There’s no ducking the fact that the biggest turn-off about the Vauxhall Agila is its price. It’s true that in the higher trim levels it packs a superficially impressive equipment list, with items such as a trip computer, steering wheel-mounted radio controls, front fog lights, a one-shot driver’s window and body-coloured door mirrors and exterior handles.
But we wonder how many people are going to crave these items as much as those that are not provided as standard, like the ESP and curtain airbags found on the Suzuki Splash.
Reconcile this in your mind and once you have your Agila, you’ll find it much more affordable. It comes with very cheap insurance and minimal road-tax costs, but these are no more than you should now expect of any car in this class.
It should also prove frugal on fuel. Official figures suggest the 1.0-litre engine is capable of a 60.1mpg average – one of the better in the category – although we could get nowhere near this number during our test.
On a 100-mile route of motorway and a smattering country roads driven fast but not hard, it returned 44.1mpg, so 50mpg in routine gentle driving should be easily achieved. A 10-gallon fuel tank means you shouldn’t be stopping for fuel too often, either. Sadly more modern rivals such as the Hyundai i10 and Nissan Micra outclass the Agila’s CO2 emissions of 109g/km.
The 1.2-litre version’s economy figures look slightly less impressive, with a combined figure of 55.4mpg but the real-world consumption is likely to be on par with the smaller engined version on faster roads. CO2 emissions of 118g/km are nothing to boast about – those kind of figures are more familiar in the class size above. Choosing the automatic version increases fuel consumption to 49.6 and emissions to 131g/km.