They may only have 1bhp, but that's all these angry little cars need...
You are here
The Top Gear car review:Vauxhall Agila
For:Good at pootling around town, fits four comfortably
Against:With all seats in use, the boot is tiny
1.2 VVT ecoFLEX SE 5dr
New, practical, small cars are dull; new, cool, small cars aren’t terribly practical. There are plenty of the former, and with the new Fiat 500, a...
What we say:
The Vauxhall Agila is a slightly re-skinned version of the Suzuki Splash, built at the same factory. So it’s a spacious, compact, boxy thing with a cheep’n’cheery cabin. You do not desire it.
What is it?
The Agila is Vauxhall’s answer to the mini-MPV craze, and unlike the others, it actually looks OK. It’s identical underneath to the Suzuki Splash, though there’s no diesel here.
It’s no track star obviously, but the steering is light and body roll and understeer kept under fairly tight control unless you’re really pasting it. For pootling around town, it’s zippy and fun.
Half a step up in size and refinement from the likes of the Hyundai i10 and Toyota Aygo, the tall Agila has the space to rival the Yaris and Micra, and the engines are decently quiet too. A tall driving position and good view out gives a sense of reassurance to the nervous.
You’ve got a 1.0 three-cylinder, which is slow to accelerate but can almost crack the ton, and a 1.2 which does the job pretty effectively. It doesn’t have much Agila to shove along, so 90bhp is sufficient. You can even have an auto (with just four gears) if you want to confine yourself to old-biddy-city.
On the inside
The cabin is made of cheap materials but they’re well shaped so the sense of well-being inside is quite decent for the market. Reliability is good, and we trust the Suzuki factory in Hungary.
Few cars this small can get the people in so comfortably. The cabin has plenty of storage slots and a split-fold seat is standard. It’s all pretty well thought-through. Main problem comes from that pertly truncated tail: when all seats are in use, the boot’s a shoebox.
Low insurance, servicing, fuel and tax. This is why people buy new mini-cars isn’t it? The Agila delivers on all counts.