The $13,990 before on-road costs price applies to the three-door variant of the sub-light Volkswagen Up!, while the identically equipped five-door model will cost $1000 more at $14,990 before on-roads.
The sharp pricing means the pint-sized Up! will undercut the entry-level version of the brand’s larger city car, the Volkswagen Polo, by up to $3000, allowing it to compete directly with some of the cheapest vehicles on the market, including the Holden Barina Spark (from $12,490), Nissan Micra (from $12,990), Proton S16 FLX (from $13,990) and the Suzuki Alto ($11,790).
Unlike some of its competitors, however, the Up! will only be available with a five-speed manual transmission from launch. A self-shifting automated manual gearbox is available overseas but Volkswagen Australia has not announced any plans to introduce it as an option at this stage.
The Volkswagen Up! breaks new ground in the city-car class, becoming the first vehicle of its size in the world to come standard with an autonomous braking system. The City Emergency Braking function scans the road ahead at speeds between 5km/h and 30km/h and brakes automatically to avoid a crash or reduce its severity if the driver fails to do so.
Other standard features in the four-seat-only Up! include four airbags (dual front and sides), electronic stability control, 14-inch steel wheels and a full-size spare, manual air conditioning, cloth upholstery, and a six-speaker AM/FM radio with CD player and AUX input.
For $500, the Up! can also equipped with an innovative portable infotainment unit called Maps + More. The five-inch touchscreen module incorporates satellite navigation, Bluetooth phone connectivity with text-to-speech and audio streaming functions, multi-function trip computer and a micro SD card slot for media player and picture viewer options.
Likely to be popular is the $600 Comfort drive package, which adds cruise control, rear parking sensors and a multi-function display trip computer with outside temperature, trip time and length, speed warning, average and current fuel consumption and distance till empty measures.
Those wanting a more upmarket look and feel from their Up! can option in the Comfort style package which, for $2500, includes 15-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights, front and rear carpet floor mats, heated front seats, leatherette seat upholstery with white stitching, and a leather-bound steering wheel, handbrake lever and gearknob.
Driving the Volkswagen Up! is a naturally aspirated 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine producing 55kW of power (at 6200rpm) and 95Nm of torque (at 3000-4300rpm). With a five-speed manual sending drive to the front wheels, the Up! accelerates from 0-100km/h in a far-than-blistering 13.2 seconds.
Fuel economy is more impressive, with the Up! consuming just 4.9 litres of fuel per 100km on the combined cycle, although its requirement to be refuelled with premium unleaded petrol will increase the cost of filling its 35-litre tank.
At 3540mm long, 1641mm wide, 1476mm tall and riding on a 2407mm wheelbase, the Volkswagen Up! is more than half a metre shorter than the Polo (although its wheelbase is just 49mm shorter), as well as 41mm narrower and 24mm lower.
There’s 251 litres of cargo space with the back seats in place (30 litres less than the Polo) and 951 litres with the 60/40 split backrests folded forwards (one litre shy of the Polo).
Seven paint colours are available: white, red, black, light blue, dark blue, light silver and dark silver.
Read: Volkswagen Up Review
Volkswagen Up! manufacturer’s list prices:
- Three-door manual – $13,990
- Five-door manual – $14,990
- Metallic/Pearl effect paint – $500
- Maps + More portable infotainment device – $500
- Panoramic electric glass roof – $1400
- Comfort drive package – $600
- Comfort style package – $2500