The Volkswagen e-Up is the smallest and cheapest VW electric car made on well known VW Up platform. The VW Up was introduced in an era where electric cars weren’t all that popular, but the last decade or so has made a massive shift towards electric cars. This is why VW and every other prominent brand are keen on offering as many EVs as they can.
Granted, the mass production approach of brand new technology cars is always riddled with issues and problems that plague such cars for years. Brands tend to upgrade them throughout production which makes them a lot more reliable after a few years. The good news here is that EVs inherently aren’t as problematic as combustion cars are.
The bad news is that the VW Up was designed to be a combustion engine car, not an EV which means that it does not come with its own standalone EV chassis. Either way, the e-Up seems to be a decently reliable car, but it does suffer from issues such as decreased range in the winter, issues with the airbags, infotainment issues, and poor sales.
The VW e-Up is being sold in extremely limited numbers so it’s difficult to find issues that can truly be considered common. However, the issues listed above certainly are common and are known to cause a lot of headaches.
VW e-Up – Decreased range in the winter
Decreased range in the winter is a well-known issue of most electric cars which means that some of them lose a fraction of the range while others lose a lot more. Also, it is important to note that some EVs come with more than 300 or even 400 miles of range, so losing as much as 100 miles of range in such cars is definitely an issue, but not as much as losing 50 miles in a car that can’t do more than 150 miles.
The VW e-Up can do up to 100 miles which means that it is destined to only be driven in the city. However, some owners have reported that the e-Up maximum range can fall almost half of that in severe winter conditions. This means that the e-Up maximum range in the winter could be as low as 50 miles on a full charge.
VW e-Up – Airbag issues
The VW Up as a whole has been subjected to a recall due to faulty programming on the side airbags. Issues such as these can be extremely dangerous and should be remedied as soon as possible. The VW e-Up was also part of this recall which means that you should contact a VW dealer and see if the VW e-Up you are looking at has had these issues resolved.
You also need to keep in mind that even though the e-Up is technically a 5-star rated car when it comes to safety, that does not mean that it is going to fare well in every situation. Therefore, making sure to always have all the essential safety measures ready is more important than the safety rating.
VW e-Up – Infotainment issues
The VW e-Up is a surprisingly sophisticated car considering its size which means that it definitely punches above its weight limit in many regards. Compared to the Fiat 500, the direct competitor of the VW Up, the Fiat is unable to match the VW when it comes to technology, functionality, and the sheer amount of options you get with all modern-day VW models.
The dark side of such functionality is that it is prone to issues from time to time, and the VW Up certainly is no different. This means that the infotainment system is known to sometimes turn off, become completely inoperable, or be slow to respond.
VW e-Up – Poor sales
The reason why it is so difficult to make a list of the most common VW e-Up issues is that the e-Up isn’t selling all that well. The reason why is simply because the e-Up is only usable in busy city centers because the size, the space, and the range are all too measly to accommodate you on a long-distance journey.
Moreover, the people that do buy the e-Up don’t really do all that many miles with it which means that there are many used low-mileage e-Up models on the 2nd hand market. All of these reasons combined make the e-Up sales really weak.
Is the VW e-Up a good car?
It depends on who you asking. If you live in a busy city center that suffers from tight parking spaces or lack thereof, you would probably love the e-Up as it enables you to pootle around town in an effortless manner. The visibility is great, the car is electric which means that you can go anywhere with it, and the price is tempting for an EV.
On the other hand, if you tend to venture out of the city often and you want something a bit more substantial than a tin can with a pack of batteries, the VW e-Up is definitely not a car for you.
Is the VW e-Up better than the VW Up?
The VW e-Up is the better city car and the more reasonable option to get if you have the ability to charge the car at your garage, or anywhere else whenever needed. The combustion engine version of the VW Up is the better choice for those who don’t only use their cars in the city, but also like to do occasional longer distance journeys.
The combustion engine Up is cheaper to buy but more expensive to run. The fact of the matter is that these two are similar, with the only difference being where the power comes from.
Is the VW e-Up going out of production?
The VW Up and the VW e-Up have both ceased production in 2020 because VW decided (and rightly so) to focus on their proprietary ID. EV range instead. The VW e-Up was never a smash hit and it probably wouldn’t ever be one.
As such, no version of the VW Up is available for more than a year now because the VW brand restructuring and poor sales have retired the Up for good.