the Vauxhall Agila grew on me during the test period
Prices start at £7,595 for the 1.0i Expression and rise to £11,195 for the 1.3CDTi Design. Where the base model falls short on creature comforts it is not lacking when it comes to safety. For instance, the driver and front passenger have front and side airbags and height-adjustable seat belts. There’s ABS with Electronic Brake Assist (EBA), speed sensitive power steering, three-point seatbelts for all rear occupants and ISOFIX anchors for the outer rear seats. ESP and Traction Control are available as an option throughout the range.
It is at Club level that you get the height-adjustable steering column, electric front windows, powered and heated door mirrors, front foglights and height adjustment for both front seats. The Design trim adds air-conditioning, dark tinted windows and a leather-clad steering wheel.
The Agila is clearly designed for city-dwellers and is particularly aimed at women. There is plenty of room for all varieties of shopping and the rear doors make it easier to load the children.
As a town car, the Agila has to be frugal and clean, especially in areas where there is congestion charging. With this in mind, Vauxhall has limited the engine sizes to 1.0i and 1.2i petrol engines and for the first time, a 1.3CDTi, diesel. Another ‘first’ is the inclusion of a 4-speed, automatic transmission (£1000 option), available alongside the standard 5-speed manual box.
The 1.0-litre unit produces 65PS and 90Nm of torque. It is a 3-cylinder engine, which is supposed to be the most efficient format. The fuel consumption figures bear this out at 47.9mpg (urban), 64.2mpg (extra-urban) and 56.5mpg for the combined, while the emissions are at the magic number of 120g/km.
The 4-cylinder, 1.2i manual returns 40.9-, 60.1- and 51.4mpg for the same respective cycles (CO2 at 131g/km) and the automatic is around 5mpg less and the CO2 is 142g/km. Frugal as they are the economy prize goes to the diesel at 51.4mpg, a massive 70.6mpg for the extra urban, and the combined is 62.8mpg, which is more than some small cars’ extra-urban results.
To be honest, the 1.2i is about as small as you’d want to go if you do a lot of motorway of distance driving. The 1.0-litre is great around town but even the slightly larger engine demands some swift gear changes in hilly country, if there is more than one person on board.
The 1.2i produces 86PS at 5,000rpm and 114Nm of torque at 4,400rpm. It has a top speed of 109mph after a leisurely 0-62mph time of 12.3 seconds. Again, around town the willingness of the engine and the high driving position makes light work of the traffic and parking is a doddle. And, it is equally capable on motorways, where the easy-rolling nature makes the drive a pleasure, although there is a fair bit of wind noise. No, it’s just hills that will slow it down.
The Agila is comfortable over distances and the only niggle for me was the clunkiness of the gearbox and the lack of finesse in the clutch. That said, it doesn’t take too long to adapt your driving style for a smoother change.
Following my initial impressions, the Vauxhall Agila grew on me during the test period. It is certainly an easy, practical and fuel-efficient car that is surprisingly agile and, at times, dynamic. It does its job as a town car, well and with the added benefit of ridiculously low insurance - the base model is in 1E in the old 20 group system and 4E in the new 50group rating - it will be a hit with students or perhaps as a second family car.11 August 2008
Vauxhall Agila Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Vauxhall Agila 1.2i Design|
|Body Type||5-Door Hatchback|
|Colour||Moroccan Blue Metallic|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||12.3 Seconds|
|Top Speed||109 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||60.1 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3-Year / 60,000 Mile Warranty|
|Price (when tested on the 11/08/08)||£9,810|