013/14
Last updated: Winter 2019/20
Replacement due: TBA

Media reviews

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

Auto Express




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Daily Mirror


Green Car Guide


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The Sun


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Top Gear


What Car?




Safety rating

Overall rating: 3 stars
Date tested: December 2019









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

The Volkswagen e-Up has not been lab tested by Green NCAP. This is a new initiative, launched in 2018 as a sister organisation to Euro NCAP, and only a few cars have do far been assessed.

The e-Up is now an old car, so it is likely that it will never be tested by Green NCAP. If it does ever happen, we’ll update this page with the results.


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


  • Next Green Car Awards – Best City Car


  • 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.

Buy or lease a Volkswagen e-Up

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Best car rankings

Want to see how this car ranks against its rivals?

The Car Expert has the ultimate ranking of the best and worst new cars on sale, based on scores from 25 of the top UK motoring websites