2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
Opel launches the second generation of the Agila in April. The new small car from Rüsselsheim doesn't look bad. Unfortunately, the pricing policy could prevent the great success.
By Frank Mertens
When a new car comes onto the market, the marketing strategists at the car manufacturers like to go into verbal heights. It is no different with the new Opel Agila. Compared to its predecessor, the second generation of this small car should be one thing above all else: sexier!
Well, whether that succeeded and whether a car can be sexy at all remains to be seen. One thing is definitely the new Opel Agila: it is a car that you should definitely think about buying when looking for a small car. Because with its design - even if it is strongly reminiscent of the jointly conceived Suzuki Splash or with its steep rear of the Renault Modus - the new Agila is able to make friends.
The days of the angular predecessor - which sold more than 440,000 times - are over. The new Agila is characterized by flowing lines. You can see that especially on the front, where the wide chrome clasp with the lightning bolt sits enthroned in the middle. The large headlights also give the little one a cheeky appearance.
Convincing sense of space
Above all, however, the new Agila is able to convince with its sense of space. It not only has five doors, but also five seats. And the seats in the rear even deserve their name: even tall passengers can find plenty of space in the back. The Agila has grown in almost all areas: in length by twenty centimeters to 3.74 meters and in width (1.68 m) by six centimeters. The only thing that the Agila has slimmed down in terms of height is seven centimeters (total height: 1.59 meters) less than its predecessor due to its sloping roof line. The passengers need not be bothered by this: even with these new dimensions, there is sufficient headroom.
In any case, the Agila proves to be an extremely suitable vehicle for everyday use. Not only is the space available for the passengers right, but also that for luggage. The trunk has a capacity of 225 liters, if you fold the rear seat bench, 1040 liters are available. That's more than decent in this class. A sliding back seat would have looked good on the Agila, but unfortunately this was not done. In any case, one misses a really smart idea in this latest model from the Rüsselsheim-based company that sets the Agila apart from the competition. That would have been sorely necessary. Because the Agila was developed in cooperation with Suzuki and is based on the same technical basis as the Splash.
Positive: the elevated seating position
A big plus of the Agila is without question its elevated seating position, it not only makes getting in and out easier, but also provides a better all-round view. Many customers will appreciate that. But even that is no longer a unique selling point, something like this is also known from a Renault Modus, for example.
The instruments in the Agila are functional, although the impression arises that they have also been inspired by other manufacturers. The speedometer brings back memories of the Center Speedo in the Mini, even though it is fortunately located behind the steering wheel of the Opel. The quality of the materials is okay for a car of this class - but nothing more. So you have to get used to the plastic chic of the interior door trim. The sight of the exposed screw in the door handle is not really nice either, it would have been worth investing in a small cover here. Speaking of turn signals: The sound of the turn signal should be forbidden, it is so annoying that the driver is inclined to forego operating it completely when changing lanes or turning.
Shift lever increased
The slightly raised gear lever in the center console is practical; it enables a more comfortable operation of the manual five-speed gearshift, which works, however, with a bit of a streak. In terms of handling characteristics, the Agila doesn’t cut a bad figure. The 1.3 CDTI with 55 kW / 75 PS that we tested is not a sprint miracle, but is more than sufficient for such a vehicle. The chassis makes a good impression; Rolling and pitching movements are not detectable.
The four-cylinder provides its maximum torque of 190 Nm at 1750 revolutions per minute. The diesel developed by GM makes it from 0 to 100 km / h in 13.9 seconds and should only consume 4.5 liters. He spits just 120 grams of the climate-damaging C02 per kilometer into the air.
Too expensive diesel
The fun of driving a diesel isn't cheap, however: the customer has to pay at least 16,010 euros for it. Anyone who assumes that they have a well-equipped vehicle in front of the door is wrong. For example, ESP - which is only available as an option - costs 360 euros and head airbags 390 euros. With this pricing policy, one wonders who should choose an Agila. Because if you look around the Opel model range, you get a well-equipped Corsa for this price. The Rüsselsheim bestseller is available with the 1.0 liter Ecotec machine (44 kW / 60 PS) from 11,420 euros.
Well, you can buy an Agila for 9900 euros. For this you get a sparsely equipped 1.0 liter gasoline engine with 48 kW / 65 PS. With a few extras, you can quickly reach 12,000 euros. For the 1.2 liter (63 kW / 86 PS) 13,700 euros are called.
So why should you buy an Opel Agila and not a Suzuki Splash, which costs between three and five percent less depending on the engine? Certainly not because of Opel's better dealer network alone. So it will be exciting to see how the Agila holds up on the market. The marketing strategists hope that the new microcar on offer will sell up to 80,000 times across Europe each year. Let's see whether this succeeds with this pricing policy and in view of the competition from the twin brother Suzuki Splash.