Volkswagen e-Up Interior Layout & Technology | Top Gear
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Saturday 25th March


What is it like on the inside?

Everything’s pretty much as per the petrol Up that’s been with us since 2013. The most obvious changes are the gear selector in place of the traditional stubby manual lever, the Eco button for switching between driving modes, and the instrument binnacle, where the rev counter has made way for a power meter showing how heavy-footed you’re being, or what percentage of braking force you’re capturing back into the battery. The fuel gauge remains, but its graphics have been altered to show a battery meter.

The Up was one of the first cars to elegantly integrate a smartphone into the interior. It barely has an infotainment system – there’s a rudimentary radio, and a bijou heater set-up. Atop the dash, there’s a universal phone mount, and a strategically placed USB socket. It looks plain, but once you’ve plugged your phone it, chosen a playlist and tapped Google Maps or Waze, you’re away.

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All e-Ups are five doors, and rear room is best-in class generous. The 250-litre boot’s one of the more useable in the city car class – there’s under-floor storage for the bulky charging cable, and a tiny parcel shelf to shield belonging from prying eyes.

It must be said that for £20k, the e-Up’s exposed metal panels, hard plastic trim and somewhat bleak ambience are starting to feel a tad tired. A Renault Zoe certainly feels a heck of a lot more grown-up and complete inside. The Up is a practical space, but lacks flair, and is certainly sorted to the remit of shorter journeys than an EV would ideally undertake. We reckon VW should’ve gone for green tartan inside, and started a new tradition…

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