Vauxhall Agila

The Essentials

  • Price from £8,495
  • What Car? says: 2 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 58.9mpg
  • What is it? Dinky city car that's undermined by cheaper and better equipped rivals

Great

  • Small size makes it easy to park and manoeuvre
  • Spacious interior fits four adults and shopping
  • Comfortable driving position and easy to drive

Gripes

  • For an extra 500, we'd buy a Suzuki Splash
  • Paltry standard and safety equipment in base model
  • Noisy engine when revved hard on motorways
  • Drive

    Nippy engine is great in town but struggles to keep up with motorway traffic

  • Inside

    Spacious but disappointing in design and quality

  • Safety

    You'll have to pay more for side airbags and stability control

  • Reliability

    This Vauxhall is built by Suzuki, so reliability shouldn't be a worry and there's a lifetime warranty for good measure

  • Space

    Impressive passenger space for such a tiny car; boot space can be extended in all but base model

  • Standard and extras

    Meagre standard equipment and pricey extras

  • What's it like to drive?

    The 1.0-litre engine is nippy around town and surprisingly fun to drive. The gear change is crisp and feels rather sporty. However, the engine needs to be revved hard to keep up with motorway traffic, where the 1.2-litre engine is a better bet. The ride is comfortable around town and feels calm and composed on motorways. Road and wind noise won't disturb you and the smooth controls make it easy to drive.

  • What's it like inside?

    The Agila feels spacious for such a small car. It's easy to find a comfortable driving position as the seat and steering wheel are fully adjustable. The rear seats will sit two adults comfortably and fold flat (except in the base model) should you need extra room. However, the interior design is less impressive. Thick pillars impede visibility at junctions and when reversing, while the rev counter looks as though it's been added on post-production.
    Entry-level cars' equipment levels are mean and it costs over 2000 more to get a model with air-con and electric front windows.

  • How reliable is it?

    Suzuki builds the Agila for Vauxhall, and has a much better record for reliability, so it should last the distance. The previous model was Vauxhall's most reliable model in the latest What Car? reliability survey. A lifetime/100,000-mile warranty should offer even more reassurance.
    Safety kit is less impressive - while Suzuki has put six airbags and stability control onto all of its Splash superminis, the Agila has only four airbags and you have to pay extra for stability control.

  • Should I buy one?

    The Agila's price starts low but this buys you the basic 1.0-litre model that only the most impecunious would consider. Low running costs and the lifetime warranty are good news, but the almost identical Suzuki Splash looks better value.