Road Tests

Volkswagen e-UP!


thumbs upFine EV supermini, fun, swift and special

thumbs downBig new price, town drivers only, longish charging times

Should You?

Disarmingly enjoyable to drive and feels faster than its 12 second 0-60 time and 80 mph top speed suggests. Exactly the same cabin and boot space as normal UP! so no packaging compromises. £25k before Plug-In grant is hefty price to pay but used ones look terrific value - if you can find one. Gaining a strong following with EV enthusiasts and widely admired. Quicker and better built than a Renault Zoe with a five star NCAP safety rating. Energy recovery system has four modes to slow the car down with varying degrees of braking force to harvest energy and increase battery range.  VW say 75 to 100 mile range in normal use but we achieved 112 miles on test – but driving like a nun. Eight year 100,000 battery warranty and £249 for three years servicing. Only slightly numb steering spoils the driving experience but handles quite crisply. Probably the best engineered EV supermini of them all.

My Charging Life

Charging from a domestic three-pin plug will take nine hours but four hours with a wall box. Rapid charging takes 30 mins to reach 80%. Cold weather can bring the range down to 50 to 75 miles but useful real-life normal-driving range is around 80 miles.

The Downsides

The limited range and high new price are the only things that let the UP! down – if you’ll pardon the pun…


One of our favourite small EVs and makes a fab buy secondhand.