Volkswagen Fox Review
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Volkswagen Fox Tested April 2006
Average. Both bigger and cheaper than the Lupo it replaces, the Fox offers plenty of VW for your cash. It's just a pity it's not more exciting.
It lacks the character of some of its rivals, but it's not hard to make a thoroughly rational case for the Fox. Not only is it one of the biggest of the current crop of city cars, it's also well-constructed, competitively priced and - most importantly - wearing a VW badge.
The bland styling feels like a slightly wasted opportunity, with the Fox possessing none of the cheeky charm of its Lupo predecessor. Nose heavy proportions and a high ride height add to its rather ungainly appearance - especially on the small steel wheels of the more basic versions.
Fortunately it possesses an impressively large and well-finished cabin. Front seat space is excellent, with both occupants enjoying plenty of head- and shoulder-room, while the rear seats are big for the segment, too - more than up to handling larger passengers. In "Urban" trim the rear seat slides to free up even more space, or alternatively to increase luggage space in the decently-proportioned boot.
On the road the Fox is competent - if distinctly lacking in excitement. The basic 1.2 litre three-cylinder petrol engine sounds nice but delivers very limited performance, with low gearing making for loud, buzzy cruising at anything above urban speeds. The more expensive 1.4 four-cylinder petrol motor is far punchier - but it also suffers from relatively poor refinement, with lots of road noise getting into the cabin. The pliant ride is up to dealing with urban undulations, but it quickly feels floatey on bumpy country roads. Grip levels are unexceptional and the Fox understeers determinedly at the limit.
Entry level pricing is very keen, although the Fox looks relatively expensive further up the range - with aircon a pricey option.
Next: ratings and breakdown
2. Price of the basic version
3. VW badge
We don't like:
1. Bland styling
2. Boring driving dynamics
3. Aircon only available as an expensive option
Most fun: 1.4 Urban
Most sensible: 1.2 base
Worst: 1.2 Urban