Fox

The Fox, Volkswagen’s entry-level model, which made its international debut at the 2005 Leipzig Show, went on sale in the UK on 28 April 2006.

It is a small car, designed to give customers exceptional space in a high-value, high-quality package.  At 3.83 metres, the Fox is longer than its predecessor, the Lupo but shorter than a Polo.  Within a height of 1.54 metres it can accommodate four large adults, or two occupants plus one cubic metre of luggage with the rear seats folded.

It is offered with three doors, four seats, one 1.2-litre 60 PS petrol engine and in two trim levels.  The entry-level Fox benefits from power steering, a CD player, ABS, ESP, twin airbags and the lowest possible insurance rating of 1E.  The higher specification Urban Fox gains extra equipment and trim.  (Until December 2010 two engines were available – a 1.2-litre 55 PS and 1.4-litre 75 PS but these have been superseded due to changes in emissions legislation.)

The Fox harnesses traditional Volkswagen values of low cost of ownership and durability, with a galvanised steel body and extensive use of laser welding.  A sliding rear bench seat is standard in the Urban Fox and optional on the Fox – it can be moved through 15 cms lengthways and is split 50:50. 

Made in Volkswagen’s plant in Curitiba, Brazil, the original concept for the Fox was designed for the South American market.  Following substantial modifications for Europe, the Fox went on sale in Germany on 29 April 2005.  Volkswagen UK sold 9,622 Foxes in 2010, its best year since launch.

SUMMARY

  • Major international debut at Leipzig Motor Show in April 2005
  • Launched in Germany in April 2005; UK on 28 April 2006
  • Replaced Lupo as Volkswagen’s entry-level small car
  • Longer than Lupo; shorter than Polo.  Key dimensions increased compared with Lupo: overall length by 301 mm to 3,828; width by 21 mm to 1,660 mm; height by 85 mm to 1,544; wheelbase by 144 mm to 2,465
  • Generous interior space; plus sliding rear seat to liberate a class-leading 260 litres of luggage space (sliding seat optional on standard model)
  • Available in three-door hatchback only
  • Galvanised steel body and extensive use of laser welding at manufacture means exceptional body rigidity and benefits safety, dynamics and refinement
  • One petrol engine: 1.2-litre 60 PS with five-speed manual gearbox
  • Two trim levels: standard and Urban.  All well-specified with power steering, CD player, ABS, ESP and twin airbags on all models; Urban adds electric front windows, body-coloured bumpers and door mirrors and remote central locking
  • Fox awarded four star Euro NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme) rating
  • Built at Volkswagen’s São José dos Pinhais plant in Curitiba, Brazil
  • Competes in so-called A00, or city car, class.  Chief competitors: Toyota Aygo; Citroën C1; Ford Ka

Production
The Fox is built in Volkswagen’s São José dos Pinhais plant in Curitiba, Brazil.  Around 220 miles from São Paulo, this is one of the world’s most modern car factories, and, of course, meets all Volkswagen’s traditional quality standards.

The Golf and Saveiro models for the South American market are already produced at Curitiba by the 2,500-strong workforce.  However, considerable expansion of the factory facilities took place with the arrival of the Fox.  For example, 145 robots have been added to the existing 130 on an expanded production line.  The assembly area has expanded 20 per cent to 2,000 square metres; while the press shop now covers 4,000 sq m.

Production coordination is carried out by the innovative Volkswagen Manufacturing, Information and Coordination System, or VWFIS.  This stores all relevant data before and during production to create a ‘birth certificate’ for each vehicle.  This includes the temperature reached during painting, the engine and gearbox numbers and the torque values used to tighten specific fasteners.

The production process for the Fox makes use of the latest production technology.  Complex laser-welding processes and high-precision automation guarantee high torsional stiffness and hence crash safety benefits.  To ensure consistency, at certain stages of construction, laser measuring stations repeatedly check the accuracy and quality of construction of each individual vehicle.  Any elements that do not fully meet the required standards are taken away and examined to determine the cause.

The Fox shares a paint shop with the Golf that is also manufactured in Curitiba.  Thanks to the use of water-soluble paints, solvents are only required in small quantities and thus help make production more environmentally friendly. 

Volkswagen is able to offer a 12 year anti-corrosion guarantee on the Fox thanks to a special protective ‘coat’ which is applied to the car’s galvanised body.  Wax heated to 120 degrees penetrates all cavities and reliably seals the parts against moisture. 

To assure quality and streamline production, three pre-assembled modules are built and then put together in the final assembly process:

  • The front end consists of the mountings for the front subframe, bumper mountings, radiator and bonnet lock
  • The running gear consists of the front subframe, suspension, engine and gearbox including the exhaust system and fuel tank
  • The dashboard with instruments, pedals, steering and the bulkhead that separates the interior from the engine compartment.

Once built, numerous test procedures ensure that all vehicles work perfectly.  Each completed Fox is sprayed with powerful water jets for six minutes to ensure that it is completely watertight, while acoustic tests reveal any noise or vibration from the drivetrain.  In the ‘E-Check’, all electronic functions from the warning lamps to the engine management system are tested.  In addition, all powerplants will have already passed strict function checks at the São Paulo engine plant before they even arrive for fitting in Curitiba.

Environment
Ecological considerations and the responsible handling of natural resources are central to the Volkswagen corporate philosophy.  Long before the European Used Car Directive and the resulting national legislation came into force, Volkswagen had set itself a number of environmental objectives, including the reduction of CO2 emissions and effective recycling methods.

In the case of the Fox, Volkswagen has turned to numerous natural materials to ensure production is environmentally friendly and sustainable.  In doing so, the long term income of many agricultural workers has been secured.  For example, in addition to coconut fibres, fibres from the curauá plant – a member of the pineapple family and a crop traditionally grown by the Indians and indigenous peoples of South America – are being used for the first time in automobile production in the Fox.  Mixed with the fully recyclable synthetic material polypropylene, curauá is an ideal base material for the roof lining and parcel shelf.  Curauá is perfect for this as it is light, completely recyclable, non-absorbent, odour-free and of pleasing texture. 

Volkswagen purchases around 100 tonnes of curauá each month.  It is planted on around 1,500 hectares of farmland, and this project has created around 10,000 jobs and allowed social facilities such as schools and health centres to be established.

DESIGN

Exterior
The Fox is considerably larger in all areas than the Lupo it replaced.  Being tall and employing clever interior space solutions, the Fox liberates impressive amounts of interior space. 

  Fox
length, mm 3828
width, w/out door mirrors, mm 1660
height, mm 1544
wheelbase, mm 2465
maximum luggage capacity:  
w/out rear seat folded, litres 260 (seat fwd)
with rear seat folded, litres 1016

One of the key aims with the Fox was to achieve an interior feeling of spaciousness with the compact exterior dimensions of a city car.  Thanks to the comparatively high waistline and the elevated roof section around the A-pillar, this has been achieved.  At the front, the Fox features a distinctive radiator grille.  The grille itself is black on all models to disguise the height of the Fox, with the V shape of the front section running up to the A-pillars.

The Fox’s side view is characterised by a line that rises from the front headlights to the top part of the windscreen frame.  The body line also rises to the end of the rear window from below the exterior mirror.  The doors reach into the high roof line like those on a small MPV, allowing easy entry and exit for occupants.

Under the skin, the Fox is built from galvanised steel and features a total 4.36 m of laser welding to give a static torsional stiffness of 17.941 Nm/° and dynamic torsional stiffness of 39.2 Hz.  This endows the Fox with a feeling of quality, free from noises or vibrations which can be associated with small cars, especially in this price category.  A rigid body structure also benefits dynamics as well as safety and crash protection.

Interior
Despite its compact dimensions, the Fox feels spacious inside.  Its elbowroom of 1,401 mm (front) and 1,423 mm (rear) means two tall people can sit next to each other without feeling cramped.  Maximum front legroom is 1,052 mm; in the back, up to 884 mm is available depending on the position of the front seats and rear bench.

Thanks to the Fox’s generous height, its occupants sit higher than in most small cars.  This enhances the feeling of space and provides a better view.  Even with the higher seats, the maximum headroom is 995 mm in the front (964 mm rear).

Inside, the Fox is typically Volkswagen, with distinctive instrumentation, anthracite and multi-coloured upholstery and plenty of useful storage areas.  The easily legible instruments are at the centre of the driver’s field of vision and supply the most important information without distracting him or her. 

The Fox has space for four adults, with ample rear legroom.  The driver’s seat is adjustable for height and reach, while the reach and rake adjustable steering wheel ensures all drivers can find the ideal driving position. 

At the rear, an integrated bench has a centre storage compartment and two cupholders.  Optional on the entry-level model and standard on the higher specification Urban Fox is a sliding rear bench which moves 15 cm lengthways and is split 50:50.  This gives considerably more flexibility and can liberate useful extra luggage space, including a virtually flat loadspace.

The left-hand control stalk operates the direction indicators, headlights and headlight levelling.  The right-hand stalk houses the windscreen wiper controls, and the switch for the rear screen heater. 

Stowage space
The Fox has numerous trays and storage compartments as standard.  These can be found in the inside door trims where there is space for a one-litre bottle; on the dashboard; and in the centre console.  Cup holders are available for both front and rear passengers.  A drawer under the driver’s seat is suitable for stowing valuables out of sight, while there is space for rear passengers to store items in the nets on the front seat backs.  Luggage accommodation is also generous with the Fox.  The rear hatch, for example, opens to a height of over two metres; at 743 mm, the loading sill is conveniently low; while the boot opens to an impressive 1.02 m wide at the narrowest point. 

Climate control
The Fox has a very efficient heating and ventilation system.  The air channels have large cross sections, and the driver and front passengers benefit from generously sized vents in the footwell.  A powerful fan and pollen filter are effective both in fresh air and recirculation modes.

If desired, the Fox can be optionally equipped with Volkswagen’s Climatic semi-automatic air conditioning system which maintains a constant preset interior temperature.  The Climatic system has an externally regulated air conditioning compressor that consumes less energy and therefore fuel than conventional air conditioning solutions thanks to the optimised evaporator temperature. 

ENGINES

1.2-litre 1198 cc, 12-valve 3-cyl, 60 PS
The Fox is available with one 1.2-litre 60 PS petrol engines.  Familiar to drivers of the Polo, this three-cylinder petrol unit has four valves per cylinder and is fitted with a balancer shaft to ensure good refinement.  It produces 60 PS at 5,200 rpm from 1,198 cc to give a top speed of 95 mph, and maximum torque of 80 lbs ft (108 Nm) at 3,000 rpm.  A combined fuel consumption figure of 48.7 mpg makes this a usefully frugal unit, while CO2 emissions are 136 g/km.

Gearbox
The Fox’s engine is combined with Volkswagen’s MQ200 five-speed manual gearbox.  M stands for manual; Q refers to the use of transverse drive units; while 200 indicates the maximum transmitted torque of 200 Newton metres.

Servicing
All Fox models in the UK are set to run on a standard Time and Distance service regime.  An oil change service is due every 10,000 miles or 12 months whichever comes first; a full inspection service is due every 20,000 miles or two years.

RUNNING GEAR

In developing the Fox’s running gear, engineers aimed to achieve the ideal combination of fun and safety.  The technical basis for this is provided by a strut-type front suspension with coil springs and a torsion beam rear axle.  Standard electro-hydraulic power steering enhances safety, as does ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme).

Front axle
The strut-type front end with lower wishbones is attached to a particularly light subframe.  This is not a single part, but is made up of laser-welded steel and light alloy components.  The advantage of this modular system is that the axle housing can be configured precisely for the different engines and exhaust systems.  The subframe concept also reduces tyre noise and optimises the Fox’s handling and crash properties. 

At the same time, the wide track (1,428 mm front and 1,424 mm rear) endows the Fox with more sporting handling characteristics.

Rear axle
The Fox uses a semi-independent rear axle.  Its special feature is the cross member that connects the two rear wheels, and which has been shaped into a V-profile.  Thanks to the varying, precisely-defined thicknesses, this torsion beam possesses the exact torsional properties to provide neutral handling characteristics.  An additional anti-roll bar is not required, further minimising weight.

Large-volume rubber/metal bearings connect the running gear to the body structure.  The angled position of these bearings corrects the track when necessary, contributing to driving stability, while the bearing configuration ensures a comfortable ride.  The separate arrangement of springs and dampers also improves comfort and maximises loading width for the loadspace.

Electro-hydraulic power steering
All Fox models sold in the UK feature electro-hydraulic power steering as standard.  This system is controlled by an electric pump that applies a higher or lower pressure to the steering hydraulics depending on the steering angle, speed and weight of the car.

Optimised control of the steering pump means reduced fuel consumption; for example when the vehicle is driving in a straight line, little power is needed and hence little fuel is used.

Braking system
All UK Fox models come with ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) as standard.  The Fox uses a dual circuit brake system, with 256 mm ventilated discs at the front, and self-adjusting rear drum brakes (200 mm).  ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) is also standard on the Fox.

Electronic Stabilisation Programme – ESP
Essentially, ESP is a sophisticated system that automatically senses any tendency for the car to slide.  Should this situation occur, ESP reacts by applying the brakes to one, two, three or all four wheels and adjusts the engine’s power.  In this way, it is possible that a skid is corrected even before the driver is aware that one has started.  This can be useful if a tendency to understeer or oversteer develops in a bend.  In such circumstances ESP can help prevent the car skidding or spinning off the road and is particularly helpful in wet or icy conditions. 

EQUIPMENT AND TRIM

The Fox is available in two trim levels: standard and Urban.  Both models offer value for money and a high level of equipment. Key features are shown below; for full details see the Fox price list.

Fox 1.2-litre 60 PS

  • ABS (Anti-lock Braking System)
  • ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme)
  • driver and front passenger airbags
  • height adjustable front head restraints; rear head restraints
  • height adjustable front seatbelts with tensioners
  • three-point rear seatbelts for two passengers
  • Isofix child seat preparation for two rear seats
  • driver’s seat height adjustment
  • electronic engine immobiliser
  • dust and pollen filter
  • full size spare wheel
  • height and reach adjustable steering wheel
  • speed sensitive power-assisted steering
  • radio/CD player with four speakers
  • rear bench seat
  • storage compartment under driver’s seat
  • 6J x 14 steel wheels with 185/60 R14 tyres

Urban Fox 1.2-litre 60 PS

  • body-coloured bumpers and door mirrors
  • ‘easy entry’ sliding seats for access to rear seats
  • front electric windows
  • manual rear vent windows
  • remote central locking
  • sliding rear bench seat
  • split folding rear seat backrest (50:50)

FACTORY-FIT OPTIONS

A number of factory- and retailer-fit options are available on the Fox, allowing buyers to personalise their vehicles depending on their own tastes and needs.  Options include alloy wheels (up to 15-inch), Climatic semi-automatic air conditioning, front fog lights, an electric tilt/slide sunroof and side airbags. 

Low-cost packs are also available on the entry-level Fox, for example a colour pack which adds body-coloured bumpers and mirrors; a ‘Vario Plus’ pack which adds the easy-entry sliding seats and split-fold sliding rear bench which are standard on the Urban Fox; and two luxury packs which give added convenience and security features such as an alarm and electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors.  For full details of specification and optional equipment see the price list.

In-car entertainment
The Fox is sold with Volkswagen-designed stereo equipment.  This is integrated securely with the vehicle and ergonomically designed for ease and safety of operation.  A radio/CD player is standard; an iPod cradle can be specified as a retailer-fit option.

SAFETY AND SECURITY

Despite its value for money, the Fox does not compromise on safety.  Its body is laser-welded for toughness; head restraints and three-point seatbelts can be found on all four seats; the front seatbelts are height adjustable and feature belt tensioners; a warning tone sounds if the driver does not fasten his or her seatbelt.

Twin front airbags are standard, as are ABS, ESP and Isofix child seat mountings for both rear seats. 

Airbag systems
The Fox has standard airbags for driver and front passenger; their volumes are 60 litres (driver) and 100 litres (passenger).  As an option, the Fox can be ordered with 14-litre side airbags which are integrated in the seat backrests.

Seatbelts
All four seats have three-point automatic seatbelts and head restraints.  There is a warning light to tell the driver when he or she is not buckled up.  In this case an acoustic signal will also sound for six seconds.  If the driver is still not wearing a belt when a speed of approximately six mph is reached, a warning sound is activated for 90 seconds.  A warning light on the dashboard only extinguishes once the belt is fastened.

The front belts have tensioners and are height adjustable.  The tensioners are triggered depending on the severity of braking by a central control unit. 

Child safety 
Isofix child seat fastenings are provided for both rear seats, and can be easily located thanks to clear markings.  Using these fixtures, the child seats are fastened securely to the seat frame of the rear bench and are therefore incorporated within the Fox’s passive protection system.

The Volkswagen child seat range is also suitable for use in the Fox, allowing customers to choose a seat in which to transport their child in optimum safety.

Euro NCAP test results
The Fox scored four stars for occupant protection in the front and side impact tests, four stars for child occupant protection and two stars for the protection of pedestriansin the Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) tests.

Security features
All Fox models have an electronic engine immobiliser as standard.  The Urban Fox gains remote central locking, which can be specified as an option on the entry-level car.  A retailer-fitted alarm system is also available.

Insurance group information
Thanks to its security and safety features, the Fox has secured a Group 1E insurance rating from the ABI (Association of British Insurers).  This is the lowest insurance class, meaning competitive premiums for buyers. 

WARRANTIES

The Fox has a three year (first and second year manufacturer operated, third year retailer operated) mechanical warranty.  In addition, it comes with a class-leading 12 year anti-perforation guarantee, three year paint warranty and a year’s membership of Volkswagen Assistance.  The latter can be extended at minimal cost to the customer.

The Fox, Volkswagen’s entry-level model, which made its international debut at the 2005 Leipzig Show, went on sale in the UK on 28 April 2006.

It is a small car, designed to give customers exceptional space in a high-value, high-quality package.  At 3.83 metres, the Fox is longer than its predecessor, the Lupo but shorter than a Polo.  Within a height of 1.54 metres it can accommodate four large adults, or two occupants plus one cubic metre of luggage with the rear seats folded.

It is offered with three doors, four seats, one 1.2-litre 60 PS petrol engine and in two trim levels.  The entry-level Fox benefits from power steering, a CD player, ABS, ESP, twin airbags and the lowest possible insurance rating of 1E.  The higher specification Urban Fox gains extra equipment and trim.  (Until December 2010 two engines were available – a 1.2-litre 55 PS and 1.4-litre 75 PS but these have been superseded due to changes in emissions legislation.)

The Fox harnesses traditional Volkswagen values of low cost of ownership and durability, with a galvanised steel body and extensive use of laser welding.  A sliding rear bench seat is standard in the Urban Fox and optional on the Fox – it can be moved through 15 cms lengthways and is split 50:50. 

Made in Volkswagen’s plant in Curitiba, Brazil, the original concept for the Fox was designed for the South American market.  Following substantial modifications for Europe, the Fox went on sale in Germany on 29 April 2005.  Volkswagen UK sold 9,622 Foxes in 2010, its best year since launch.

SUMMARY

  • Major international debut at Leipzig Motor Show in April 2005
  • Launched in Germany in April 2005; UK on 28 April 2006
  • Replaced Lupo as Volkswagen’s entry-level small car
  • Longer than Lupo; shorter than Polo.  Key dimensions increased compared with Lupo: overall length by 301 mm to 3,828; width by 21 mm to 1,660 mm; height by 85 mm to 1,544; wheelbase by 144 mm to 2,465
  • Generous interior space; plus sliding rear seat to liberate a class-leading 260 litres of luggage space (sliding seat optional on standard model)
  • Available in three-door hatchback only
  • Galvanised steel body and extensive use of laser welding at manufacture means exceptional body rigidity and benefits safety, dynamics and refinement
  • One petrol engine: 1.2-litre 60 PS with five-speed manual gearbox
  • Two trim levels: standard and Urban.  All well-specified with power steering, CD player, ABS, ESP and twin airbags on all models; Urban adds electric front windows, body-coloured bumpers and door mirrors and remote central locking
  • Fox awarded four star Euro NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme) rating
  • Built at Volkswagen’s São José dos Pinhais plant in Curitiba, Brazil
  • Competes in so-called A00, or city car, class.  Chief competitors: Toyota Aygo; Citroën C1; Ford Ka

Production
The Fox is built in Volkswagen’s São José dos Pinhais plant in Curitiba, Brazil.  Around 220 miles from São Paulo, this is one of the world’s most modern car factories, and, of course, meets all Volkswagen’s traditional quality standards.

The Golf and Saveiro models for the South American market are already produced at Curitiba by the 2,500-strong workforce.  However, considerable expansion of the factory facilities took place with the arrival of the Fox.  For example, 145 robots have been added to the existing 130 on an expanded production line.  The assembly area has expanded 20 per cent to 2,000 square metres; while the press shop now covers 4,000 sq m.

Production coordination is carried out by the innovative Volkswagen Manufacturing, Information and Coordination System, or VWFIS.  This stores all relevant data before and during production to create a ‘birth certificate’ for each vehicle.  This includes the temperature reached during painting, the engine and gearbox numbers and the torque values used to tighten specific fasteners.

The production process for the Fox makes use of the latest production technology.  Complex laser-welding processes and high-precision automation guarantee high torsional stiffness and hence crash safety benefits.  To ensure consistency, at certain stages of construction, laser measuring stations repeatedly check the accuracy and quality of construction of each individual vehicle.  Any elements that do not fully meet the required standards are taken away and examined to determine the cause.

The Fox shares a paint shop with the Golf that is also manufactured in Curitiba.  Thanks to the use of water-soluble paints, solvents are only required in small quantities and thus help make production more environmentally friendly. 

Volkswagen is able to offer a 12 year anti-corrosion guarantee on the Fox thanks to a special protective ‘coat’ which is applied to the car’s galvanised body.  Wax heated to 120 degrees penetrates all cavities and reliably seals the parts against moisture. 

To assure quality and streamline production, three pre-assembled modules are built and then put together in the final assembly process:

  • The front end consists of the mountings for the front subframe, bumper mountings, radiator and bonnet lock
  • The running gear consists of the front subframe, suspension, engine and gearbox including the exhaust system and fuel tank
  • The dashboard with instruments, pedals, steering and the bulkhead that separates the interior from the engine compartment.

Once built, numerous test procedures ensure that all vehicles work perfectly.  Each completed Fox is sprayed with powerful water jets for six minutes to ensure that it is completely watertight, while acoustic tests reveal any noise or vibration from the drivetrain.  In the ‘E-Check’, all electronic functions from the warning lamps to the engine management system are tested.  In addition, all powerplants will have already passed strict function checks at the São Paulo engine plant before they even arrive for fitting in Curitiba.

Environment
Ecological considerations and the responsible handling of natural resources are central to the Volkswagen corporate philosophy.  Long before the European Used Car Directive and the resulting national legislation came into force, Volkswagen had set itself a number of environmental objectives, including the reduction of CO2 emissions and effective recycling methods.

In the case of the Fox, Volkswagen has turned to numerous natural materials to ensure production is environmentally friendly and sustainable.  In doing so, the long term income of many agricultural workers has been secured.  For example, in addition to coconut fibres, fibres from the curauá plant – a member of the pineapple family and a crop traditionally grown by the Indians and indigenous peoples of South America – are being used for the first time in automobile production in the Fox.  Mixed with the fully recyclable synthetic material polypropylene, curauá is an ideal base material for the roof lining and parcel shelf.  Curauá is perfect for this as it is light, completely recyclable, non-absorbent, odour-free and of pleasing texture. 

Volkswagen purchases around 100 tonnes of curauá each month.  It is planted on around 1,500 hectares of farmland, and this project has created around 10,000 jobs and allowed social facilities such as schools and health centres to be established.

DESIGN

Exterior
The Fox is considerably larger in all areas than the Lupo it replaced.  Being tall and employing clever interior space solutions, the Fox liberates impressive amounts of interior space. 

  Fox
length, mm 3828
width, w/out door mirrors, mm 1660
height, mm 1544
wheelbase, mm 2465
maximum luggage capacity:  
w/out rear seat folded, litres 260 (seat fwd)
with rear seat folded, litres 1016

One of the key aims with the Fox was to achieve an interior feeling of spaciousness with the compact exterior dimensions of a city car.  Thanks to the comparatively high waistline and the elevated roof section around the A-pillar, this has been achieved.  At the front, the Fox features a distinctive radiator grille.  The grille itself is black on all models to disguise the height of the Fox, with the V shape of the front section running up to the A-pillars.

The Fox’s side view is characterised by a line that rises from the front headlights to the top part of the windscreen frame.  The body line also rises to the end of the rear window from below the exterior mirror.  The doors reach into the high roof line like those on a small MPV, allowing easy entry and exit for occupants.

Under the skin, the Fox is built from galvanised steel and features a total 4.36 m of laser welding to give a static torsional stiffness of 17.941 Nm/° and dynamic torsional stiffness of 39.2 Hz.  This endows the Fox with a feeling of quality, free from noises or vibrations which can be associated with small cars, especially in this price category.  A rigid body structure also benefits dynamics as well as safety and crash protection.

Interior
Despite its compact dimensions, the Fox feels spacious inside.  Its elbowroom of 1,401 mm (front) and 1,423 mm (rear) means two tall people can sit next to each other without feeling cramped.  Maximum front legroom is 1,052 mm; in the back, up to 884 mm is available depending on the position of the front seats and rear bench.

Thanks to the Fox’s generous height, its occupants sit higher than in most small cars.  This enhances the feeling of space and provides a better view.  Even with the higher seats, the maximum headroom is 995 mm in the front (964 mm rear).

Inside, the Fox is typically Volkswagen, with distinctive instrumentation, anthracite and multi-coloured upholstery and plenty of useful storage areas.  The easily legible instruments are at the centre of the driver’s field of vision and supply the most important information without distracting him or her. 

The Fox has space for four adults, with ample rear legroom.  The driver’s seat is adjustable for height and reach, while the reach and rake adjustable steering wheel ensures all drivers can find the ideal driving position. 

At the rear, an integrated bench has a centre storage compartment and two cupholders.  Optional on the entry-level model and standard on the higher specification Urban Fox is a sliding rear bench which moves 15 cm lengthways and is split 50:50.  This gives considerably more flexibility and can liberate useful extra luggage space, including a virtually flat loadspace.

The left-hand control stalk operates the direction indicators, headlights and headlight levelling.  The right-hand stalk houses the windscreen wiper controls, and the switch for the rear screen heater. 

Stowage space
The Fox has numerous trays and storage compartments as standard.  These can be found in the inside door trims where there is space for a one-litre bottle; on the dashboard; and in the centre console.  Cup holders are available for both front and rear passengers.  A drawer under the driver’s seat is suitable for stowing valuables out of sight, while there is space for rear passengers to store items in the nets on the front seat backs.  Luggage accommodation is also generous with the Fox.  The rear hatch, for example, opens to a height of over two metres; at 743 mm, the loading sill is conveniently low; while the boot opens to an impressive 1.02 m wide at the narrowest point. 

Climate control
The Fox has a very efficient heating and ventilation system.  The air channels have large cross sections, and the driver and front passengers benefit from generously sized vents in the footwell.  A powerful fan and pollen filter are effective both in fresh air and recirculation modes.

If desired, the Fox can be optionally equipped with Volkswagen’s Climatic semi-automatic air conditioning system which maintains a constant preset interior temperature.  The Climatic system has an externally regulated air conditioning compressor that consumes less energy and therefore fuel than conventional air conditioning solutions thanks to the optimised evaporator temperature. 

ENGINES

1.2-litre 1198 cc, 12-valve 3-cyl, 60 PS
The Fox is available with one 1.2-litre 60 PS petrol engines.  Familiar to drivers of the Polo, this three-cylinder petrol unit has four valves per cylinder and is fitted with a balancer shaft to ensure good refinement.  It produces 60 PS at 5,200 rpm from 1,198 cc to give a top speed of 95 mph, and maximum torque of 80 lbs ft (108 Nm) at 3,000 rpm.  A combined fuel consumption figure of 48.7 mpg makes this a usefully frugal unit, while CO2 emissions are 136 g/km.

Gearbox
The Fox’s engine is combined with Volkswagen’s MQ200 five-speed manual gearbox.  M stands for manual; Q refers to the use of transverse drive units; while 200 indicates the maximum transmitted torque of 200 Newton metres.

Servicing
All Fox models in the UK are set to run on a standard Time and Distance service regime.  An oil change service is due every 10,000 miles or 12 months whichever comes first; a full inspection service is due every 20,000 miles or two years.

RUNNING GEAR

In developing the Fox’s running gear, engineers aimed to achieve the ideal combination of fun and safety.  The technical basis for this is provided by a strut-type front suspension with coil springs and a torsion beam rear axle.  Standard electro-hydraulic power steering enhances safety, as does ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme).

Front axle
The strut-type front end with lower wishbones is attached to a particularly light subframe.  This is not a single part, but is made up of laser-welded steel and light alloy components.  The advantage of this modular system is that the axle housing can be configured precisely for the different engines and exhaust systems.  The subframe concept also reduces tyre noise and optimises the Fox’s handling and crash properties. 

At the same time, the wide track (1,428 mm front and 1,424 mm rear) endows the Fox with more sporting handling characteristics.

Rear axle
The Fox uses a semi-independent rear axle.  Its special feature is the cross member that connects the two rear wheels, and which has been shaped into a V-profile.  Thanks to the varying, precisely-defined thicknesses, this torsion beam possesses the exact torsional properties to provide neutral handling characteristics.  An additional anti-roll bar is not required, further minimising weight.

Large-volume rubber/metal bearings connect the running gear to the body structure.  The angled position of these bearings corrects the track when necessary, contributing to driving stability, while the bearing configuration ensures a comfortable ride.  The separate arrangement of springs and dampers also improves comfort and maximises loading width for the loadspace.

Electro-hydraulic power steering
All Fox models sold in the UK feature electro-hydraulic power steering as standard.  This system is controlled by an electric pump that applies a higher or lower pressure to the steering hydraulics depending on the steering angle, speed and weight of the car.

Optimised control of the steering pump means reduced fuel consumption; for example when the vehicle is driving in a straight line, little power is needed and hence little fuel is used.

Braking system
All UK Fox models come with ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) as standard.  The Fox uses a dual circuit brake system, with 256 mm ventilated discs at the front, and self-adjusting rear drum brakes (200 mm).  ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) is also standard on the Fox.

Electronic Stabilisation Programme – ESP
Essentially, ESP is a sophisticated system that automatically senses any tendency for the car to slide.  Should this situation occur, ESP reacts by applying the brakes to one, two, three or all four wheels and adjusts the engine’s power.  In this way, it is possible that a skid is corrected even before the driver is aware that one has started.  This can be useful if a tendency to understeer or oversteer develops in a bend.  In such circumstances ESP can help prevent the car skidding or spinning off the road and is particularly helpful in wet or icy conditions. 

EQUIPMENT AND TRIM

The Fox is available in two trim levels: standard and Urban.  Both models offer value for money and a high level of equipment. Key features are shown below; for full details see the Fox price list.

Fox 1.2-litre 60 PS

  • ABS (Anti-lock Braking System)
  • ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme)
  • driver and front passenger airbags
  • height adjustable front head restraints; rear head restraints
  • height adjustable front seatbelts with tensioners
  • three-point rear seatbelts for two passengers
  • Isofix child seat preparation for two rear seats
  • driver’s seat height adjustment
  • electronic engine immobiliser
  • dust and pollen filter
  • full size spare wheel
  • height and reach adjustable steering wheel
  • speed sensitive power-assisted steering
  • radio/CD player with four speakers
  • rear bench seat
  • storage compartment under driver’s seat
  • 6J x 14 steel wheels with 185/60 R14 tyres

Urban Fox 1.2-litre 60 PS

  • body-coloured bumpers and door mirrors
  • ‘easy entry’ sliding seats for access to rear seats
  • front electric windows
  • manual rear vent windows
  • remote central locking
  • sliding rear bench seat
  • split folding rear seat backrest (50:50)

FACTORY-FIT OPTIONS

A number of factory- and retailer-fit options are available on the Fox, allowing buyers to personalise their vehicles depending on their own tastes and needs.  Options include alloy wheels (up to 15-inch), Climatic semi-automatic air conditioning, front fog lights, an electric tilt/slide sunroof and side airbags. 

Low-cost packs are also available on the entry-level Fox, for example a colour pack which adds body-coloured bumpers and mirrors; a ‘Vario Plus’ pack which adds the easy-entry sliding seats and split-fold sliding rear bench which are standard on the Urban Fox; and two luxury packs which give added convenience and security features such as an alarm and electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors.  For full details of specification and optional equipment see the price list.

In-car entertainment
The Fox is sold with Volkswagen-designed stereo equipment.  This is integrated securely with the vehicle and ergonomically designed for ease and safety of operation.  A radio/CD player is standard; an iPod cradle can be specified as a retailer-fit option.

SAFETY AND SECURITY

Despite its value for money, the Fox does not compromise on safety.  Its body is laser-welded for toughness; head restraints and three-point seatbelts can be found on all four seats; the front seatbelts are height adjustable and feature belt tensioners; a warning tone sounds if the driver does not fasten his or her seatbelt.

Twin front airbags are standard, as are ABS, ESP and Isofix child seat mountings for both rear seats. 

Airbag systems
The Fox has standard airbags for driver and front passenger; their volumes are 60 litres (driver) and 100 litres (passenger).  As an option, the Fox can be ordered with 14-litre side airbags which are integrated in the seat backrests.

Seatbelts
All four seats have three-point automatic seatbelts and head restraints.  There is a warning light to tell the driver when he or she is not buckled up.  In this case an acoustic signal will also sound for six seconds.  If the driver is still not wearing a belt when a speed of approximately six mph is reached, a warning sound is activated for 90 seconds.  A warning light on the dashboard only extinguishes once the belt is fastened.

The front belts have tensioners and are height adjustable.  The tensioners are triggered depending on the severity of braking by a central control unit. 

Child safety 
Isofix child seat fastenings are provided for both rear seats, and can be easily located thanks to clear markings.  Using these fixtures, the child seats are fastened securely to the seat frame of the rear bench and are therefore incorporated within the Fox’s passive protection system.

The Volkswagen child seat range is also suitable for use in the Fox, allowing customers to choose a seat in which to transport their child in optimum safety.

Euro NCAP test results
The Fox scored four stars for occupant protection in the front and side impact tests, four stars for child occupant protection and two stars for the protection of pedestriansin the Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) tests.

Security features
All Fox models have an electronic engine immobiliser as standard.  The Urban Fox gains remote central locking, which can be specified as an option on the entry-level car.  A retailer-fitted alarm system is also available.

Insurance group information
Thanks to its security and safety features, the Fox has secured a Group 1E insurance rating from the ABI (Association of British Insurers).  This is the lowest insurance class, meaning competitive premiums for buyers. 

WARRANTIES

The Fox has a three year (first and second year manufacturer operated, third year retailer operated) mechanical warranty.  In addition, it comes with a class-leading 12 year anti-perforation guarantee, three year paint warranty and a year’s membership of Volkswagen Assistance.  The latter can be extended at minimal cost to the customer.

Latest press kit

  • Fox Nov 16, 2017

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