Road Tests

Handbook: Toyota Aygo

Time 7 years ago

toyota aygo 2THE new Aygo sees Toyota reinvigorating its city car proposition. Dave Brown reports.

WHAT IS IT?

It’s a small car with character. Whether that character appeals to you is, of course, your decision, but we feel Toyota deserves credit for livening up the cityscape with a car that’s anything but ‘vanilla’. The manufacturer is hoping the car will prove a force to be reckoned with in the increasingly busy A-segment. The company’s target is to shift 24,000 examples by 2015, which would mean it would grab a nine per cent market share of the segment.

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WHAT’S UNDER THE BONNET?

New Aygo features a comprehensively revised version of Toyota’s three-cylinder 1.0-litre engine. There’s more power and torque: 69bhp at 6,000rpm and 95Nm at 4,300rpm; 85Nm of torque is available from as low as 2,000rpm. Toyota says the engine is still very ‘sprightly’ – but is that really the right word? Sprightly to us conjures up an image of a 90-year-old who still likes to do a spot of line-dancing.

WHAT’S THE SPEC LIKE?

The line-up consists of three grades: x, x-play and x-pression – plus x-cite and x-clusiv special edition models. Cars in the x bracket are priced from £8,595 and come with LED lights, 14-inch steel wheels, front power windows and remote locking. The x-play cars (from £9,795) add a glossy black front X, air-con and Bluetooth, while x-pression (from £10,995) adds front fog lamps, partial leather seats and the x-touch multimedia system, with reversing camera. The two special editions feature a number of added specific styling and equipment elements.

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WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?

We liked it. The dashboard layout is intuitive, visibility is pretty good all round and the car handles well. The pedals need the lightest of touches, and although we know the level of engine noise has attracted criticism in the past, the distinctive sporty note is not unappealing. The car is nimble around town, with a dinky turning circle, and as such a doddle to park in the tightest spots.

WHAT DO THE PRESS THINK?

What Car? said: ‘The Aygo brings a distinctive style and low emissions to the supermini class, but there are rivals out there that are quieter and more spacious.’

Auto Express said: ‘No other city car drips with so much sheer attitude.’

WHAT DO WE THINK?

When the Aygo was launched in 2005, it didn’t have too much competition in the city car segment. Now the situation is very different, with a crowded marketplace and far more choice for buyers in this particular market. However, with its mixture of technology, personality, and competitive pricing, it should do well and deliver Toyota the sales figures it’s after. The X-shaped grille, its most distinctive feature, is definitely a Marmite touch, though.

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Dave Brown

Dave, production editor on Car Dealer Magazine, is a journalist with more than 30 years' experience in the worlds of newspapers, magazines and public relations.

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