Toyota Aygo 2019 - The small car with a big personality
The Toyota Aygo is a superb little city car offering excellent economy and efficiency, along with a new sumptuous design that you can't help but be impressed by. The new Aygo will certainly be able to hold it's own against some tough opposition from fellow city cars such as the VW Up, Hyundai i10 and the Seat Mii.
The Toyota Aygo was first produced back in 2005 as a joint venture with the PSA Group, which owns Peugeot and Citroen. This meant that ideas and creativity could be shared between the three car manufacturers, along with the majority of mechanical underpinnings which helped to reduce costs. This venture resulted in the production of three small city cars, the Toyota Aygo, the Citroen C1 and the Peugeot 108, at the newly built TPCA (Toyota Peugeot Citroen Automobile) facility in the Czech Republic.
In 2014 a second-generation Aygo was released. Over the years, there have been a number of upgrades and improvements, along with a mid-life facelift in 2018. The new Aygo features a new X themed design, both inside and out, to offer more appeal to younger drivers. This came with a wide selection of colour options and various customisable options. The Aygo is available as a 3 or 5 door, offering better access to the back seats if needed. This can be handy if you have extra shopping, as any overflow from the boot can be placed easily onto the back seats, or if you are taking extra passengers on a trip.
There is a selection of trim levels to choose from in Toyota's new X-Trend line-up, starting with the entry-level Aygo X. This is the only version where a 3-door option is available as well as 5-door, all higher trim models come in 5-door only. Following the X models is the X-Play, X-Trend, X-Cite and finally the top-spec X-clusiv.
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Engine, Power and Performance
The new Aygo only has one engine choice available. It's the same 1-litre petrol, three-cylinder non-turbocharged unit as before but Toyota has tweaked it and given it an extras couple of hp. The 1-litre engine will now produce 72hp and 93Nm of torque, nothing to set the pulses racing, but the Aygo has not been designed with sportiness and speed in mind. It is a city car built for leisurely drives to and from shops with little fuss. There is no diesel or hybrid options across any of the Toyota Aygo's.
The engine can be coupled to a 5-speed manual gearbox or Toyota's new X-Shift 5-speed automatic transmission. If you choose the manual, then the Aygo will hit 0-62mph in 13.8secs, opt for the automatic and this increases to15.2secs. Both transmission options result in great economy figures, with the manual achieving combined WLTP figures of 53.2-56.4mpg. While the automatic fairs slightly less, with combined figures of 51.3-54.3mpg - still pretty good for an automatic.
The power is fairly low in the Aygo, and 0-62mph figures are not that impressive. Don't let that fool you though, as the Aygo still has enough zip over a short distance to pull away from traffic lights more impressively than you would expect. Let's not forget this is a car designed to be driven around towns and cities where your general top speed would be no more than 30mph.
If you opt to have your Aygo with the new X-shift automatic transmission, then you get racing styled flappy paddles behind the steering wheel, which you can use to change gear yourself. However, this does not mean that the Aygo becomes more sporty or racy. It will still take the full 15.2secs to get from 0-62mph. If you're on some country roads or side-tracks, on the other hand, it can be a little more fun than the standard manual transmission. For me though, I would choose the manual transmission when selecting an Aygo as its quicker, gets better fuel economy and changes gear smoother than the automatic.
Interior Quality and Technology
The interior of the Aygo is much improved on the outgoing model. It has a better selection of quality plastics, some soft throughout the cabin, mixed with some colour detailing trim pieces to bring the inside to life and give a little more character. The entry-level X model is very basic, with little on offer and minimal options available. You do get a two-speaker AM/FM radio, 14-inch steel wheels and LED daytime running lights, but not much else.
Go for the next trim level up, the X-Play, and you get a few more extras as standard. This includes the new x-touch multimedia system, featuring a 7-inch colour touchscreen which was developed for Toyota by Pioneer. It comes with smartphone mirroring, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so if you choose not to pay for the optional sat-nav, you can use your phone to link through instead. Other standard features include; a reversing camera, Bluetooth connectivity, DAB radio, a manually height-adjustable driver's seat and leather steering wheel, to list just a few.
As you move up the trim levels, you get even more features as standard, such as; smart entry and push-button start, leather seats, sportier body kits and additional paint styles and the latest Toyota safety assists. It is certainly worth paying the extra £2k to get the X-Play version or if you can afford it an even higher trim level of the entry-level X model, to benefit from the multimedia system and other features.
Space, Practicality and Safety
The Toyota Aygo is never going to be a spacious car. It's designed to get you to the shops and back, not for long family holidays. Space in the front is pretty good, for such a small car, and tall adults should have little difficulty finding a comfortable position, while still allowing a generous amount of legroom and headroom. If you are of a stocky build, then there is a chance your shoulders could rub against the passengers if they too are fairly stocky.
In the rear, space is not so good for adults, with very limited legroom resulting in knees feeling squished up against the front seat and headroom. Again not as good as some of its rivals, such as the Hyundai i10. A couple of young children though would find plenty of space.
There are various storage compartments throughout the cabin including; a large glovebox, a couple of cupholders, door pockets front and rear and a spacious storage cubby in front of the gearstick.
The boot is small with a capacity of just 168-litres and rising to 812-litres with the rear seats folded down. Somewhat short compared to the 251-litres to 951-litres you get in the Volkswagen Up.
The Aygo was last safety tested in 2017, where it scored either a 4-star rating or 3-star rating. To get the 4-star rating, the Aygo needs to be fitted with the Toyota Safety Sense Package, at an additional cost of £345, (standard on the top-spec X-clusiv model). You still get a good selection of safety features, including multiple airbags, vehicle stability control (VSC) and Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC).
The Toyota Aygo is a cute little car, ideal for those who do a lot of driving in and out of town and cities. It is also a great car for young drivers who want a cheap but reliable vehicle when they have just passed their test, as there is always a good selection of second hand Aygo's available. When it comes to choosing your next city car, then I think the Aygo should certainly be considered alongside any of the other models in its category.