By on January 23, 2012

After having been more or less luckless (Lupo, Fox ..)  in the minicar category, Volkswagen appears to have finally found a winner with its autocorrect-busting Up! In Germany, the two-door city car immediately took first place in its class. In December, the Up! sold nearly the same as the former class champs Renault Twingo and Toyota Aygo sold together (see table.) To make backseat drivers more comfortable, Volkswagen introduces a four-door version of the Up!

Sales Germany, Mini Segment, December And Full Year 2011

MINIS December 2011 Total 2011
Units Share Growth Units Share
Segment Total 16,261 6.7% 7.3% 177,744 5.6%
VW UP! 3,058 18.8% X 3,884 2.2%
RENAULT TWINGO 1,827 11.2% 9.7% 21,897 12.3%
TOYOTA AYGO 1,825 11.2% 76.8% 12,163 6.8%

Internally, the car is known by its acronym NSF (New Small Family). In May a four letter door NSFW (New Small Family Wagen) will arrive at dealers in Germany. By early summer, four doors will open to all of Europe.

With the four-door up! Volkswagen introduces another data-point car reviewers will have to add to their check list: The “H- point.”

The “H- point” seems to be the new G-spot for small cars, even if Volkswagen describes it in clinical detachment as “the relevant vertex of the angle formed by the seat surface and the backrest.”

The H-point of the four-door up! is 378 mm in the rear, which – so Volkswagen tells us – “is higher than in front (306 mm).”

Let’s assume that’s good.

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28 Comments on “Listen Up! Now With Four Doors!...”


  • avatar
    Darth Lefty

    NSFW? Really? You’re having us on.

  • avatar
    Jellodyne

    Do they really think we’ll not notice their model is a baby and think the car is bigger? And NSFW? That’s F’d Up!

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      NSFW is the new euphemism for a four letter word. I pronounce it “nissfoo”, as in, “What the nissfoo is going on here?”

      Bertel’s use of “H-point” as the new G-spot just made me blush.

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    It’s one of those cars you will encourage others to own because it makes so much sense for others to drive. Its a little safer than putting your family in a motorcycle side car.

    NSFW means “Now Selling Funeral Wreaths”

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Sad but true. I like the concept of micro cars but could never own one until a majority of the other vehicles on the road were this size as well. Even a Corolla would badly outmatch this thing in a wreck.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      So pay attention to what you are doing and don’t hit anything.

      I suppose you are one of those people who won’t drive the little dumplings around in anything less than a Suburban? Guess what, as long as we are all sharing the roads with 80K-100Klb trailer trucks, it doesn’t matter.

      And note that there are just as many trucks on the road in Europe, probably more on a percentage basis – they actually move less frieght by rail than we do.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        People will run into you whether you’re paying attention or not. If the majority of those people are driving much larger vehicles, you’re at greater risk of injury when one hits you. Not many of those vehicles are large commercial trucks. I can’t believe I have to explain these things to anyone.

  • avatar
    CoolCreek

    Glad I’ve got a big family in a big safe GMC (pre-Gov).
    About the UP, no trunk space. The two kids in the back will have to stay with soccer. No room for friends, either.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      This could have a place as a commuter rig for one parent while the other parent drives the larger family hauler. It will hold a few kids in a pinch if it has to. Match the vehicle to its intended purpose.

      • 0 avatar
        VanillaDude

        It will hold a few kids in a pinch if it has to.

        Not if those kids were yours. You don’t put your kids in a tin bucket and toss them out onto the highway, hoping for the best. You don’t spend thousands for a vehicle that is this small and put your most valuable assets into it, because of a pinch.

        Auto designers in Europe maybe have a .3 child by the time they are 40 years of age, but in the States, we make real families. Consequently, we are more child-focused than they are. This baby buggy of a vehicle may fit Hamburg, but it won’t fit Dallas.

      • 0 avatar
        Sinistermisterman

        The roads of Europe are not rammed full of SUV’s and full size pickup trucks, meaning that although this car is very small, it isn’t as small compared to the other vehicles on the road in Europe as it would be in the US. If it was involved in an accident, it’d more than likely get into a scrape with a similar sized vehicle. The likelihood of it being turned into a small cube of scrap metal by a Ram/F150/Silverado in Europe are slim to non.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Vanilla – the average number of children per family in Europe is way above 0.3 – maybe you were being sarcastic (hard to tell in text).

        Average household size (in late 1990′s) in the US is 2.6, in Italy 2.7, France 2.5 and in the UK 2.4. Germany and the Scandinavians have down towards 2. So some European countries are comparable
        to the US.
        http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/peo_ave_siz_of_hou-people-average-size-of-households

      • 0 avatar
        VanillaDude

        Auto designers in Europe maybe have a .3 child by the time they are 40 years of age,

        That’s a sarcastic comment towards the guys who designed this toy car.

  • avatar
    Feds

    I _LOVE_ when these small car posts come up and the first ones out of the gate are “THAT TIN BOX WILL KILL YOU!!!”

    1: Are you all constantly getting involved in major collisions?

    2: A Nissan Titan is more likely to kill you than anything short of a Nizzan 350Z. Safety ratings are nice, but other factors contribute to the likelihood of your death as much or more.

    • 0 avatar
      VanillaDude

      You aren’t even close.
      That tin box can kill your kids.

      So, it isn’t about personal safety or size. It is about being a good parent and buying the best vehicle for their safety. You don’t mess with a protectant parent, unless you have forgotten how to be one, or have never been one.

      VW has the nerve to put a toddler next to that Mattel toy. No way should he be put into that car unless he is covered in bubble wrap or if the car is not driven off of narrow cobblestone streets.

      You aren’t even close.

      • 0 avatar
        Feds

        Stairs can kill your kids. Pools kill more kids than guns. Pop Warner Football = Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. Camping leads to death by cobra strike. An airplane is likely to crash into your suburban Buffalo neighbourhood.

        By your logic, the best parents lock their kids in an escape proof concrete bunker in the basement.

        I am the proud owner of two little guys, and the safest I can keep them is to put them into meticulously maintained vehicles, driven by someone who re-takes his professional instruction every couple of years (me), and who is generally in the right lane with a 4-6 second gap to the nearest car.

        An Explorer in an Expedition in an Excursion (the Ford Ex-ception?) won’t keep your kids safe if you are rocking Walmart’s Cheapest Nexxens, clamping your warped rotors with Manny Moe and Larry’s Good-Enough, Almost-fit Organic brakepads, and running 27″ off the bumper of the the guy in front of you who had the impudence to move into the left lane whilst only traveling 20-over.

        Many, many people have not died sitting on their parents laps in a Corvair. Many, many people have died buckled in car seats in the back of a Suburban.

      • 0 avatar
        boltar

        No, no, Vanilla’s right. I personally will not let my precious-cargo kids ride around in anything less than an 18-wheel semi rig. That way if my kids meet Vanilla’s, I know who’s not ending up as dog food in tin foil.

        I strongly recommend parents across the US to do the same. If you’re not willing to put your kids in a semi-trailer rig, you just don’t really love them.

        Now if I can just keep them away from those dangerous stairs and elevators . . . .

      • 0 avatar
        RentalCarGuy

        In fact, it’s you who isn’t even close.

        Quote from EuroNCAP:
        Child occupant
        Based on dummy readings in the dynamic tests, the up! scored maximum points for its protection of the three year dummy. In the frontal test, forward movement of the 3 year dummy, sat in a forward facing restraint, was not excessive. In the side impact, both dummies were properly contained by their restraints, minimising the likelihood of dangerous head contacts. The passenger airbag can be disabled to allow a rearward facing child restraint to be used in that seating position. However, information provided to the driver regarding the status of the airbag is not clear and the system was not rewarded by Euro NCAP. The dangers of using a rearward facing restraint in the passenger seat without first disabling the airbag are not clearly labelled in the car.

        This test is conducted using not only the frontal offset crash, which implies a head-on collision with a similarly sized car, but also using a sideways pole impact, which is the same regardless of vehicle size. Overall, the Up! scored 80/100 in child protection – which is a very high score. It is at the same level as, for example, a Chevrolet Malibu (83/100), comparable to (though slight better as) a Volt (78), on par with a Mercedes-Benz B-class (81/100), significantly better than a Jaguar XF (73/100) and even more significantly better than a Jeep Grand Cherokee (69/100).

        You, Sir, aren’t even close.

  • avatar
    th009

    Sigh … 3 out of 9 comments are VD rants about safety.

    Weight is not all that matters for safety:

    • 0 avatar
      MoppyMop

      I doubt this video will change his mind much. Every time it gets posted anywhere, all it does is inspire conspiracy theorists to perform all sorts of ridiculous mental gymnastics in order to preserve their belief that Eisenhower-era Yank tanks are the safest vehicles ever invented.

      On a related note, I wonder if VD would approve of putting your kids in a car like this ’59 Bel Air, or something like a 90′s/early 00′s era Explorer or Trailblazer – cars that empirical testing has proven to be relatively unsafe but which better match his preconceptions about what a “safe” or “appropriate” family car is.

      • 0 avatar
        VanillaDude

        On a related note, I wonder if VD would approve of putting your kids in a car like this ’59 Bel Air, or something like a 90′s/early 00′s era Explorer or Trailblazer – cars that empirical testing has proven to be relatively unsafe but which better match his preconceptions about what a “safe” or “appropriate” family car is.

        Hell no.

        Not even “your” kids.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    VD is way off base here by employing really outdated stereotypes.

    All things being equal, size matters. But all things are not equal, thus other things matter, like engineering and materials.

    To be honest, what matters most is between the driver’s ears. What matters second most is using the safety restraints properly and according to body size.

    • 0 avatar
      VanillaDude

      Baloney.
      I’m not putting my kids in that Happy Meal container and have it hit by anything bigger than a shopping cart. You want to be logical. I’m telling you that being a parent is emotional half the time. When it comes to autos and families, that Up! is a downer.

      Have you ever been hit? What was between your ears didn’t matter. If this thingy got rear ended by the most popular vehicle sold in 2011 – what would be between your ears would end up on that vehicle’s bumper.

      You want to put that toddler in that back seat and have an F-150 accidentally rear end it? No parent would.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        Nobody’s forcing you to put your kids in anything. You can drive in your Hummer as long as you like — this gives OTHER people a choice.

        Incidentally, a friend got rear-ended on the highway. He was in a Smart with his GF, the vehicle that hit them was a full-size truck. And they walked away with minor bruises. The car was a crumpled write-off, but that was exactly by design.

      • 0 avatar
        Robert.Walter

        But if you invite him to drive about in a Hummer, he will become the kind of Highway Berzerker that he is so concerned about.

        On a different note, to paraphrase the Bard: “Me wondereth why he protesteth so much”.

        To paraphrase me: “Decisions based on emotion or dogma do nothing to prove that you love your kid more than the next guy, nor that you are a better parent, and as a sweetener, they often prove themselves to be poor decisions.”

  • avatar
    wallstreet

    I can’t believe nobody has yet to mention ” Panther”.

  • avatar
    blocbusta

    http://www.euroncap.com/results/vw/up/2011/472.aspx

    As long as you aren’t a pedestrian (screw those guys!) It seems like the uP! is fairly safe.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      And here is an American SUV (the only one tested by EuroNCAP) as a comparison point:
      http://www.euroncap.com/tests/jeep_grand_cherokee_2005/239.aspx

      Not that this will be any help for VD …


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