VW Fox a cunning runabout

Iain Dooley says that Volkswagen's urban runabout, the Fox, is an affordable city-slicker.

Engines – Being a city car diesel power isn't really a big deal. As an alternative, Volkswagen decided on a three-cylinder 1.2 and four-cylinder 1.4 petrol engine line-up for the Fox. For those short shopping trips the 1.2-litre unit will be fine, although the 1.4 is better for more demanding activities.

Exterior – Looking a little like a taller but shorter Polo, the Fox's lofty stance ensures good visibility and easy cabin access. The familiar VW family 'face' is hard to miss, and at the rear there's a good-size tailgate.

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Interior – It's obvious once you're sat inside the Fox that this VW is at the budget end of the scale. While the cabin might not be as luxurious as, say, a Golf, it's functional and spacious. There's room in the back plus enough rear load space for shopping.

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Driving – A sprightly performer, thanks in part to its modest weight and eager petrol engines, the VW Fox delivers a supple ride to counter potholed roads and good levels of refinement when bowling along city streets. Don't expect too much when at higher speeds, although in fairness the Fox is really an urban runabout.

Ownership – With its modest purchase price and low running costs, VW's Fox is unlikely to force you into poverty. Its compact size and general ease of use makes it ideal for the city and slotting into hard-fought parking spaces.

What to look for – Being a city car it's important to look out for parking dents and scuffed wheels. The former can easily be fixed but the latter could be hiding more serious suspension or steering damage so beware. Something this new should come with a comprehensive history – anything less and start asking questions.

Model history – 2006, Volkswagen launches low-cost urban runabout, the Fox. Small capacity (1.2, 1.4) petrol engines offered, along with manual transmission and modest equipment levels, although all the basic safety kit came as standard.

Reasons to buy – Solid build, VW reputation, low running costs, comfortable cabin.

Reasons to beware – Competitive market means plenty of choice, modest kit levels, three-door only.

Pick of the range – Fox 1.2 Urban.

What to pay – 2006 06 �4,275; 2006 56 �4,400; 2007 07 �4,825; 2007 57 �5,000; 2008 08 �5,550; 2008 58 �5,750; 2009 09 �6,250; 2010 10 �6,950. S howroom prices for cars in A1 condition.

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