Only walking is cheaper
Added: 28th of November 2013
Right, £30 a year tax, 55mpg minimum (no matter how much abuse you give the throttle) and tyres for £30 a corner. Nowadays, cycling costs you more than that! This is not stylish driving. No-one will coo and ahh when you arrive in your Arosa. In fact, if you use it for travelling to business meetings you'll probably want to park it in a dark corner of your client's carpark or claim it's a pool car. Friends will take the rise in the pub and ask when you're getting a proper car. But you can simply laugh and stump up for the next round - you'll have the spare cash. Carrying four people around regularly for long journeys is probably not the Arosa's forte, but if there are two of you and luggage, that's easy. It'll sit at 90 on the autobahn all day long (and still do 55mpg) and while it's not 7-Series quiet, it's quiet enough. Handling is a little nose-heavy, so plenty of understeer. But that's a hoot in bends as you just twirl the wheel a bit and press on. It'll almost fit into Smartcar-sized spaces so parking's no bother. And with plenty of glass you can always see your way in. Trim and electric window switches (no, you don't have to wind your own windows) are made from cheese and break often but parts are cheap from pattern part dealers. Don't go to Seat - they want fortunes for plastic clips and bits. If you get the models with the light coloured seats, either buy covers or live with the stains. No matter what you do, that fabric will mark. The darker grey, harder cloth trim is much better. The 3 cylinder engine's an utter peach. The diesel torque means you can just leave it in fifth and it'll pull. 40-70mph acceleration is plenty fast enough to overtake without any drama. In fact, if you're expecting an asthmatic little lump of an engine, think again. The wee 1.4 pulls beautifully. Change up at 3k revs and you'll always have plenty of power left. Eventually the synchro will probably go on third. Not a problem, just learn to double de-clutch and you'll feel like Senna and you won't need a recon box. Well, assuming Senna ever drove an Arosa. Fourth is next. Same applies. Drive round it. Mine's at 130,000 miles now. Still won't drop below 55mpg. Still costs 10p/mile to run, all-in. I'm keeping it until it dies.