Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florida. ...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Apr 9, 2012

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Volkswagen, the German car manufacturer most famous for its uniquely styled Beetle, has come a long way since producing its stubby, round, insect-influenced vehicle that’s now highly sought surfers, vintage lovers, and hobbyists. While the foreign automaker continues to make uniquely styled vehicles, they’ve proven themselves as one of the top manufacturers, winning the World Car of the Year competition in three of the last four years. This year, the World Car of the Year award went to the Volkswagen Up!.

What’s Up! With This Car?

“Never before in this economy segment have owners felt so premium,” said World Car Awards jurors, according to asiaoneMotoring.

Referring to the car’s affordability, auto loan borrowers looking to spend a relatively small amount on a new vehicle will have no problem identifying the “premium” qualities of the Volkswagen Up!.

The Volkswagen Up! is a compact vehicle that resembles a thin station wagon of sorts. It was selected as this year’s World Car of the Year for “its efficient use of space, safety, motoring fun, and environmental compatibility,” said Matin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG.

The Up! debuts a new three-cylinder engine that can be upgraded to include environmentally friendly BlueMotion Technology. BlueMotion Technology is a Volkswagen-exclusive engine upgrade that saves on gas mileage while reducing CO2 emissions—perfect for green-minded auto loan financers.[[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”media_large”,”fid”:”1326″,”attributes”:{“alt”:””,”class”:”media-image”,”height”:”320″,”style”:”padding-top: 5px; padding-right: 5px; padding-bottom: 5px; padding-left: 5px; margin-left: 5px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-top-style: solid; border-right-style: solid; border-bottom-style: solid; border-left-style: solid; float: right; width: 300px; height: 200px; “,”typeof”:”foaf:Image”,”width”:”480″}}]]

Depending on what engine a consumer selects when customizing their vehicle, the Volkswagen Up! is reported to get anywhere between 47.9 to 78.5 miles-per-gallon. Auto loan borrowers interested in a new vehicle will undoubtedly be drawn in by such stats, particularly as the price of gas continues to climb in the United States.

Many of the available models come with folding seats and built in touch screen navigational systems. For an additional cost, financers can upgrade to a panoramic sun roof ceiling.

Ranging from a meager £7,995 to £11,180—roughly the equivalent of $10,450 to $14,613 respectively—the Volkswagen Up! is extremely affordable, requiring a relatively small auto loan to purchase. When used models hit the market in just a few years, expect that price to be even cheaper, requiring an even more miniscule auto loan.

But consumers from the United States may have to do a bit of work to get their hands on an Up!.

Currently, the vehicle is only being made in Asia, Russia, and across the pond. While auto loan borrowers from the States are filling online commenting boards with pleas to bring the vehicle to the mainland, there has not been any conclusive announcements by VW to begin manufacturing them here as of yet.

The World Car of the Year is awarded every year by a jury of 48 international automotive journalists hailing from 22 different countries. Since its creation in 2005, Volkswagen has won three awards for three different models. The Volkswagen Golf IV kicked the German automaker’s streak off in 2009. The Volkswagen Polo took the award in 2010. Then after a brief lapse in 2011, which the Nissan Leaf reigned supreme, Volkswagen made a comeback this year as the Up! won the 2012 World Car of the year award.