Toyota Aygo review
Toyota Aygo is a VW up!-rivalling city car, but its high price doesn't match its ability
The Toyota Aygo is one of the best city cars of 2013. The 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.
The Toyota Aygo is deceptively roomy: it may look minute on the outside but there is enough space for adults to sit in the back and the five-door option makes it easy for passengers to climb in and out of the rear seats. The dash is recessed slightly, which creates more room in the front too. But, 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.
It’s a very cheap car to buy and run: a new Toyota Aygo will start at £7,995, a used Toyota Aygo costs from £3,000, it’s in the lowest insurance group and new models are free from road tax and return 65.6mpg.
The 2014 Toyota Aygo, which is expected to be offered in three and five-door styles, looks longer than the current model with a lower stance to improve its grip. The 2014 model should be better equipped to take on rivals such as the Skoda Citigo, which was voted the best city car of 2013 as well as the Volkswagen up!, and Fiat Panda. The current car has only a three-star Euro NCAP safety rating an we expect that score to improve when the new car goes on sale.
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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 2014 Toyota Aygo is expected to get the new ‘Keen Look’ styling, featuring a wide lower air intake, angular headlights and a prominent Toyota badge. New high-mounted brake lights will also help the Toyota Aygo be more visible in traffic and give more room for a flexible boot opening.
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.
The Toyota Aygo is a great city car: it’s easy to drive, visibility is great so you can be confident when nipping through traffic, and it’s tiny dimensions make it easy to park.
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 steering is unresponsive too: you can waggle the wheel and the Toyota Aygo hardly moved. But at least you'll be comfortable thanks to the supple ride.
The lightly facelifted Toyota Aygo was crash tested by Euro NCAP in 2012 and recieved a disappointing three-stars for occupant safety. The previous Aygo had been given four stars but it lost one due to its poor score for pedestrian protection. 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.
It's strictly a four-seater and the hinged rear windows do not impress. They are fiddly to use and offer little ventilation. The potential problems extend to the driving position too: there isn’t much room for adjustment - all you can change is the height of the steering wheel.
With prices startng at £7,995, the Toyota Aygo is cheap to buy. It’s also cheap to run. 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.