We went car shopping yesterday and tried three cars: Ford Ka, Volkswagen Fox, and Toyota Yaris. Still in the running are Ford Ka and VW Fox.
The Ford Ka is very popular because it is cheap and cheerful. Despite its lack of street cred (like that matters to me), What Car guide gives it four out of five stars overall, and five out of five for reliability. DH enjoyed driving it and felt comfortable in it.
Ford Ka interior view
The front seats feel roomy and the dashboard is simple and friendly. The rear seat is very cramped, and there is hardly any boot space at all, but that doesn't matter so much because we wouldn't be carting around passengers very often, and with the cost of petrol I don't think we'll be buying any big items that need hauling!
One advantage of Ford is it is cheap and easy to maintain; parts are cheap and any garage anywhere can deal with a Ford.
Our other choice is the VW Fox, in particular the Urban Fox. The Fox is a newer car in the VW range, replacing the Lupo in 2006. They are VW's cheapest and smallest car. The ride in the VW was smoother than the other two we tested, and the engine had that distinctive VW growl, which I find appealing. The interior has a stark and simple design making it easy to use. Overall the car has a solid feel, and the colourful stripey seats are a happy and quirky note. There is plenty of room for two adults in the back seat, and the boot is larger than the Ford Ka. Which Car gives it three out of five stars, and can't rate it on reliablity yet because it hasn't been out long enough, but says it is comparable to the Polo.
Volkswagen maintenance is more expensive than Ford, but I wonder if it will need to be worked on as often.
Fox rear seats
So now we just have to decide which we want. Any input would be greatly appreciated!!
(About the Toyota Yaris...
I thought the ride was terrible and DH felt very uncomfortable trying to drive it and deal with the gear box. Overall, it was an unpleasant experience for us, so even though it is recommended with four stars by What Car, and in spite of the good reputation of Toyota overall, we are giving this car a miss. We just don't like it.)
May all beings be at ease.