Toyota Aygo Review, Auto Express
Toyota Aygo review
The Toyota Aygo isn’t all that mechanically different from its predecessor, but its looks are refreshingly contemporary with a youthful slant.
There’s not much power or dynamic capability, and while improvements to the sound-deadening make the interior more refined at speed, it’s still some way brief of the city car class leaders for motorway driving. Practicality also suffers thanks to the Aygo’s super-compact dimensions.
Yet the latest Aygo maintains the same sense of joy as before, and there are petite but worthwhile technical improvements under the skin, including some significant advances in vehicle safety. Plus it’s super frugal, effortless to personalise, and well-connected with the latest x-touch multimedia system. So it may only earn three starlets from us, but if you like it – you’ll love it!
The original Toyota Aygo of two thousand five paved the way for the now-ubiquitous city-car formula. Puny, peppy, three-cylinder engine at the front, front-wheel drive, a choice of three or five doors and space – at a squeeze – for four adult-sized passengers.
At the time it was the smallest Toyota to be launched in Europe – the iQ didn’t arrive until two thousand nine – with production taking place at a fresh factory in the Czech Republic. At 67kg, its 1.0-litre petrol engine was the lightest on the market, while the Aygo – pronounced igo – won a legion of followers thanks to the lowest insurance group rating in the UK.
Little wonder, then that the first-generation car did this so well that it remained on sale virtually unchanged for nine years – and even the fresh model didn’t tinker too much with this accepted formula.
Underneath the fresh car lies many of the mechanicals from the old model, providing it similar dimensions and an identical 1-litre, three-cylinder engine. The fattest upgrade has been to the styling and interior, and the fresh Aygo debuts with striking manga-inspired looks, and is loaded with fresh tech.
As with the old car, the Aygo is a joint development with PSA Peugeot Citroen, and the French companies produce the one hundred eight and C1 sharing the same platform and mechanicals. There are more styling differences this time around, tho’, and the two French offerings also debut a fresh engine – a 1.2-litre turbocharged unit suggesting more power than Toyota’s engine. There’s little of the radical or innovative fuel saving tech that some rivals employ underneath the Aygo’s skin. There’s not even a stop-start system available in the UK.
The conventional front-wheel-drive platform features MacPherson strut front suspension with a torsion slat rear set-up. While you get ventilated discs brakes at the front, the back end is braked by drums. Steering is by electric-assist rack and pinion.
So the models in the Aygo range are mechanically identical, albeit the same can’t be said for the trim levels, which are slightly bewildering and emerge to be ever enhancing.
The range starts with the entry-level x which features 14-inch steel wheels, projector headlamps, LED DRLS, 2-speaker audio with USB connectivity and hill-start assist.
The x-play model highlights include piano black finish for that big ‘X’ styling graphic emblazoned over the front of the car, a 4-speaker audio system with Bluetooth, steering wheel controls for audio and phone, air-con, a rev-counter, height adjustable driver’s seat and 50:50 split rear seat.
The x-press adds 15-inch alloys, more piano black exterior trim parts, fog lights, part-leather sports seats, the x-touch multimedia system with DAB and a rear view camera. Fresh for two thousand seventeen is the x-cite which features 15-inch gloss black alloy wheels, the x-touch multimedia system, ‘Red Pop’ exterior paint, black side sills and privacy glass.
There’s also an x-clusiv model , which adds everything but the kitchen submerge – albeit at a price. Toyota enhanced the specification in 2017, adding a further six different colour options, including Cyan Splash, off the hook to this trim level. The x-clusiv also features clever entry, push-button commence and automatic air conditioning.
But Toyota didn’t stop there, introducing the limited edition x-claim model in May 2017. Only three hundred fifty units will be produced, each one featuring 15-inch machined-face alloy wheels, ‘Bordeaux’ electrically retractable roof and contrasting burgundy decals. If in doubt, ask your local Toyota dealer to guide you through the various trim levels.
There is a plethora of ‘personalisation’ options to choose from too, so it’s not surprising that Toyota has put together a trio of themed special editions to help encourage customers to make their minds up in the showroom. x-cite, x-pure and x-clusiv editions all suggest exterior colour, style and kit packages that reflect their respective labels.
Aside from the various styling and equipment packages, the only significant options are the choice of three or five door figure, a full-length ‘x-wave’ fabric roof, and the ‘x-shift’ automated manual gearbox.