Volkswagen Fox review (2006-2012)

Our Rating: 
2006-2012 model
By Auto Express Test TeamComments

Bland styling is a disappointment, but the Fox scores for cabin space and refinement.

The Fox is a VW launched in the South American market back in 2003. It's been reworked for European showrooms, with a 59bhp 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine the only powerplant. There is just a single three-door bodystyle, but even this appears dated. The Fox is bland and plain compared to the cute Lupo it replaces.

Don’t expect to find a miniature Golf cabin inside. Both the design and quality are from Volkswagens of old. Fit and finish is fine, yet it’s hard not to feel a bit short changed by the aging design and hard plastics. We’ve got no complaints with the practicality, though. Fold the rear seats and the Fox’s luggage area is huge.

The characterful sounding 1.2-litre engine does have some charm but it feels extremely underpowered and has to be worked hard to get much out of it. There's quite a bit of engine noise too which means refinement is never great.

Driving experience
The Fox is a comfortable city car. With a ride that’s soft rather than sporty, it’s more than capable of tackling speed bumps. The four-cylinder engine is relatively quiet, helping to make the Fox a good long-distance cruiser. Head down a more challenging road and the soggy handling won’t inspire handling, but the steering is reasonably well weighted. Decent brakes and a slick gearbox make the VW easy to drive.

Getting a VW badge on your bonnet doesn’t get any cheaper than this. Rival city cars offer more kit for the money, but few can match the Fox’s carrying capacity in the sub £7,500 category. Avoid costly options to make the most of the Volkswagen’s value.

The Fox’s size means it carries more weight than your average city car and needs larger engines as a result. Fuel economy is relatively poor, resulting in high CO2 emissions. A four star EuroNCAP rating looks good on paper, but the small VW was marked down by testers for its poor side impact protection.

Our Choice: 1.2 3dr

Engines, performance and drive

MPG, CO2 and running costs

Interior, design and technology

Practicality, comfort and boot space

Reliability and Safety

Last updated: 19 Dec, 2008