Toyota Aygo review
Toyota Aygo is a VW up!-rivalling city car, but its high price doesn't match its ability
The Toyota Aygo was co-developed with the Citroen C1 and the Peugeot 107. It boasts the same well-proportioned styling and easy-to-use nature. All the controls are light and the small three-cylinder engine not only sounds good but it also boasts some extremely low running costs. As with most cars of this size, the Aygo struggles to deliver in the practicality stakes and refinement at motorway speeds certainly needs some work.
Our choice: Toyota Aygo Fire 1.0
A wheel-at-each-corner design means the Aygo appears nicely proportioned and funky in a way only a well-designed budget car can be. A facelift in 2012 added sharper headlights and some LED daytime running lights to help keep things fresh. With unusual heater controls, a user-friendly stereo and funky speedometer, the interior design is fresh and attractive. MP3 players can be plugged into the stereo and the translucent section glows orange at night.
The Toyota is available only with a 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine, which produces 68bhp. The engine itself is full of character, with a thrumming exhaust and willingness to rev all the way up to the redline. All the controls are light and easy to use, including the clutch and the accurate gearbox. Acceleration from 0-62mph in 14.2 seconds means it's fine for town driving but at higher speeds you'll notice the Aygo starts to struggle. Motorway journeys are a bit of a chore, with lots of wind and road noise making its way into the cabin. The supple ride means you'll at least be comfortable.
The lightly facelifted Toyota Aygo was crash tested by Euro NCAP in 2012 and recieved a disappointing three-stars for occupant safety. This is the same result as the current Citroen C1 and Peugeot 107, with which the Aygo shares its platform. However, as expected, the Aygo has proven to be very reliable in the time it has been on sale and all cars come with a comprehensive five-year/100,000 mile warranty.
The Aygo has a major weak spot: boot space. To save money, the tailgate is simply a piece of glass, and this leaves you with a high load sill. Capacity is only 139 litres, though all models feature a split-folding rear seat. Rear passenger space is adequate. It's strictly a four-seater though, and the hinged rear windows do not impress. They are fiddly to use and offer little ventilation. Up front, the driving position is good, and the cabin feels bigger than you would expect.
As for running costs, they're ultra-low; insurance is in the lowest group for most models, 10,000-mile servicing is inexpensive and fuel economy will definitely prove to be a plus point at the pumps. The 2012 facelift brought with it a reduction in CO2 emissions to 99g/km, which makes this car road tax-free while fuel economy improves to 65.6mpg. The automatic versions aren't quite as efficient but they do come close. All Toyotas also come with a five-year/100,000 mile warranty, which should give substantial peace of mind to prospective buyers.