Opel Agila: Friendly, Dynamic, Flexible
- Five-door, five-seat microvan
- Versatile utility thanks to practical details
- Two gasoline units, one turbo-diesel, automatic transmission optional
The Opel Agila, a mini-monocab with five doors and five seats, combines versatility and eye-catching design in a very compact space. Yet it gives occupants everything but a small-car feeling. Even in the rear, adult passengers enjoy plenty of space. Thanks to the comfortable, slightly elevated seating position, visibility is excellent. Luggage compartment capacity is 225 liters, and with the rear seat backs folded forward, it increases to 1050 liters – a top value in this segment. The Agila’s favorable aerodynamics (Cd = 0.32) and three four-valve engines – from 48 kW/65 hp to 63 kW/86 hp – ensure low fuel consumption. The Opel microvan rounds off the brand’s monocab range, which also includes the Zafira and Meriva. Market prospects look good: in the last ten years, the microvan segment has exploded in Western and Central Europe, reaching around 750,000 vehicles per year. And forecasts predict an increase to well over one million units in the next eight years.
Design und packaging
The Agila has always been supremely practical. But for this second generation, the target was made considerably more complex. “We wanted to give our small car substantially more charm in its design without making any compromises in functionality,” says Chief Designer Uwe Müller. The front is typical Opel: the almond-shaped lighting units are reminiscent of the Corsa, and the integrated round headlamps give the Agila a smart and friendly face. The front and rear tapering is an Opel trademark, just like the crease in the hood. The slender, vertical tail lights allowed a tailgate design that makes loading and unloading very easy.
Fresh colors and attractive shapes create a friendly interior atmosphere which is underlined by generous headroom. The versatile five-seater features a high seating position for excellent visibility and the gear shift lever is located higher up for easy operation. The rev counter has its own separate housing on the instrument panel, while all other data is in a large, distinctive round instrument cluster. The rear seat backs and bench are available in a 1/3:2/3 split. When one side of the seat back is folded down, the corresponding cushion also swings down so that a perfectly level load area floor is created.
The Opel Agila’s body boasts a sophisticated combination of rigidity and superb energy absorbing and energy distribution characteristics. Additional safety is provided by two front and two side airbags, safety belt pretensioners and belt force limiters for the safety belts in front, as well as head restraints for all five seats. The Opel Pedal Release System protects the driver’s feet from serious injury in the event of a head-on collision. Mountings for the child safety seat system ISOFIX and Top Tether are integrated into the outer rear seats.
Chassis and active safety
The Agila’s chassis – with A-arm and McPherson struts in front and a twist beam rear axle – is set up for optimal driving dynamics. The front subframe aids precise handling and high riding comfort, and carries the lower A-arm, suspension stabilizer and steering. The Agila’s wide track (front 1470 mm, rear 1480 mm) also contributes to its stable handling characteristics. Instead of a rigid axle like its predecessor, the new mini monocab features a torsional pivot pin in the rear, which also does its part to optimize the agile and easy-to-control self-steering properties. ESP is available as an option.
The rack and pinion power steering varies according to driving speed. The steering wheel with a diameter of 370 mm is as much an indication of the Agila’s sporty steering layout as its 3.2 turns lock-to-lock. Turning clearance has been reduced from 10 meters to 9.6 (curb to curb). All Agila models are fitted with newest-generation ABS with integrated brake assist, which shortens braking distance in emergency situations. Internally ventilated disk brakes in front and drum brakes in rear ensure powerful deceleration.
Engines and transmissions
Two newly-developed gasoline engines are used in the Agila. Both have an aluminum cylinder block and head as well as twin overhead camshafts. The entry-level engine is the 1.0-liter three-cylinder unit with 48 kW/65 hp and a top speed of 160 km/h. The 1.2 four-cylinder engine with 63 kW/86 hp sprints from zero to 100 km/h in 12.3 seconds and reaches a maximum speed of 175 km/h (with five-speed gearbox). This unit is also available with a four-speed automatic transmission.
The most economical engine available for the Agila is the 1.3-liter common-rail turbo-diesel. This multi-talent offers a particularly low-cost drivetrain alternative. The 1.3 CDTI ecoFLEX with 55 kW/75 hp takes the Agila from zero to 100 km/h in 13.9 seconds and to a top speed of 165 km/h. The powerful diesel features maximum torque of 190 Nm and high fuel efficiency, consuming just 4.5 liters of diesel per 100 km and emitting 120 g/km CO2. The Agila even reaches just 119 g/km CO2 with the 1.0-liter gasoline engine, enabling both the 1.3 CDTI and the 1.0 variants to carry the ecoFLEX badge, which identifies them as extremely fuel efficient drivetrains.
Opel Agila: Facts and figures
- July 2000: Market launch of first generation in Germany, which sold 440,000 units
- September 2007: Premiere of new Opel Agila at IAA in Frankfurt
- Spring 2008: Start of sales in Germany
- Five doors, five seats
- City traffic-friendly compact length of 3.74 meters
- Standard power steering
- Two gasoline engines and one diesel unit to choose from
- 1.0 (gasoline) and 1.3 CDTI (diesel) with ecoFLEX badge
- Available with automatic transmission
- Main markets: Germany, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Great Britain
- Most popular equipment variant in Germany since start of sales: Edition
- Most popular engine in Germany since start of sales: 1.2