What is it?
The General Motors end of the joint effort with Suzuki to come up with a replacement for the old Agila and Wagon R. Suzuki have taken the lead on the engineering, basing this all-new model on a cut down Swift platform, while GM have been responsible for the design work for both models. Although teams conducted devlopment in both Japan and Europe, the end product is being sold in Europe only.
What’s it like?
A whole lot more desirable than the old car. It manages to be a one-box car without looking weird – the styling is crisp and smart – and inside it’s modern and funky without trying too hard. The big speedo and stalk mounted rev counter are not particularly original; we’ve seen the same idea on the Mini and the Smart ForTwo, but it’s a cohesive, tidy piece of work. You might want to steer away from the Sunset Orange trim though, and the boot is tiny but the seats fold flat to create a sizeable, useful space.
The same mature feel extends to the way it drives. The petrol 1.2 is quiet and willing to bowl along motorways at 85mph with little effort, it rides like a bigger car and behaves in a much more grown up way than you might expect. Despite its height body roll is kept in check and the result is acceptable levels of agility.
Should I buy one?
If you need a small car with a tall load space, then yes. Which is something we would never have said that about the old Agila. This is a much better resolved machine, with a maturity that belies its looks. Although a Clio can match its boot for overall volume, the Agila’s height makes it more versatile. It’s a shame Vauxhall hasn’t managed to cut the CO2 output more though, given the car’s low weight.