Volkswagen Up GTI: Old-school hot hatch or underpowered pocket rocket?The VW Up GTI seems to have a lot in common with it's grandad, the original Golf GTI. But in an age of overpowered hot hatches is that a good thing?
Some people have been heaping a lot of pressure on this little car [UNKNOWN] They've been saying that it is akin to the second coming. A rebirth of the hot hatch, recalibration for motoring fun in the modern age. Why all the hyperbole? Because on paper, this new Volkswagen GTI has some remarkable resemblances. With numbers that are spookily similar to its ancestor. The car that started a dynasty back in the 1970s. The original Mark 1 Golf GTI. So, what are these numbers that are so similar then? Well, let's start with the power. 113 brake horsepower. Sounds brilliant. VW has actually done some very clever things with sound actuators to make the most of the noise that with the TSI engine produces. I'm pleased to say that the end result doesn't sound the least bit synthetic. It just has that lovely three-put rate of warming like an old air-cooled portion high level, but perhaps an adolescent one. Ford's [UNKNOWN]. [NOISE] It's great, isn't it? It feels quite a punchy little engine as well. Although, you're not really gonna get It just doesn't soak up the bumps well enough .This has got quite a lot of rolls, so it feels like there's a bit of travel. But it doesn't pit you around too much, and the tires are standing up pretty well as well. These [INAUDIBLE] air efficiency There is a surprising amount of grip in the little Up. And although it does feel a big narrow and a touch top-heavy, you can really chuck it around. Don't expect a lot of chassis adjustability, however. You can't get the rear moving like you do in a Fiesta ST. In fact, you can't even turn off the ESP, although it's well-calibrated enough not to become the nagging nanny you might think. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] One thing you certainly can't complain about is the price. In the UK this three door car costs just 13,555 pounds. It comes with decent specs as well, with bluetooth, little touch screen, air conditioning, leather trimmed multifunction steering wheel, and [UNKNOWN] top seats. Those seats heated too. It's worth saying that overall it feels like a really habitable, rather grown up little car. Take, for example, the toy car, the smallest of cars. Anything can be a road to this. My arm, for example. And so, with the Up GTI, it opens up a whole world of driving pleasure that's just not accessible to other cars. Roads like this. [MUSIC] What a fun car. [MUSIC] Yep, might not be rewriting the hot hatch rule, but this fledgling GTI is a lot of fun. It reminds me in many ways of the [UNKNOWN] horsepower, because whatever road you're on it just puts a smile on your face. And at the end of the day, that's what's important, isn't it?