The best version of a good car, but still too pricey

What is it?

This is the 1.3 CDTi, the pick of the Agila range. The 74bhp 1248cc turbodiesel is almost identical to the one found in the Corsa but, crucially, gets 14lb ft more torque and has to haul around 60kg less weight.

What’s it like?

The result is punchy urban performance, with none of the low-down lethargy that afflicts the same engine in the Corsa.

We criticised the Agila’s weight in our road test of the 1.0-litre petrol version, but this is less of an issue for the diesel model. It’s still a portly car, but the 1085kg kerbweight is no problem with more than twice the torque of the base petrol version (140lb ft vs 68lb ft), with this delivered at 1750rpm rather than 4800rpm.

Economy and emissions are predictably good, too, with a claimed 62.8mpg on the combined cycle. Emissions of 120g/km of C02 also puts the CDTi, like the 1.0-litre, into VED band B, meaning a cut-price road-tax and exemption from London’s congestion charge.

The oil-fired Agila is set to be a minority taste, though. Vauxhall reckon that fewer than 300 of the 5000 Agilas set to find homes in the UK this year will be powered by diesel. Perhaps not surprising when you consider that the Agila’s pricetag puts it into direct competition with far bigger supermini-based MPV rivals like the Renault Modus and Honda Jazz SE.

And where the cheaper Agilas feel more solid and more mature than diminutive city-cars like the Hyundai i10 and Fiat Panda, the top-end 1.3CDTi feels undersized and short on cubby-holes.

Should I buy one?

It’s the best version of a good car, then, but that price pitches it against tough opposition. If Vauxhall were to do a version for under £10,000 it could be on to a real winner.

Matt Rigby

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Paddy1991 31 October 2017


The 1.3 CDTI Agila is small but has more torque than its petrol counterparts. Towbars for this Agila can be bought but can only be used on the 1.2 petrol models which is a bit unusual.
NiallOswald 26 March 2008

Re: Vauxhall Agila 1.3 CDTi

This car looks far more Suzuki than Vauxhall, though the Splash looks better. I wonder if it will uphold the tradition of the best Vauxhalls being the ones they didn't (entirely) design themselves? ;)

(Lotus carlton, VX220, Monaro, VXR8, Omega?)