Suspension for the Agila comes from the time-honoured, simple, cheap and easy-to-package solution of MacPherson struts at the front and a simple torsion beam axle behind. And it all works well in the little Vauxhall by the standards of the category, provided you keep your activities within the realm of normal use for such a car.

Drive it down a badly rutted road as fast as you possibly can and its composure deserts it. Its high-sided shape is no fan of cross-winds, either. The rest of the time, however, the Agila is not only an agreeable conveyance, but it actually takes a plausible stab at offering up some fun too.

Steve Cropley Autocar

Steve Cropley

Editor-in-chief
The ride quality is impressive and a match for any other in the class

But not before it has taken care of the boring stuff. It’s easy to park in town thanks to close and clear extremities, light to manoeuvre and blessed with a sub-10-metre turning circle. Visibility could be a little better – the base of the A-pillars is quite thick, as is the whole of the C-pillar – but it rarely impedes your progress.

And once you’ve left the city behind, the Agila will not fail to impress with the linearity of its steering, the grip of its tyres or the accuracy with which it follows your chosen line. The brakes are also strong and full of feel, so long as you don’t attempt to monster them as if you were on a race track.

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The way to extract a surprising amount of amusement from such a small package is to drive as smoothly as possible and carry as much of your hard-earned speed through every corner as possible. Doing so does induce a serious dose of body lean, requiring your passengers to hang on firmly, but it’s no direct hindrance to progress. Which is a blessing, because if you let your pace fall too far, you may be in the next county (or at least at the end of the decent road) before you get it back again.

It’s a comfortable long-distance car too, thanks to sensibly soft springing. Drop a wheel into a pothole and it will send a shudder through the whole structure, but if you’re just munching the miles on the motorway, or merely running around town, the ride quality is conspicuously impressive and certainly a match for any other in the class.

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