Volkswagen Up GTI (2017-2023) review – interior and tech

It might be the entry-level car in VW’s GTI range, but the Up GTI has masses of charm

Evo rating
  • An entertaining car to drive, even if it isn’t in the conventional hot hatch manner; high quality interior
  • Some of the interior’s quality should have gone into the chassis

A strong attribute of the Up GTI is its interior quality relative to its price – you’ll find materials and a build quality that wouldn’t be out of place in the flagship GTI model, the Golf. As well as premium materials and an excellent finish, there’s a delightfully sporty look throughout, thanks to splashes of red on the dash, GTI badges and tartan seats. The steering wheel feels identical to the Mk7 Golf, too.

The fabric may make the Up’s seats slightly more exotic, but their flat shape means they aren’t very supportive and you cling to the wheel to keep you upright during cornering.

There is no satnav or infotainment screen in the Up, not even an optional one. Instead, there’s a built-in holder on top of the dash so you can mount your smart phone and use its functions to direct and guide you. A specially designed app, Maps & More, allows your phone to access data from the car, too, so you can view driving information, control the radio and media player, as well as use a semi-integrated navigation and map. It’s very useful and works seamlessly with the car, making it the default app to use when the phone’s mounted on the dash – far more useable than Apple CarPlay.

For all the apparent quality, luxurious touches and slick phone integration, we can’t help but feel the Up GTI would be a more successful warm hatch, a more successful drivers’ car, if some of that money had been spent developing the chassis further – even at the expense of overall comfort.

Most Popular

Hyundai i30 N and i20 N axed
Hyundai i30 N and i20 N
News

Hyundai i30 N and i20 N axed

Production of petrol-powered Hyundai N hot hatches has come to an end in Europe, with electric N models picking up the baton
23 Feb 2024
Toyota GR Yaris Gen 2 2024 review – first drive of the production ready hot hatch
Toyota GR Yaris – front
Reviews

Toyota GR Yaris Gen 2 2024 review – first drive of the production ready hot hatch

We've driven a prototype GR Yaris Gen 2 on track, now we've driven a production car on ice. Is it still looking good for the ultimate supermini?
27 Feb 2024
Ferrari Purosangue v Aston Martin DBX707 – car pictures of the week
Ferrari Purosangue v Aston Martin DBX707 – twin
Features

Ferrari Purosangue v Aston Martin DBX707 – car pictures of the week

In the latest issue of evo, we pit Ferrari’s Purosangue against the Aston Martin DBX707 – here are some of our favourite shots…
25 Feb 2024