Opel Agila 2000

opel agilaThe idea for a multifunctional small car is not new either, nor original. Many times, various manufacturers have offered their customers vehicles with elaborate bodies in this class, the possibility of easy adaptation of the interior to other tasks than transporting people. A small station wagon was built, and in recent years, single-body structures have appeared. General Motors has been controlling the finances and activities of the Japanese company Suzuki for several years. Their experience and the design of a car called the Wagon R + were used, developing Agila. Agila took over from Suzuki Wagon R + the concept of the body structure and shape as well as several component solutions, the rest was constructed from scratch.
To increase the transport capacity of a small car, Suzuki designers adopted a cuboid as the pattern of the body shape, where all passengers have the same amount of space for themselves – overhead, around the shoulders, knees and feet. The rectangular interior can be easily adapted to the transport of goods, and the regular shapes of the walls and the rear loading opening make it much easier to pack luggage. This body concept was taken over by the designers from General Motors to Agila. The car has a rectangular passenger compartment, defined by a cage welded from very rigid elements, what they are: windshield frame, side door frames with sills, roof frame with four crossbars, beam over the axle of the rear wheels and a beam with a closed profile, running transversely between the joints of the sills and pillars on the left and right side of the car. Attached to this cage are two stringers located along the fenders at the height of the headlights, closed with a beam placed under the bumper, which form the front crush zone. The plating and floor plates from the rear bumper to the axis of the rear wheels form the rear impact energy dissipation zone. The forces generated during side impacts are absorbed by the double beams installed in the doors and the passenger cage sills. The standard equipment completes the Agila's high safety image, covering the two front airbags, three-point seat belts and head restraints for four passengers. The front seat belts have pyrotechnic pretensioners.
Agila is a small car, whose bodywork does not exceed 3,5 meter in length, which may suggest restrictions for passengers, especially in the rear. However, these are only appearances. Now boxed, rectangular body, in which the wheels are located at the corners shows its advantages. There are two rows of "chair" seats, which keep passengers upright. This procedure guaranteed enough space for tall people, occupying the rear seats and a decent trunk. The same height of the car in its front and rear part makes it easier to take up places – the door is high, tall passengers can easily sit in the rear. Likewise, the tall body and large, high-lift rear doors make it easy to access the trunk or the enlarged one, when the asymmetrically divided rear seat is folded down, luggage space. The folding of the rear seats transforms the Agila into a small van with a cargo hold capacity 1 m3. Agila's luggage space has regular shapes, Thanks to this, a rectangular box with a volume can be inserted into the interior 740 dm3, which is very rare in estate cars or minivans belonging to the upper class.
The interior of the Agila is functionally designed in a typical Opel design. Giving up the dominance of black plastics in the instrument panel made the interior lighter and less formal. There is no objection to the ergonomics of the knob layout, levers and indicators. Numerous storage compartments are also within easy reach. The driver can find a comfortable position, by using the additional steering column adjustment. Unfortunately, the driver's seat is not height-adjustable. Visibility from the inside is very good, although the front left pillar slightly obstructs the view when entering left turns. Pay attention when reversing, that the lower edge of the rear window is quite high, which reduces the field of view, located directly behind the car. The maneuverability of the vehicle and the operation of the standard electric steering assistance system can be assessed as a school five with a plus.
All car seats guarantee comfort, even on longer journeys. The width of the rear seat is only sufficient for two adults, the third will withstand a short urban route, a longer journey under such conditions is not possible. The producer is aware of this, equipping the car with only four headrests.
The interior of the vehicle is well soundproofed, and the high body does not cause increased noise, resulting from the air flow around the car. The transmission of suspension vibrations to the body and steering has also been significantly reduced. The engine running noises do not disturb up to a speed of approx. 110-120 km/h. Later, the noise becomes a nuisance.
The Agila drive is powered by a system consisting of an ECOTEC engine and a Suzuki gearbox used in the Wagon R + model.. Opel proposes two engines in Agila. The first has capacity 973 cm3, three cylinders and develops power 43 kW|. The second is a four-cylinder unit 1199 cm3 oferująca ca moc 55 kW. Both were well known in the Corsa model.
The smaller one allows you to be calm, but free ride in big city traffic. On the road, you immediately notice, that the motor has a low torque. Overtaking requires a long stretch of empty road, it is necessary to use the gearbox frequently. Every, even light, the hill immediately reduces the travel speed, and the loading of the car further reduces its ability to accelerate and maintain high speeds. Some compensation for traction deficiencies is the low fuel consumption.
The second motor is a suitable prime mover for the Agila, provides good driving dynamics in the city, there are no disadvantages of a smaller unit on the road. It allows you to maintain the dynamics of the movement of a fully loaded vehicle. However, it is noisy at higher speeds. With smooth driving, fuel consumption remains at the level of the three-cylinder unit. Vigorous use of the accelerator pedal is a large portion of the additional fuel consumed, comparable to a Corsa with the same engine.
Driving the Agila is easy, all mechanisms work lightly and precisely. The progression and effectiveness of the braking system are enough to overcome even difficult and unforeseen situations. The ABS system is on the list of additional paid equipment. Maneuvering the car is easy, the vehicle has small overhangs, is maneuverable, and the electric power steering works very efficiently and accurately. Fast cornering causes quite deep body roll, but they do not alter slightly understeer handling characteristics. Driving stability is improved by the wide track. The car, however, is sensitive to side gusts of wind, which is caused by a large side surface and a relatively low curb weight. When driving fast, leaving behind the forest line or passing a truck requires a definite correction of the trajectory.
The driving comfort is good despite the short wheelbase, however, it clearly improves with increasing load.