Volkswagen Up tyres

Volkswagen may style this car as the up! but we’ll stick with the more traditional punctuation! Versions of the car are available with names like Highup! Takeup! and Moveup!, no doubt cleverly chosen for their left-field and fashionable attributes to go with the car’s youthful styling. By all accounts the Up is an excellent city car, with desirable looks and image to differentiate it from the Skoda Citigo and Seat Mii, with which it shares many components.


The Up costs more to buy than its cousins and certainly isn’t a cheap city car. It may not be revolutionary but it is certainly better than many of its rivals. Key to this is how it really does feel like a much bigger car inside and to drive. Many small cars like this ride with the properties of a go-kart but the Up drives smoothly, not buzzily, with a supple ride. It’s well-packaged, and since it won the recent J D Power customer satisfaction survey it’s certainly a reliable car with good build quality.

The major feature of city car driving is low running costs, something the Up delivers in spades. It’s cheap to drive around town and on the motorway, where it feels much more composed than many other cars of a similar size. These low running costs are complemented by the eco-friendly tyres fitted by Volkswagen at the Slovakian factory where the Up is made.

These eco-friendly ranges are a relatively new invention. They are designed with an emphasis on environmental performance in their production as well as their use. In terms of driving, they feature low rolling resistance with the aim of lowering both fuel consumption and emissions. Early models featured these benefits at a cost in terms of grip and braking distances but that gap has narrowed significantly since.

Volkswagen fits three different types of eco-tyre to the Up. These original equipment ranges are Hankook Kinergy, Bridgestone Ecopia and Kumho Ecowing tyres. All offer similar characteristics. Since the Up is a relatively new model, etyres would always recommend replacing a damaged tyre with one of the same type, to match the other three. Which tyres, of those three, are fitted to each new Up seems to be a little bit of a lottery, with even VW dealers themselves not knowing until the cars are delivered.

A fourth factory-fitted line is Continental’s PremiumContact range. These aren’t so much about environmental concerns and it’s a little strange to see them on this car. They are more commonly found on larger models. However, since they feature excellent grip and provide high levels of handling and stability, they’re probably the best of the four. Certainly they’re etyres’ best-selling tyre for various cars, not just the Up.

The three eco-tyres detailed above will soon be joined as original equipment tyres for the Up by Falken‘s Sincera range. Another option to consider comes in the shape of Dunlop’s StreetResponse tyres. They are specifically designed for small and city cars, with good grip ratings and an emphasis on longevity.