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.

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
The biggest turn-off about this Agila is its price

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. 

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

Top 5 Superminis

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • BMW X3
    Car review
    19 January 2018
    The stakes have never been higher for BMW’s mid-sized SUV, now the X3 in its third generation. So can it deliver?
  • Nissan Leaf
    First Drive
    19 January 2018
    Better looks, better value, better range, stronger performance and a quiet and relaxing drive make the Nissan Leaf a leading EV contender again
  • Volkswagen Up GTI
    First Drive
    18 January 2018
    Funky, light, enjoyable and even reasonably priced, the Volkswagen Up GTI is a car to be appreciated on its own compelling terms
  • Skoda Fabia 1.0 TSI 110 Redline
    First Drive
    18 January 2018
    Our first flavour of the 1.0 TSI-engined Skoda Fabia on UK roads shows it’s versatile but not all that sporty
  • Ford Ecosport 1.0 Ecoboost 125 Zetec front
    First Drive
    18 January 2018
    Can the updated Ford Ecosport improve its reputation and become the small SUV of choice, or is it another misguided effort from the Blue Oval?