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Vauxhall Agila review

Forget the old model, Vauxhall's new Agila has sharp styling and excellent handling.

Overall Auto Express Rating

2.0 out of 5

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Driving
It’s hard not to be impressed by Vauxhall’s new Agila out on the road. While the old model provided little more than basic transport, its successor has much more to offer. It’s an easy, fun car to drive, whether on city streets or twisting country roads. The 1.2-litre engine is eager, if a bit loud on the motorway, and the gearshift is slick and assured. We also like the high-mounted lever. Be warned though, the 1.0-litre three-cylinder alternative soon feels underpowered, and the 1.3-litre diesel borrowed from the Corsa is impressive, but pricey.

Marketplace
The Agila is a five-door city car that majors on practicality – yet, unlike the boxy first-generation version, the newcomer’s profile is also curvy and aerodynamic. As before, it’s essentially a rebadged Suzuki, derived from the new Splash, which offers two of the same engines to the Vauxhall. The 1.0-litre three-cylinder is unique to the Agila. There are three trim levels available in the Vauxhall – Expression, Club and Design, and the 1.2-litre engine also has the option of an automatic transmission. City car rivals include the Fiat Panda, Volkswagen Fox, Chevrolet Matiz and, if you fancy something a little different, the quirky Mitsubishi i.

Owning
Inside, there are sharp two-tone colour schemes and neat touches like the MINI-style rev counter. It’s just a shame the hard plastic trim takes the gloss off the overall effect. It’s surprisingly roomy though, particularly in the back, where two adults can travel in comfort – and three seatbelts provide accommodation for three younger occupants. The boot is comparable with competitors and all but Expression versions get 60/40 split seats and a handy false boot floor. The Vauxhall should be cheap to run, particularly with strong fuel economy from all engines, but we’re a little bit disappointed to see the equipment levels aren’t higher. The Suzuki Splash is better value, but the Vauxhall will probably have better retained values.

Engines, performance and drive

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MPG, CO2 and Running Costs

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Interior, design and technology

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Practicality, comfort and boot space

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Reliability and Safety

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