Volkswagen's Up! minicar has received complimentary reviews overseas, as well as being named 2012 World Car of the Year.
VW doesn't sell the Up! in the United States, but we got the chance to borrow one and live with it for a week on our home turf. Turns out that the Up! resets our expectations for minicars.
We at Consumer Reports haven't been too impressed with the current crop of minicars. The Smart ForTwo has the second lowest score of any vehicle currently in our Ratings. We've just finished testing the Scion iQ and it doesn't score much better. Both make sense as urban cars in Europe, where parking is tight and fuel is extremely expensive. Those conditions don't quite exist here, so it's hard to excuse their horrid ride, slow acceleration, and awkward handling. And given their small size, you'd expect both to return better fuel economy and come at a cheaper price. (While also tiny, the Fiat 500 is a much more substantial and higher-scoring car.) Read Article