Missing the Marque: Volkswagen Fox

A developing markets car that was out of tune with European tastes.

Image: rac.co.uk

The Volkswagen Group doesn’t do cheap and cheerful. Its four(1) mass-market brands all have a reputation for producing high quality(2) cars. One can reasonably argue that these brands are insufficiently well differentiated from each other in terms of quality of materials, build and equipment. Hence, Volkswagen has too much overlap between its brands so has not maximised its potential total market coverage.

The company must have watched on enviously as Renault resurrected the moribund Romanian Dacia marque and turned it into a highly successful budget brand, which is exactly what Volkswagen might have done with Škoda. That appeared to be the plan when the first wholly VW-era Škoda, the 1996 Octavia, was launched. This was a larger but cheaper and plainer take on the Golf. Subsequent models, however, became increasingly sophisticated, to the extent that there is little to choose today between, say, the Fabia and Polo B-segment superminis.

Volkswagen spent much of the last decade exploring the potential to develop another brand that would be a genuinely budget offering to rival Dacia before finally concluding that its standardised component sets were insufficiently flexible to make this venture adequately profitable(3), so the project was canned.

This conundrum has been a long-term issue for Volkswagen. Back in 1998, it launched the Lupo, a sub-B-segment three-door hatchback that was designed to slot into the company’s range below the increasingly sophisticated and expensive Polo.  The Lupo was based on a shortened version of the Polo’s A0 platform, dubbed A00, and used much of the Polo’s component set. This made it expensive for its size and it struggled to compete with other manufacturers’ city cars, whose comparative lack of sophistication was largely irrelevant, given the manner in which they were mainly used.

Image: volkswagen-newsroom.com

The Lupo was an excellent car but its qualities went largely unappreciated in a price-driven market segment. Total sales over eight years were 477,501 units, with another 221,681 sold under the (cheaper) Seat Arosa nameplate. To put these numbers in context, the Ford Ka and Fiat Panda, both sub-B-segment competitors to the Lupo, respectively sold 1,164,730 and 1,093,985 units over the same period,

When it was time to replace the Lupo in 2005, Volkswagen tried a different approach. The company turned to its South American subsidiary, Volkswagen Do Brasil, which had introduced its own subcompact model, the Fox, two years earlier. This was available in three and five-door hatchback variants and, in the Brazilian line-up, sat below the Polo but above the company’s entry level offering, the Gol.

Volkswagen decided only to import the three-door version of the Fox. It was launched at the Leipzig motor show in April 2005. It was a noticeably larger car than the superseded Lupo, 281mm (11”) longer overall at 3,805mm (149¾”) and with a 147mm (5¾”) longer wheelbase of 2,465mm (97”). This brought it much closer to the contemporary Polo Mk4 in size, just 121mm (4¾”) shorter overall and with a wheelbase that was actually 5mm (¼”) longer than that of the larger car. It was also 80mm (3¼”) taller than the Polo at 1,545mm (60¾”) with the occupants sitting more upright to enhance interior space

The Fox was offered with a choice of three engines, a 1,198cc inline three-cylinder petrol unit producing 55bhp (41kW), a 1,390cc four-cylinder petrol unit producing 75bhp (56kW) and a 1,422cc four-cylinder diesel producing 70bhp (52kW). Transmission in all cases was via a five-speed manual gearbox. The Fox came with twin airbags and ABS as standard, but was otherwise sparsely equipped, with a list of options available.

Image: parkers.co.uk

The exterior styling was generic contemporary Volkswagen, an inoffensive if rather unmemorable monobox shape with a steeply raked bonnet that flowed into the windscreen. Inside, the semi-circular instrument cluster with a single large speedometer evoked memories of the 1973 ‘curved-windscreen’ VW 1303 Beetle. One modest innovation was that the rear seat could be slid forward by 150mm (6”) to increase boot space (although, as this virtually eliminated rear legroom, most users would simply fold down the rear seat instead).

Although the Fox was not introduced to the UK and Ireland RHD markets until early 2006, Autocar magazine tested a LHD example in Germany in April 2005. The reviewer described the Fox as a car that “is meant to take Volkswagen back to its roots. Its role is to offer cheap but dependable motoring for the masses. Modern-day Beetle, anyone?”

The exterior styling was described as “rather dull” although build quality was “genuinely impressive.” Inside, an “elevated seating arrangement” gave the Fox a “commanding driving environment” albeit one compromised by very thick A-pillars. The “dashboard plastics look and feel cheap” by comparison with the Lupo, which had “class leading interior quality”, a “backward step that clearly smacks of cost cutting.” That criticism notwithstanding, the reviewer thought that “the Fox’s cabin design is pleasingly modern and the trim durable.”

Image: parkers.co.uk

The 1.4-litre engine endowed the Fox with “merely adequate acceleration, and you have to work the engine fairly hard before seeing much action.” Volkswagen claimed a 0 to 62mph (100km/h) time and top speed of 13.0 seconds and 104mph (168km/h), the latter a function of “relatively short gearing” and a “comparatively hefty kerbweight of 1,012kg” (2,226lbs) which resulted in a “combined fuel consumption which is quoted at a slightly disappointing 42mpg.”

The ride was “excellent thanks to the long-travel suspension…with the composure you’d expect from cars in the class above.” However, the Fox “just doesn’t deliver the same verve as, say, the Fiat Panda.” In summary, the Fox was “competent rather than characterful” and “doesn’t break any new ground.” It “fails to excel in any area except price.”

Although the Fox was priced significantly lower than the Lupo and pitched directly against the Fiat Panda, its rather dull looks and sombre interior (some rather garish seat upholstery choices apart) failed to chime with most city car buyers, who favoured character, charm and personality over robustness and durability. The Fox remained on the European market until 2011, when it was replaced by the Up! / Mii / Citigo trio.

Over seven years, a total of 304,357 were sold, making it notably less successful than its more sophisticated predecessor. In hindsight, the Lupo was a car more in tune with Volkswagen’s market positioning in Europe, whereas the Fox was perceived as being a bit too plain and downmarket. Perhaps it might have made more sense as a Škoda, although maybe not, since it wasn’t its price that held back sales. In any event, Volkswagen Group finally hit its stride with the Up! and its siblings, although the questionable economics of producing sub-B-segment cars has caused the company to question its continued presence in this market segment.

(1) Five, if you now count Cupra, although this more a niche than mass-market offering.

(2) The reputation may not be wholly deserved or justified, given the reliability issues with some models and components, but it remains largely intact in the minds of most potential buyers.

(3) The fallout from the ‘Dieselgate’ scandal and the consequent need to cut costs may also have been a factor in culling the budget car project.

Author: Daniel O'Callaghan

Shut-line obsessive...Hates rudeness, loves biscuits.

51 thoughts on “Missing the Marque: Volkswagen Fox”

  1. Part of the problem might be coming up with a suitable brand name for a basic car for the masses to be sold at an affordable price.

    What’s the German for ‘People’s Car’ ?

  2. Good morning, Daniel. I never really saw the Fox as a proper Volkswagen, as it was so different from the Lupo and didn’t fit in with the rest of the range. Basic and cheap versus more sophisticated and expensive, as you pointed out. I never really thought about the Fox as a Skoda. If VAG had kept Skoda as a budgetbrand it could have worked.

    When I saw the up! concept in 2007 I immediately liked it and hoped they put in production. They did in 2011, but with the engine in front, instead of in the back. An FWD layout is the template for a car this size, isn’t it? The Citigo and Mii versions have been cancelled and from what I’ve heard it’s unlikely the up! will get a successor, for all the familiar reasons. Too bad, as I really like it. Strange thing is, I’ve never driven one.

  3. Well, how about that. I bought a 2007 Fox two months ago for second-car duties. In that cheery yellow, too. It looks lovely in the Algarve sunshine. I think the distinguished gentleman from Autocar nailed it. And now I’ll stop looking covetously at Renault 4s.

    1. Good morning David. That car (and colour) sounds just perfect for your purposes. Best of luck with it.

      Maybe it’s just the novelty, but I really rather enjoy driving ‘basic’ rental cars in sunnier climates such as on the Mediterranean or Canary Islands, where the sophistication of our own cars at home would seem rather superfluous (apart from air-conditioning, of course!)

  4. When asked for an entry level Volkswagen by a journalist then VW-CEO Bernd Pischetsrieder answered that such a car would not be a brand new VW but a used Polo.
    This statement earned him what we nowadays call a shitstorm by the German media, generally car adverse and always ready to bash anything and anybody as long as it gives negative headlines in connection with automobiles.
    The result was the import of the Fox which had not been part of the original plan.

    VW’s brands once were sufficiently differentiated in terms of quality of their products.
    But today Audi has lost its once unique position in the industry and their interiors are just the same crap as anybody else’s. When Audi started their drive for quality they simply didn’t have the money to provide proper technical solutions and they invested the little money they had in quality. Fugen Ferdl in his Auto.Biographie very vividly describes his fight for the comparatively little sum to have the 80 B3 fully zinc treated to once and for all elimate rust from Audis.
    Today they spend money on questionable technical solutions like the weird drivetrain with the differential in front of the clutch which surely can’t come cheap and seemingly doesn’t leave money for quality materials in the interior.
    VW just shows what happens when you make a purchasing director your CEO. Cost cutting and decline in quality wherever you look.

    By the way: the only curved windscreen Beetle was the 1303. The 1302 had the flat windscreen and old flat metal dashboard (painted black with a black plastic ‘rim’) but both shared the McPherson front suspension.

    1. Seat could have been an ideal budget brand.
      If they had given them simple interiors with smooth plastics this would have saved considerable money and would have been helpful for customers around the Mediterranean with hot weather and porentially dusty environment.
      During a holiday trip to a very dusty Greek island I had a rental Seat Ibiza Mk3. I suddenly could see the advantage of the semi-shiny black plastic over surfaces with rubber-effect paint when I thought about cleaning the surfaces from all that dust which looked like a simple wipe job with a damp cloth but would have been nearly impossible in my Audi.

    2. Good morning Dave. Thanks for your comments and the correction about the VW 1302 Beetle, which had the extended nose with MacPherson strut front suspension, but not the curved windscreen and new dashboard. Here’s the 1303 with both those features:

  5. The 3 major problems of the Fox:
    – almost no Lupo-owners accepts the Fox as the next car.
    – the raising brasilian currency Real turned every Fox sold in Europ into lost money for Volkswagen. So they stopped all advertising and special offers. That does not help a car which gets its attraction by the low price …
    – the built-quality suffers from the small numbers of the Fox-production for the markets of Europe. The Fox for South America were more solid.

    1. Textbook showroom-bait. Go in tempted by a low headline price, find that there are no deals and in the Fox’s case probably no cars. Walk out having signed up for a Polo for not much more money.

      On which matter, I’d definitely nominate the 2001-2009 Polo 9N for a future ‘Missing the Marque’. Inferior in so many ways the the car which preceded it.

  6. I can´t believe how Ferdinand could accept the Fox as a suitable succesor for the Lupo. But then Honda also thought that the Logo was perfectly adequate for the European market…they look similar, by the way

    To add insult to injury, if the currency exchange turned against VW, well, the disaster was complete.

    1. The Fox was Pischetsrieder’s decision.
      Ferdinand was in the supervisory board at that time and could express an opinion but not make decisions for operational business. and I’m sure he didn’t accept the Fox as he was an active driver for the you-pee-exclamation mark.

  7. The dashboards material has allways been an issue in southern climates.

    Among old cars, the only one I never saw cracked was the citroen gs’s, a car otherwise fully biodegradable.

    Not longer an issue since around 1990, though

    1. “…a car otherwise fully biodegradable.” 😁

    2. Here in in the south of Spain cracked dashboards used to be a concern, until “soft touch” plastics were employed since mid ´90s. Now the problem is warped dashboards (although not too many of them).
      Sagging roof linings and faded exterior trim are the most common consequences.

  8. Good morning all and thanks for your comments.

    While the Fox was similar in dimensions to the classic VW Beetle, that car’s true successor was the entry-level 1989 VW Gol:

    I hadn’t noticed before but, in the rear-three- quarter view, the Gol looks pleasingly like the Mk1 Scirocco!

    1. The Gol of that and previous generations was built on a shortened VW Passat B1/Audi 8o B1 chassis because it was the only suitable fwd platform with a longitudinal position of the engine, making it very easy for them to just turn the Beetle engine 180 degrees and put it in the front instead of the back. I wonder if the Fox was shortened or if they used the B1 chassis outright?

    2. Daniel, the Gol was sold in the US from the mid late 80s as, wait for it… the Fox! It came out around the time my older brother got his driver’s license and I remember going to the VW dealer to test drive the three door wagon variant, priced around $7500, I think. I found the car pleasingly utilitarian in appearance but I was shocked by the interior; shoddily constructed from cheap materials that rattled constantly as we made our way down the road. It wasn’t any better than the contemporary Hyundai Excel while being 40% more expensive. Stretch the budget less than $2000 and you get could get the vastly superior Honda Civic. And both those options gave you a fifth forward gear.

  9. This is an odd experience. I am pretty clear about what I was doing during 2005-2011. The VW Fox didn´t figure in that at all. The car strikes me as an impostor and I can easily re-write history so that the Lupo is then followed by the Up, with no intervening Fox. The other thing about the Fox is that it´s easily overlooked. I notice Lupos which are surviving nicely and one can´t help seeing Ups and its sisters as they are as common as cigarette ends on pavements. I am glad the Fox has got a proper DTW write-up as otherwise it would sink beneath the waves of history with no trace.

    1. David – it is weird. I believe the Fox has the same hubs as Polos and the mk4 Golf as well as some other VWG products. The Lupo and up! have four-bolt wheels I think, so it’s a quirk of the development process, I guess.

      It could be that they really were trying to save every fraction of a gramme with the up!, at least, so a four-bolt design would be more expensive, but lighter. It’s possible that a high volume, five-bolt hub would be cheaper and more suitable for the Fox. I know some lower-spec Volkswagens got discs all-round, occasionally, because that’s what they had in the factory, at the time, so expediency sometimes rules.

  10. The Fox is the one Top Gear used to play football with wasn’t it?

    Great article too Daniel thank you. Growing up as a child our family briefly had a SEAT Arosa, but it was quickly ditched when a work colleague told our mother what would happen to us kids in a rear end collision in that car. The Fox was not a great successor to it.

    1. Hi JCC. I remember that Top Gear stunt and I was appalled at the puerile and stupid mindset that regards such wanton destruction of serviceable vehicles as entertainment. It was one of many reasons I could no longer watch the programme, at least while Clarkson and Hammond were presenting. Incidentally, I could never work out how James May, who often seemed to be the only adult in the room, could put up with them. Money, I suppose.

  11. I would say that the Up! was made in the Apple School of Design, with a large demographic in design and trend sensitive people, mostly young tech oriented people that aren’t necessarily into cars. The kind of people who would choose an Apple product over an Android or similar because they already have an iPod/iPad/iPhone and they subscribe to that kind of design language. The chamfers on the car and the windows and radii all screams Apple to me. I would say that’s why the Up! had a following in Japan, it sold on design only in that notoriously difficult market, because that market is big enough to have room for premium products that small. It definitely didn’t sell on price, but on want.

  12. Spot on, Mr Herriott – in the real world the Up! did indeed replace the Lupo; the Fox was an aberration which buyers ignored. Which is why it’s good to see it being discussed here. It seems to me to fall into that strange almost parallel universe where also lives a device from India which appeared in the UK as a Rover…… (another DTW missed marque?).

    Good to hear that Mr Roser has rescued one – and another yellow example lives less than a mile away from me, apparently in sound order.

  13. The story of the Up!-Mii-Citigo – Trilogy was written by Toyota and PSA some years earlier.

    Cost cutting production in Eastern Europe, one engine with three cylindres, no technical differences betweeen the three sisters, etc. etc.

    Even the seats with integrated and not adjustable headrests are similar.

    1. I’ve long been a proponent for the first generation C1/107/Aygo model, in my mind one of the best superminis at least for the last thirty years. And to my mind, no other car in that segment would’ve been needed, they could’ve sold it indefinitely. How could you possibly construct something newer that works better for a lower price?

    2. About the Up!, ten years ago I drove one rental car example from Oslo to North Cape and back in four days.

      Not being a VAG man because I have no fun driving them (although my experience is limited – golf2 1300, golf3 TD, 2001 Passat TDI110, ibiza 1.9D, Octavia1 1600, 2003 polo 1.2, 2003 Audi A4 TDI and 2.8 A8), I antecipated that the beautiful scenary and the summer solstice would have to compensate driving another VAG product.

      What a surprise – I couldn’t believe how responsive was the 1.0 engine, how informative was the steering, how comfortable such a small thing was to drive 1200 km a day at 55/60 mph.

      Only niggle, the boot was very small, but with just two abord, the rear bench was available.

      Only VAG product I didn’t feel being heavy footed.

      My apologies to all you VAG fans…

  14. The Fox was simply not a suitable successor for the Lupo, its failings doesn’t necessarily seem to be due to the fact it was built in Brazil. More that it drifted away from what made the Lupo special in the same way Ford and PSA replaced the Ka and 106/Saxo with lacklustre successors.

    Was there something off about the A04/PQ24 platform that underpinned the Fox in general stemming from cost-cutting, which made it inferior to the A03-based A00 platform in the Lupo?

    1. That´s a good analogy, Bob. The Lupo seemed like a serious small car. The Lupo had the character of an 900 kg car inflated to that of the class above. A counter-example of an emerging-market car competing well is the Suzuki Celero. The reviews miss the point when they say it´s cheap, easy to drive and roomy but whine about the lack of koala-skin leather, gold trim and platinum-coated door lock pins (see also: “it´s a lovely, well-equipped, luxurious, fast and well-made car but it costs more than a ham sandwich…”).

    2. My understanding is that the A03 6N and 6N2 Polos had a lot of parts commonality with the Golf Mk.3, making them expensive to produce. The A04/PQ24 platform was developed to create a larger and more flexible (in at least two senses, one of them not good) replacement, but at lower cost.

      The situation is further complicated by the A03 Ibiza, and the vans and saloons being mostly Golf Mk 2 ahead of the front bulkhead.

    3. Also seem to recall Volkswagen had more sophisticated ideas for an emerging-market FWD city cars either contemporaneously with or between the Lupo and Up, the Fox being quite the downgrade and of the view Skoda would have been better off sticking with the A00 for the Ahoj had it reached production than made use of the Fox platform.

      Was under the impression the A03-based A00 platform in the Lupo/Arosa also drew upon the A03 Ibiza, surely that that would have been cheaper then simply being a shortened version of the A03 platform used in the mk3 Polo?

  15. Not only does the Fox exist, the lady across the road from me drives one. If I get a chance later on today I will tackle the infamous Imgur upload challenge and provide you with photographic evidence. I will concede though that there are few others around – I have seen more vulpine urban foxes than the VW variety.

    Actually cars like the Palio, Gol, Ka+, and Dacia Sanderos always lead me to question what exactly we want from our vehicles. Most of them, by Western European standards, lack any kind of “surprise and delight” features, suffer rather from NVH, and are filled with hard plastics. Yet they provide dependable transport for millions, and look likely to outlive the sophisticated and expensive Euro supermini. Is a modern Gol a less pleasant place to be than a 70s Golf in basic trim? Or a Ka+ so much more awful than my parents’ Erika Escort in the 80s?

    (Just to be clear, I have no desire to don a hairshirt, or force anyone else to do so. It would be highly hypocritical of me to claim I’d rather be in a Gol than W204 on grounds of design purity! But I sometimes wonder if the European motoring press is unduly harsh on vehicles imported from emerging economies, in the same way as it used be towards Japanese cars.)

  16. I ask the same question Michael. I considered buying a new Dacia on two occasions, and on both purchased something else secondhand. The last time it was a secondhand Skoda. Was that snobbery of some sort – ironic since not so long ago a Skoda was very firmly in the perceived bargain basement? In the end the Skoda offered more things, that I’d either have specified or were not available on the Dacia. That’s my defence. Yet I’m sure that many people who have no interest in cars at all spend more money on something ‘reputable’ which affords them no real advantage.

    As for the Fox, I’m relieved that I’m not the only one who finds it a stealth car. If I noticed it at all, I thought it was a facelift of the Lupo. Likewise the third generation Ka passed me by completely – I discovered its existence a few months back, then finally noticed one for the first time yesterday. But I’m not putting the Fox down by saying that, its arrival coincides with the time that I finally decided that it really didn’t matter to the world if I ceased mentally cataloguing every make or model sold in Europe.

  17. It´s a small point but nonetheway: the Fox has a black plastic under-bumper. Some Fords did this too e.g. the 1997 Ford Focus (Mk1) and 2001 Ford C-Max; the 2002 Fiesta has a small black edge to the lower front bumper. The Honda Logo which is a similar size/age has an all-body colour front bumper. I don´t see what the black plastic is doing to help.

    1. Could it be down to the steep cambering of roads in Brazil, and the likelihood of grounding the front bumper at junctions? The black under-bumper, when damaged, would make the harm less conspicuous than a body coloured part

  18. I’ve always liked these – I think they’re very jolly and characterful and are built well. I also like the raised seating position and the ride is meant to be good, as said earlier. The interior isn’t made of expensive plastics, but it somehow works on this car.

    They possibly made a bit of a mistake offering the Fox with unpainted bumpers – I think they only look okay on brighter colours like red and yellow. Re the black lower bumper, that seemed to be fashionable at the time, so it might just be a stylistic thing. It would also mean it would be less vulnerable to damage from road debris, too, I suppose.

    There seem to be plenty of Foxes for sale – many will be low mileage, as they will have appealed to older people when new. I think you’ve made a good buy, David R.


    I think it’s successor, the up!, is a design classic and it hasn’t aged. It’s amazing it’s over 10 years old, now.

  19. My daughter can’t afford an expensive car and drives a 15 year old Urban Fox. She loves it and so do I. Makes a surprising change from a Mazda 6 Sport

    1. Hello Orlando and welcome to Driven To Write. Good to hear that both you and your daughter are enjoying the Fox and that it is still giving good service after fifteen years on the road. That’s proper sustainable motoring.

  20. I’ve seen another Fox on the road today – however it had Reliant badges on it. Presumably the glass fibre bodywork accounted for its survival and remarkably smart appearance. Now I wonder if Daniel will find a photo of one….

    1. Happy to oblige, John:

      It looks like a fun-size* Matra-Simca Rancho.

      * What genius decided that a smaller than normal Mars Bar was “fun”.

  21. Hello all. I’m surprised and very pleased that the Fox has elicited so many comments and promped such an interesting discussion. With hindsight, I should have drawn more attention to the price difference between the Lupo and the Fox. When the Fox was launched in 2006, the UK list price started at £6.6k, while the outgoing Lupo cost from £8k. That’s a very substantial difference and certainly makes the Fox’s relative lack of sophistication more justifiable.

    1. Daniel: this is surely a record among very particular records. Put another way, who would have thought such a radish of a car would garner such attention: not interesting mechanically or aesthetically and with the market presence of a small burp in a hurricane.

  22. The Fox was – as I remember – always considered an ill-considered move. Indifferent, although inoffensive, and lacking much character. On the other hand, I don’t hate the Fox: it did its job. That, however, is not what you expect from a Volkswagen. Besides being a much higher quality product, the Lupo had character. For a Volkswagen at least.

    The comparison between the Up and Apple products rings true to me, with the caveat that the Up is positioned low-ish in the market (though by no means a budget product) where Apple’s products are higher end. I’d wager a comparison on the respective margins would send an Apple accountant into fits of hysteric laughter.

    The indifference and awkwardness of the Fox reminds me of the Ford Ecosport, which took the same sins and magnified them manyfold:

  23. Did the decision to import only the three-door affect its success? The market may not have mostly rejected this bodystyle at the time of release*, but it might be reasonable to guess that the five-door was not offered as it would be feared to steal Polo sales. Until this article I had assumed that the Fox was made in one bodystyle for cost reasons, but it seems that they actually made an estate version too.

    *it has, now: 3-door “hatchbacks” (so, ignoring coupes) seem to be limited to the Fiat/Abarth 500, Mini, and GR Yaris

    1. If you’re going to build a very small car with 4 or 5 doors, the doors are going to be much too small, and the structural strength will be compromised. Anyone intending to carry back seat passengers on a regular basis should be buying something bigger anyway.

    2. * And the Volkswagen up!, too, a style which I think suits it best.

  24. I inherited a 2008 Fox as my first car back in 2016 and still own it today, and it’s been absolutely faultless during that time. On a few occasions I’ve considered changing it for something newer and more complicated, but I always come back to thinking it’s all I really need.

    As they start to get less common I feel increasingly compelled to hang on to mine and to keep looking after it. I feel a strange sense of satisfaction from seeing it in my office car park among the sea of PCP’d Mercs and BMWs.

    They’re definitely starting to get thinner on the ground, which isn’t surprising given that most of them are around 15 years old.

    It fulfils quite a unique brief in that it’s an A-segment car which isn’t at all ‘cute’, and can take a fair amount of abuse, and for that it’s served my varied purposes perfectly.

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