Bill Wallace, my dog, and the UP! GTI

The most important small car in thirty years and I can't have one.

2y ago


I like small cars. The trouble is, there aren't many made anymore. Sure, there are a handful of sub-compact cars made by a more modest handful of manufacturers, but they are mostly rubbish. The Chevy Spark, for instance, feels like it was discarded by Hasbro only to be discovered in an alleyway by GM and sold as new. The Mitsubishi Mirage, currently the least expensive new car on sale in the States, is still overpriced by about eight thousand dollars. The Fiat 500 looks brilliant, and I'm told quite fun to drive to the service center. The Honda Fit is quite enjoyable to drive, has many cubic meters of storage, and looks pretty good. But it costs more than a fleet of bombers and, at the end of the day, is a Honda. The Ford Fiesta is brilliant in every way, especially with the 1.0 Ecoboost on board. Which is no longer an option for 2018, so you're stuck with the wheezy 1.6 that would do better on fuel economy if it were to drain it out of the tank as you fill it up. Not to mention, the Fiesta -- like the Fit -- requires US Defense money to acquire one.

Volkswagen. Sell me one of these.


The main issue -- aside from cost -- with all of the small, cheap cars on the market today is girth. None of them are actually very small. They may not take up much space in the parking lot, but they still need their weights estimated using gravitational lensing. For a little perspective, and a rare fact, I used to own a base model 1996 Ford Ranger. I once carried two full size, pro-quality basketball backboards and rims to a local recreation center with that truck. It nearly died, but still, it got the job done. That truck weighed eight pounds less than the Chevy Sonic, which might be able to tote a couple basketballs before falling over due to exhaustion. So. What is a small-commuter-car enthusiast to do? The answer is actually pretty obvious; move to the UK and buy an UP! GTI. Sure, you could spend less money and buy a Dacia Sandero, but you'll also be giving up about 20 years of innovation and comfort features. You can get a faster option with the Fiesta ST, but you'll need to sell your children and all of your kidneys first. What you cannot do, is buy a better-looking sub-compact, it has no peers in the looks department.

It looks like a car that would probably not be able to defend itself against an attack from any other road going creature, but it would fight valiantly to its dying breath doing so. Yet, it doesn't look aggressive and stupid like the Civic Type-R. It maintains the understated dignity that the Golf GTI carries, with a gallon of adorable sprinkled on for good measure. It's like my dog, then. My dog couldn't intimidate a house fly, and when approached by a stranger is the friendliest animal in all of the kingdom. However, if an criminal were to try and bring harm to myself, or the person who contributes to society in our household, it would attack with a fury only seen before from the vikings. Yes, it would be summarily dismissed, but it would be an epic and heroic effort who's legend would be passed on for generations to come. So, while it probably won't be fighting intruders, the UP! GTI is a small William Wallace-esque stance against the bloated, boring and expensive sub-compacts that threaten the future of cheap motoring joy.

Too bad I can't buy one.

#3in7 #SmallTribesRule #USA #SmallCarsRule

Join In

Comments (12)

  • Yes, I absolutely, utterly, and unequivocally agree with this. I'm impressed by the standard Up! - I remember reading about the level of thought and engineering that went into developing it, and it is unbelievable. Dial in the GTi factor and you end up with, I'm going to say, one of the greatest cars on sale today.

      2 years ago
  • good read!!

      2 years ago
  • This was a great article, Ryan! Where I live everyone seems to get a Nissan Leaf for some reason..

      2 years ago
  • You're in the wrong country, my friend. Move to Brazil. All we have is small cars.

      2 years ago
    • There are nearly four million people in the greater Seattle area and all we have are monster trucks and Prius'. Doesn't make any sense.

        2 years ago
    • Gosh, there's nothing more American than the yin yang dichotomy between monster truck and Prius lovers. Makes total sense to me.

        2 years ago


Post sponsored by

Which country has the best car culture?
Travis Pastrana begins filming some Gymkhana scenes in Maryland
Ghosts in the machine: six of the most iconic horror film cars of all time
Russian YouTuber sets fire to his $160,000 AMG GT 63 S in protest to Mercedes