It’s Vauxhall’s super-Nova! Now that the Corsa has grown up into a heavyweight supermini, there’s a gap at the bottom of the Vauxhall range for a cheap, cheerful city car – and here it is!
These official pictures reveal the replacement for the Agila – a spiritual successor to the Nova. Comparisons to the boxy outgoing machine are banished to the history books, as Vauxhall brings its smallest model bang up to date. Just like the Nova did when it was first launched in 1983, the new Agila aims to rejuvenate the small car market.
With the Corsa, Peugeot 207 and Renault Clio all bigger than their predecessors, buyers who want a cheap four-door are having to turn to budget marques for affordable transport. And that’s where the new Agila comes in, with prices starting at around £7,000. Based on a Suzuki platform and built at the Japanese firm’s Hungarian factory, the Agila will share most of its parts with the new Splash.
The Agila is longer than its predecessor, but not as tall. The front end benefits from a mature look, with a V-grille flanked by large headlights and unique chrome-trimmed foglamps. Designers have saved their most distinctive lines for the rear, where an angular tail incorporates a near-vertical screen. This is reflected in the lamps, which have an unusual upright shape.
The five-seater’s interior is less imaginative. So far, Vauxhall has only released one image of the dashboard, but the sole flourish seems to be a Smart-style rev counter pod outside of the normal instrument binnacle. Other elements have a more conservative appearance, while buyers will get a choice of dashtop colours in addition to the blue pictured.
What the Agila lacks is any innovative sliding rear seats to make the most of the available space. Instead, the conventional rear bench can fold to leave a 1,150-litre capacity. Due to its Suzuki engineering, the Agila will be offered with two of the firm’s new petrol engines: a 1.0-litre 64bhp three-cylinder and a 1.2-litre 85bhp four-cylinder unit. A five-speed manual box is standard, but buyers of the 1.2 also have the option of an auto.
Vauxhall will take care of diesel power, with its new 74bhp 1.3-litre oil-burner. As Auto Express reported in Issue 960, the CDTI engine is also to be introduced in the Corsa, and has CO2 emissions below 120g/km, which will make the Agila eligible for emissions-based tax breaks.
With development work carried out in Japan and Europe, the newcomer’s chassis has been tuned to deliver excellent refinement and comfort. To help owners avoid accidents, ESP stability control will be available, albeit only as an option.
The Agila will make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, before going on sale in the UK in the spring of 2008.