Did you know the RAC is celebrating 30 years of The Report on Motoring? Well, I didn't know that either – but when you look back in history, you can see not only how the brand has grown, but how our attitude to motoring has also changed too.
To be honest, since the early 80s, motoring has moved on at such a pace that our feet have barely touched the ground – and who would have thought 5 years ago that we would be driving some of the most technically advanced cars of the future right now! Not me that's for sure, but that's the future I suppose - so we need to embrace it.
Well thanks to the RAC – they have put together a wonderful little timeline of The Report on Motoring and you can view it here.
The report is full of fantastic little facts that most of us would have forgotten about. Of course, let's not forget that the RAC has been supporting motorists since 1897 –something that they should be very proud of – I for one am very proud of them for doing what they promised. Putting the motorist first!
Let's hope they continue to help us make motoring just that little bit easier in the future – whatever we turn out to be driving. Now, moving on to this months review of the VW UP! GTi.
Power and Efficiency:
The UP! GTi is available in a 3 or 5 door and the version and is fitted with a 999cc 115PS petrol engine that is one of the best small turbo units I have come across in recent years from VW. Fuel consumption is also around the 50+mpg range if you drive it without pushing too hard on the throttle. Top speed is around 122mph – but who drives that fast anyway. 0-62 will arrive in around 8.8sec. Plus - I know what you are all thinking – is it slow? Not a chance – it's brilliant and it goes like nothing on earth for a small car. Of course, it's not as fast as the Abarth 595 – but its so much more fun to drive on the road than the Abarth – which makes it worth taking the hit when it comes to power output.
On the road:
The little UP! Is a scream – it’s easy to drive and feels brilliant for such a small car. I used to own a Fiat 500 and I have to say that the little UP! Is as good as the little Fiat – if not that little bit better. Remember this is not a race car; its a road warrior that's designed to feel like a proper racer for minimal money - as well as looking good to help keep you hip and trendy. So, for the handling alone - I would give it four out of five as it’s as good as its competition when the road gets twisty. One thing I do dislike is where VW has cut corners to keep the price down such as the cabin plastics etc – but this is something I will have to live with. To be honest, it's such a small price to pay for so much fun in return.
Design & Technology
As I said earlier - the interior is a little bland - but functional, but I like the GTi covered dash panel and I think the centre Speedo gives it a better feel overall. The seats are also very good and hold you very firm but are flat and not hugging, but I do think they could have been a little better – but for the price of the UP! GTI I can see why this was not possible.
There is an array of kit inside the UP! GTI – which is streets ahead when it comes to style and specification. The eye-catching exterior is designed to turn heads with 17” diamond cut alloy wheels, ‘GTi’ decals on the outside as well as on the inside too.
Of course you also get the classic GTi Jacara cloth seating – a nod from the original Mk1 Golf GTi Plus; Ambient lighting, Antenna for AM/FM receptionAnti-theft wheel bolts, Black headliner, Bluetooth telephone and audio connection for compatible devices, Carpet mats, front and rear, Chrome trim on air conditioning panel and light switch surround, Composition phone, Digital radio reception (DAB, Driver's and front passenger's airbags, Driver's seat height adjustment, Electric windows, front, Electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors and ESC (Electronic Stability Control).
To sum up:
The little UP! GTi Is a great little car for doing the school run and for all the times when you needed to nip into town to do a little retail therapy or if you fancy going for a hot hatch blast. There is no doubt in my mind that the UP! GTi will live with you for a very long time and you will instantly replace it with another when the time is right. To be honest it’s like your secret little friend that will make you feel happy every time you turn the key.
Price: £13,855 (from) 3 door By Anthony Yates