Toyota Aygo review

Our Rating: 
4
4.0/5.0
By Auto Express Test TeamComments

New Toyota Aygo looks great and refinement is impressive, but can it match its rivals for quality?

For: 
Lively 3cyl engine, bold styling, impressive refinement
Against: 
Some cheap interior plastics, cramped rear seats, long gear ratios

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The second-generation Toyota Aygo has been jointly developed alongside the new Peugeot 108 and Citroen C1, but they are far from carbon copies.

The big draw compared to rivals like the VW up!Hyundai i10 and its sister cars  is the level of personalisation available on the Aygo. The Aygo is emblazoned with an ‘X’ running from the A-pillars to the front grille – just one of a number of parts that can be swapped around in a variety of colours.

Interior space is marginally improved, and a new x-touch infotainment system brings it bang up to date. Buyers can change the colour of the ‘X’, wheels and rear bumper, as well as a selection of snap-in interior parts. It’s a tactic designed to attract young fashionable customers to the brand, and proves Toyota is trying to put an era of bland designs behind it. 

The Toyota Aygo isn’t all that mechanically different from its predecessor. It still uses a 68bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine, has almost the same dimensions and feels similar from behind the wheel. However, big improvements to the sound-deadening make a big difference at motorway speeds, the interior now gets a hi-tech x-touch infotainment system and the five-speed automated manual gearbox in the Toyota Aygo automatic isn’t as compromised as it used to be.

Our choice: Toyota Aygo x-play

Styling

4.4

Despite sharing its windscreen, front door and platform with the 108 and C1, Toyota’s designers have managed to create something truly unique.

The contrasting ‘X’ steals the show, running from the A-pillars, through the grille and into the front bumper, it creates an unmistakable visual signature and can be colour-coded to the customer’s taste. The profile has been kept as simple as possible, while at the rear a blacked-out tailgate and interchangeable bumper insert help to break up the design.

The interior features a running them of hexaghonal shapes, and is dominated by a seven-inch touchscreen if you go for the optional x-touch infotainment system. Flashes of coloured plastic help to lift the ambience, although there are still a few cheap-feeling scratchy plastics around the bottom of the dash.

Driving

3.9

Because it weighs so little, the Aygo is good fun to chuck around – and you don’t need to be breaking the speed limit to have a laugh. The 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine does without a turbocharger and produces just 68bhp – but while that might sound puny it’s an enthusiastic performer that’s happy to rev, filling the cabin with a characterful three-cylinder thrum.

You can hear it so clearly because Toyota has done a wonderful job of blocking our road and wind noise, making the Aygo surprisingly adept at motorway speeds. Especially long first and second gear ratios mean you’ll need to rev it hard to produce power but there’s plenty of performance for nipping around town.

The x-shift automated manual has slight shorter gear ratios, so picks up quicker – it blips the throttle on downshifts, too. Steering that’s 14 per cent sharper makes the Aygo ideal for darting around town, although at higher speeds there’s significant body roll in the corners. The pay off for that is a supple ride over bumpy roads. 

Toyota Aygo rear driving

Reliability

4.2

With simple city cars like the Aygo, there’s less to go wrong so it should provide hassle-free motoring. Despite a number of high-profile recalls for other models in the range, Toyota still has one of the strongest reputations for reliability in the industry.

The Aygo hasn’t been tested by Euro NCAP yet, but Toyota is aiming to match the Yaris’ achievement and score the full five stars.

It does come with a broad range of safety equipment as standard, including anti-lock brakes, curtain airbags, Isofix child seat mounting points, a tyre pressure monitor and a hill start assist function.With more spot welding points than before, the Aygo’s bodyshell is now more rigid and therefore safer in front, side and rear collisions.

It also comes with a five-year/100,000 mile warranty and, regardless of mileage, three years’ warranty against rust and paint defects and 12 years’ anti-corrosion protection.

Toyota Aygo interior

Practicality

3.5

The new Aygo is slightly longer, wider and lower than its predecessor, but has an identical wheelbase. Front headroom has improved slightly, despite the lower roofline thanks to a curved ‘double-bubble’ roof and front seats lowered by 10mm.

The new Aygo makes the most of its compact dimensions with a deep but shallow boot that’s 29-litres bigger than its predecessors at 168-litres – enough for a couple of suitcases or a set of golf clubs. There are two cup holders, a good-sized glove box and door bins big enough to hold a 500ml bottle of water.

The five-door model makes things easier for rear passengers to get in and out, without spoiling the Aygo’s compact look, which makes it the pick of the range. 

Running Costs

4.3

Although the 1.0 VVT-i is fundamentally the same unit as used by its predecessor, it’s been thoroughly reengineered for the new model. A higher compressions ratio of 11.5:1, a new low-friction timing chain and a cylinder head with built-in exhaust manifold to save weight have all helped to improve fuel efficiency and cut emissions.

Fuel economy and CO2 emissions have improved by 3.3mpg to 69mpg and 4g/km to 95g/km of CO2 in the five-speed manual model, while the x-shift auto returns 67.3mpg and 97g/km. An eco model is also planned with stop-start fitted as standard, capable of returning 72mpg and 89g/km of CO2. 

Disqus - noscript

Cute, very cute small car!

A brilliant little car and so so distinctive too. Toyota have suddenly come out of the cold a produced a little cracker. there are those who will say its gimmicky but just wait till you see them all over the place and I bet Toyota will hgave a little winner . Citroen and Peugeot will also have winners to as they are all so different. Watch out V W suddenly UP is made to look a little boring I say

168 litre boot - hmmm, not exactly the 251 litres of the VW trio is it.

I agree. I think the new Aygo looks great ouside and in. Plus there are all the real world benefits of Toyota such as excellent build/reliability/great dealer service. If I was looking for a car of this size I would walk right past the VW dealerships and knock on the door of my local Toyota dealer.

I take it you like endless recalls then.......

Toyota may (quite rightly) issue recalls where many simply do not bother - even though they really should when there are inherent flaws - I know this having owned VW products with DSG gearbox issues- a classic and widespread issue. There are also well known issues with Tsi engines (well publicised in Europe) but you will find a very dismissive attitude from VW dealers which is why I would never go near one with my own cash - or anthing from VW Group come to that. Meanwhile Toyota dealers are highly rated (with Lexus consistantly sitting in 1st place In AE's DP Survey). The fact that Toyota products always sit at the sharp end of ownership surveys I think really says it all. I would happily consider purchasing a Toyota.

69 mpg without resorting to stop/start nonsense - hmmm, not exactly the 63 mpg of the VW trio is it.

They don't sit at the top though, like Skodas do :-).

Only the look changes compared to the original one lauched 9 years. Nothing else. There are hardly any improvement in engine or gearbox. It is such a pity.

Think you need to do a little research. Lexus have were at number one in Auto Express's Driver Power survey 2013 and have occupied that spot for many more years than Skoda! Look at Toyota/Lexus achievements around the world in the likes of the JD Power survey especially in the US, you will find a record that no Euro manufacturer has managed to get close to! That said it would be hard for Skoda since they don't sell cars in half the number of countries that Toyota do :-) :-)

If you want a larger boot then you are buying the wrong class of car. The Polo and Yaris already exist and cater to that market. These city cars are not supposed to be for people who want a Polo/Yaris but can't afford it. If you can't afford a new Polo/Yaris then buy a used model. Don't buy the smaller model in the range and then moan that it is too small.

A city car should be designed to fit into the smallest parking spaces possible whilst holding half a dozen supermarket carrier bags full of shopping. Any carrying capacity above that means that you compromised the key selling point of the car. Owners of these cars understand and know that when you want to carry large quantities you use the rear seats and restrict yourself to one passenger.

The VW should have been criticised for having a larger boot as it resulted in a larger car which in turns defeats the whole feckin point of it! You only have to look inside one of these city cars and it is clear that nothing is going to waste. You simply cannot increase the capacity of the passenger compartment or the boot without compromising the other or making the car larger.

The reason we have these city cars in the first place is because the Super Mini class bloated and turned into family cars. My father recently bought a Yaris and unlike his old Vectra it won't fit in the garage! I mean for heavens sake that is just ridiculous.

With your attitude and that being displayed by some reviewers, I wonder how long it will be before the Aygo/C1/107/UP suffer the same bloat and we have to introduce another new class of car below them.

The Citigo/up!/Mii all have a 251 litre boot, are citycars, and this only has 168 litres is my point.

You aren't making a point. You are quoting tech specs but not telling us what you are trying to imply by this. You appeared to imply that the larger boot was a positive when in my opinion that merely turns the UP into a crappy poor man's Polo.

My point is that the larger boot should be considered a negative attribute as it results in a larger vehicle which in turn compromises one of the main selling points of a city car. Unfortunately reviewers always present it as a positive attribute as they seem incapable of maintaining perspective and staying in tune with the purpose of the class and why people buy the vehicle.

What is to stop Toyota up-scaling the Aygo to the size of a Yaris and saying "hey look how much better this vehicle is than an UP, we have so much more interior and boot space".

At what point does it cease to be a city car and start looking like a crap poor man's supermini?

You may think that sounds surreal and ridiculous but it happened to the Supermini. It happened to such an extent that the class drifted so far from its roots that it failed to fulfil is original purpose and a new class had to be introduced below it.

I really don't want manufacturers being driven to bloat city cars in the process of chasing favourable review scores from short sighted journalists. I used to love my Renault Clios but I stopped buying them when the phase 3 was released and the car was no longer able to fulfil is original purpose. If I'd have wanted what the phase 3 could and could not do, I'd have previously been buying Meganes.

The new Aygo look's a cracking little car, if only Toyota offered the 1.2 engine option that the new 108 & C1 will have available.

Last updated: 25 Mar, 2014

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