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First reviews, more pictures of the latest, hottest cars
VW Fox
Volkwagen FOX
VW’s New City-Car From Brazil
VW Fox
VW Fox
VW Fox
VW Fox
VW Fox


Drives Well, Spacious, Decent Build, Flexible
But Pricey, Poorly Equipped Compared With Leading Contenders
*** out of 5 

If you want a good, basic, motor these days you are spoiled for choice, and Volkswagen, with its new little Fox, has a mountain to climb to win sales.

Yes, the Fox is a terrific little car which will ably perform a wide range of tasks. Yes, the Fox is roomier than the Polo, the next biggest car on VW’s menu, and bigger and £1,290 cheaper than the VW Lupo, the city-car that it replaces.

But the VW Fox, with prices starting at £6,590 (€9,630), can’t compete in terms of bang for your buck with class leaders like the Kia Picanto from Korea, which starts at £5,695 (€8,320) and gives you an amazing array of standard equipment for £7,595 (€11,100) including 5-doors.

Many buyers though will be unable to make the stretch to contemplate buying a car with such a weak brand name as Kia, so the Fox, and fellow Europeans like the Fiat Panda, Ford Ka, Peugeot 107, and Citroen C1 do have a chance.

The Fox is a strong competitor, with neat looks, solid build quality, terrific gearbox, and there’s loads of room, in the back too.

There are two petrol engine choices currently, a 1.2 litre 3-cylinder 55 bhp motor and a 1.4 litre 4-cylinder 75 bhp power plant. A diesel is expected, but hasn’t been confirmed yet. There are two trim levels – the basic Fox which has power steering, a CD player, ABS, twin airbags, and the upmarket Urban Fox, which gets electric front windows, body coloured bumpers and remote central locking. The only gearbox available is a five-speed manual. The Fox is only available with 3-doors. Air conditioning is extra.

On the road the 1.2 litre engine performed perfectly adequately, with the steering suitably sharp and accurate and the ride was comfortable. It cruises down the highway comfortably and quietly, if not serenely. The 1.4 was statistically a better performer, but not by enough to warrant extra spending, so go for the 1.2.

The interior quality doesn’t compare with bigger VW’s but it seems well designed and solidly put together. Luggage space is exceptional, with an optional sliding rear seat to free up carrying ability.

The Fox is built at VW’s plant in Curitiba, Brazil, 220 miles from Sao Paulo. VW is anxious to point out that this doesn’t mean any corner-cutting as far as quality is concerned. VW also makes the Golf at this plant, and the factory has all the latest robots and laser welding technology to produce a Fox with exceptional body rigidity, and built in safety. VW decided to build the Fox in Brazil to cut costs compared with the previous Lupo city-car, but unfortunately, the economics of the project have been torpedoed temporarily by the local currency’s recent strength.

The Fox is a nice little car, but if you want value for money, you’d better stop by the Kia dealership near you.


Neil Winton – May 15, 2006

Volkswagen Fox 1.2

Engine:
1.2 litre 3-cylinder petrol
Power:
55 bhp
Gearbox:
5-speed manual
Drive:
front wheels
Acceleration:
0-62-100 km/h 17.5 seconds
Top Speed:
92 mph-148 km/h
Fuel Consumption:
claimed combined – 46.3 mpg-6.1 l/km
CO2 Emissions:
146 g/km
Insurance Group: 1E
Length:
3,828 mm
Width:
1,660
Height:
1,544
Weight: 1,090 kg
Suspension:
McPherson-Torsion beam
Price:
£6,590-€9,630 – on sale across Europe now
Competition:
Kia Picanto, Ford Ka, Fiat Panda, Toyota Aygo, Peugeot 107, Citroen C1, Daihatsu Charade, Chevrolet Matiz, Proton Savvy, Suzuki Alto.
Would I buy one?
No. Go for the Kia Picanto
Rating:
*** out of 5
For:
drives well, spacious, well built
Against:
pricey, relatively ill-equipped, only 3-doors

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