Toyota Aygo review
Toyota Aygo is a VW up!-rivalling city car, but its high price doesn't match its ability
The Toyota Aygo city car was developed alongside the likes of the Citroen C1 and Peugeot 107. As such, it boasts the same well-proportioned styling and, thanks to its tiny dimensions, it's easy to navigate through city streets.
The Toyota Aygo is incredibly cheap to run and buy, with new Aygo prices starting from around £7,995 and used models ranging from £3,000. The Toyota Aygo is in the lowest insurance group possible and the newest models are free from road tax offering combined cycle fuel economy returns of 65.6mpg.
Disappointingly, the Toyota Aygo only achieved a three-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash safety tests. But, a new model is due to be unveiled at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show (alongside Citroen C1 and Peugeot 107 replacements), which should be safer, longer, and better-equipped to take on rivals like the Skoda Citigo.
There are four main specifications to choose from with the Toyota Aygo: Active, Active Plus, Mode and the range-topping Move.
Our choice: Toyota Aygo Active 1.0
As any city car should be, the Toyota Aygo is characterised by compact dimensions, which make it easy to navigate around tight city streets. It's well-proportioned, though, with stylish, sharp headlights and LED daytime running lights helping to keep things fresh. There's plenty of character to the cabin, with a user-friendly stereo and fresh-looking speedometer.
You'll have to opt for Mode trim level and above if you're wanting alloy wheels, as Active and Active Plus specifications have to make do with steel wheels. Mode and Move trim levels also get a leather trimmed gear shift knob and steering wheel.
There's an all-new Toyota Aygo coming in 2014, which will have a lower stance and will be slightly longer than the current version. It'll also be offered in three and five-door styles and should be better-equipped to take on rivals such as the Skoda Citigo, Volkswagen up! and Fiat Panda.
There's only one engine on offer with the Toyota Aygo - a 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit. It's perfectly fine for driving around the city, though, and as well as being tax-free it manages to return 65.6mpg. Visibility in the Toyota Aygo is great, while its tiny dimensions mean it's easy to park.
The 1.0-litre engine reaches 0-62mph in 14.2 seconds, which is fine for city driving, but there is a noticeable lack of power when it comes to motorway trips. At motorway speeds, wind noise and road noise are prevalent in the cabin. But the suspension is well suited to city car duties and will easily soak up bumps and potholes on hazardous city roads.
The Toyota Aygo, along with the Citroen C1 and Peugeot 107, was downgraded from a four to three-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash safety tests. This is disappointing, especially so in a class as competitive as the city car market. However, the all-new 2014 Toyota Aygo should receive lots of extra equipment and accessories which will hopefully boost its rating.
The Toyota Aygo finished 146th out of 150 in our Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, with owners marking it down for practicality and comfort – common shortcomings in a city car.
Having said this, Toyota as a brand did extremely well in the Driver Power study - finishing in ninth place out of a possible 32 manufacturers.
As you'd expect from a city car, practicality is not the Toyota Aygo's strong point but even by the standards of other tiny runabouts, it’s not great. The boot space on offer is one of the smallest in its class - 139 litres – and the high load sill makes it tricky to lift items inside. All Aygo models do feature handy split-folding rear seats, which aren't found in the Peugeot 107 or Citroen C1.
Inside, there's loads of space upfront, with lots of useful storage cubbies and pockets. The driver's position is a bit of a let down - there isn't much adjustment available, meaning finding the best view is no easy task.
In the back, there's just enough space for a couple of adults, but getting in and out isn't easy, either. The 2014 Toyota Aygo will be available in three and five-door versions, and the latter should offer better access. Those wanting to carry lots of shopping on a regular basis should opt for the Volkswagen up!, which is much more practical as things stand.
Thanks to a facelift in 2012, the current Toyota Aygo has seen a reduction in CO2 emissions to 99g/km, meaning it's free from road tax. Plus, all Toyota Aygos are lightweight and have tiny dimensions, meaning it manages to return an impressive 65.6mpg in fuel economy.
The Toyota Aygo is available in an automatic version, but it's not that good to drive and it does have slightly higher fuel consumption. The insurance group is low for most models, while the five-year/100,000-mile warranty will help keep bills to a minimum.