Volkswagen has always been known as “The People’s Car.” As in, affordable and ubiquitous. VW’s Das Auto advertising campaign has been highly effective – that slogan has permeated the public consciousness in a big way.
While the company strayed from its roots in the past (VW Phaeton, anyone?) with upmarket intentions, VW has returned to its original mission. The Up! Concepts over the past few years have illustrated this. The production three-door was released a while back, but the five-door is making an appearance today.
The Up! is the smallest VW, coming in below the Polo. It aims to be the Beetle of the 21st Century, with its small size appealing to buyers in packed urban centers. The Beetle was highly successful all around the world for many years because of those reasons. For modern times, VW aims to do it by offering a supermini that isn’t like a penalty box.
We don’t know about that (it’s not exactly sumptuous in there) but it is better than a lot of alternatives. And, reviews coming in have been good. The new five-door sticks to the same formula as the three-door – retaining the same dimensions and engine options. It hasn’t been stretched to provide more legroom for rear seat passengers. Weirdly enough, the rear windows don’t roll down either. What is Up! with that?
One engine is available – a 1.0-liter three-cylinder in two power guises: 60 and 75 horsepower. For the two added doors, VW will charge you a bit north of $600 extra. The Up! five-door starts at about $13,300 at current exchange rates. The Up! will first go on sale in Germany beginning in March. Availability will spread across the rest of Europe by summer time.
VW doesn’t have any plans to bring the Up! over to the United States as of yet. Across most of the country it probably wouldn’t sell too well, but a limited availability program could work. New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and other cities like that could be potential markets.