£9,135 - £15,120 Price range
67 - 68 MPG
The Toyota Aygo is a small city car that is available with three or five doors. The new model has funky styling, a new infotainment system and lots of personalisation options.
Inside, the Aygo is more lively than the old model and everything feels durable. The materials used, however, fall behind the VW Group cars. Room in the front is improved over the old Aygo, but it remains claustrophobic and dark in the back.
The new Aygo is described by reviewers as very similar to the previous model to drive – it turns into corners well and has plenty of grip. Cabin noise was the biggest drawback of the old model and Toyota have worked hard to improve it – the result is a small city car that is quiet enough to be driven on the motorway for extended periods of time.
There’s only one engine to choose from – a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol that sounds nice and is described by critics as ‘willing’. Long gear ratios mean slow acceleration, but are very useful for keeping fuel consumption low.
In terms of equipment the base model doesn’t have much kit, but the X-pression, has a brilliant infotainment system that can mirror the driver’s smartphone, can show social media updates and is compatible with apps.
If you’re upgrading from the old Aygo, the higher-quality interior will be a big improvement, but next to rivals the hard, shiny plastics can feel a little cheap. There’s a bold coloured strip across the dash that matches the exterior colour – plump for the bright orange Aygo and you’ll need sunglasses to drive, even on a dull day.
One option that really livens up the interior is the seven-inch x-touch multimedia screen. It’s standard on X-cite and X-clusiv special editions, and optional on most other trim levels. It’ll let you stream music from your Bluetooth-enabled devices, and can even mirror your phone’s display, and let you use compatible apps for social media, email programmes. Reviewers say it feels high-tech and really lifts the Aygo’s interior into another class.
Toyota Aygo passenger space
The Aygo is marginally bigger than its predecessor in every dimension. This improves headroom for people in the front seats, but rear-seat passengers may feel a touch claustrophobic thanks to small rear windows that pop out rather than wind down. The five-door version is marginally better here.
Toyota Aygo boot space
Toyota has managed to increase boot space by 29 litres compared to the outgoing model, meaning it has 168 litres in total – enough for a couple’s weekly shop, but well short of the 251 litres offered by the Volkswagen Up.
The Aygo drives just like the previous model – it turns into corners well, has plenty of grip and doesn’t roll too much.
Toyota has reduced cabin noise considerably compared to the previous generation Aygo, which does make the engine’s noise more noticeable – but not annoying, say the critics. This improvement makes the Aygo a more pleasant car to drive on motorways for extended periods than it used to be, and the soft suspension means that bumps in the tarmac won’t thud into the cabin at high speeds.
Both Aygo models come with the same 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine that impresses reviewers with its willingness, even though it doesn’t make the Aygo the fastest car around. It produces 68hp, which gives the car a relaxed 0-60mph time of 13.9 seconds.
You only have one drivetrain choice to make in the Aygo: do you want a manual gearbox or an automated manual with a paddle shift? Most experts recommend you pick the manual rather than the automated version, which can take a while to swap gears and leaves lingering pauses in the Aygo’s already slow acceleration. Many petrol-head critics enjoy the sound of a three-cylinder engine, but it could be intrusive if you just want to get from A to B quietly.
You can choose any Aygo model safe in the knowledge that it’ll be cheap to run. All produce CO2 emissions of below 100g/km, so are free to, and can return fuel economy of close to 70mpg.
The old model also fell behind on safety compared to its modern rivals. That’s been rectified by the arrival of the new version, which was awarded four stars by the European safety body rather than the three given to the model it replaces.
Although the VW Up has a five-star rating, its worth noting that its 2011 test wasn’t as tough as the 2014 evaluation the Aygo took on.
Every new Aygo gets four airbags, stability control electronics and tyre-pressure monitors, so you can be confident of a helping hand if things go awry on the road. It also features Hill Assist Control to prevent you rolling back on hill starts, and LED daytime running lights to help you be seen. A rear-view camera is standard on x-pression models, and automatic headlamps on x-clusiv trim.
You don’t expect too much standard equipment from the budget end of the market, nevertheless, choose the basic Aygo and you get remote central locking, stability control and anti-lock brakes – not bad for the price.
Toyota Aygo X-Play
The mid-range Toyota Aygo X-Play adds useful extra kit including air conditioning, electrically adjustable door mirrors, a Bluetooth wireless connection for your phone and a height-adjustable driver’s seat. Arguably it’s the pick of the range.
Toyota Aygo X-clusiv
The most expensive trim for the Aygo nearly doubles the base price and for that, you’d expect a lot. Trouble is the extra kit doesn’t justify the price hike. Yes, there are leather-upholstered seats, but the quality is poor. There’s also a retractable fabric roof which is great for that occasional sunny summer day, but the rest of the time it’s noticeably noisier inside than a model with a steel roof. Inside, you get a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an easy-to-use infotainment system and auto lights and wipers. Personally, we would rather spend the money on a high-end VW Up, though.
The Aygo isn’t as spacious, quiet or well-built as some of its rivals, but it makes up for that with bags of style and a real attention-grabbing character. The striking styling helps differentiate it a little from its French cousins from Citroen and Peugeot, but some buyers may be disappointed to see that Toyota doesn’t offer some of the more diverse options that those two cars do.
Critics think it’s fun to drive, but rivals offer more-rounded cars for similar or less money. As such, the Aygo doesn’t quite depose the Up, Mii and Citigo trio, and the new Hyundai i10 from their top spots – but none quite match it for on-the-road impact.