Toyota Aygo automatic 2014 review

14 Mar, 2014 3:00pm Jack Rix
Distinctive design, feisty character, refinement
Engine needs to be worked hard, mixed interior quality

Toyota's new 2014 Aygo arrives in a congested city car market with the bold looks and nimble handling and a new 'x-shift' automatic gearbox


Toyota's Aygo has succeeded in stealing the headlines from its Peugeot 108 and Citroen C1 sister cars with its dramatic design and clever personalisation options, and it’s impressive from behind the wheel, too. Although the mechanical package isn’t very different from its predecessor, refinement has taken a big step up without losing any of its old playful character – and its loaded with enough technology to keep up with the class leaders. The only question mark is whether the price will be right.

You wait for one new city car to arrive, and then three come along at once. Like its predecessor, the new Toyota Aygo has been jointly developed with the Peugeot 108 and Citroen C1, but of the trio it’s Toyota that’s taken the most radical approach.

Its designers have emblazoned the front of the Aygo with an ‘X’ stretching from the A-pillar to the fog lights via the trapezoid headlights, badge and front grille. At the rear a blacked-out tailgate and coloured lower bumper break up the design even further.

• Most economical cars

It means buyers can customise the colour of the ‘X’, front bumper, rear bumper and alloys – either when they order the car or as a dealer retro fit. On the inside, the instrument panel, centre console, air vents and gear lever surround can also be swapped around.

Overall length has increased by 25mm to 3,455mm, with the same 2,340mm wheelbase, while both front and rear tracks are 8mm wider. Overall height has reduced by 5mm, but there’s actually an extra 7mm of front headroom, thanks to a ‘double-bubble’ roof and seats mounted 10mm lower. Boot space has grown by 29-litres to 168-litres, too, with a much wider opening.

Toyota Aygo: interior

Toyota Aygo interior

Inside, there’s plenty of space up front and excellent visibility thanks to slimmer A-pillars, while a height-adjustable driver’s seat and steering wheel make getting comfortable quick and easy. Two cup holders and good-sized door bins are handy additions, but things are less comfortable in the rear. Two adults can squeeze in back there, but you’ll struggle to fit one six-footer behind another.

Interior quality has improved, but it still can’t match the VW up!. Blocks of bold colour break up the scratchy plastics meaning it looks great, but feels cheap in places. Go for the optional seven-inch ‘x-touch’ system though, which offers a simple touchscreen user interface for audio, phone and vehicle functions, and it has all the technology you could need.

Toyota Aygo: engine

Powertrain options couldn’t be simpler – the only engine is a 68bhp 1.0 VVT-i three-cylinder. Essentially the same unit as its predecessor, it’s been tweaked for an improvement in economy of 3.3mpg to 69mpg with CO2 emissions of 95g/km. That’s if you stick with the standard five-speed manual gearbox, go for the x-shift automated manual and that falls to 67.3mpg and 97g/km.

Fortunately it’s lost none of its old feisty character – it never feels quick, but plant your right foot and it fills the cabin with a thrumming three-cylinder crescendo. And you’ll be hearing a lot of it because this engine needs to be revved to produce its best – partly because of its lack of torque, but partly because of the long gear ratios in the five-speed manual box. Chase the redline and you can hit 75mph in second gear. 

Toyota Aygo: x-shift automatic

We also had a chance to drive the five-speed ‘x-shift’ automated manual, which actually felt sportier than the manual. Shorter first and second gears improve pick-up out of corners, while manual downshifts are accompanied by a flamboyant blip. You’ll still need to lift off during up shifts, but that’s something you learn pretty quickly.

The biggest stride forward for the new Aygo though is its refinement. While the engine note comes through loud and clear, extra sound deadening reduces road and wind noise significantly. A conversation with your passengers is easily possible at 70mph, without raising your voice.

• Cheapest cars to insure

Ride comfort is impressive, too, but given the amount of body lean in corners it’s to be expected. The steering is 14 per cent sharper, so makes darting in and out of traffic that little bit easier, and the Aygo always feels light on its feet and keen to react.

Ultimately in this class it’s prices that matter, and we’ll have to wait until the summer for the UK list price. We're assuming a small price hike over its predecessor though, which starts at £8,595, so an entry-level price of around £9,000 seems likely. With the VW up! starting at £8,265, the Hyundai i10 at £8,345 and Vauxhall reported to be readying a £7,000 city car, it could be enough to put budget-conscious customers off.

Disqus - noscript

This must be a fantastic car, never remember a toyota getting 4 star i ae! (maybe except gt86)

Suspect if it were by certain manufacturers which could be named it would get six stars!

4 stars sounds about right to me conidering it is smaller and more expensive than the best cars in this class and doesn't really move the game on at all - unless you consider the customisable x nonesense on the front bumper to be groundbreaking design.

Excellent small car, looks exciting and fresh, far better than the VW Up. Also the interior looks good. I have seen the real deal in Geneva. Good car, sharp pricing, and Toyota build quality and (expected) durability. And what I have heard on the motorshow the car is (very) comfortable. At last a small car with some comfort!!!!
This car will be an instant hit, it looks so much more grown up compared with the Up.

It's obviously a matter of taste (and no doubt age) but I find the styling on the Aygo perfectly hideous; the Pug is much better, with the C1 being the best of the bunch.

Lets be honest though, what some magazines rate as the 'best in class' ie. the Up! was nothing more than a carbon copy of the original Aygo/PSA cars right down to the detailing, and IMO was not very original and never really moved the game on! The new Aygo, I think looks great and much more interesting than an Up! inside and out. Add a good driving experience, reliability and dealer service into to the mix and I think you have a car that I think will attract plenty of customers.

I actually have a 2013 Aygo and although its a good enjoyable little car the reason why I went for the little Aygo is they were practically giving them away with 0% interest, £0 deposit, £0 road tax and 1 year fully comp insurance free and got £500 off. My top of the range FIRE trim cost £10,000 which is very expensive IMO seen as you don't get even get a boot light ! and if it wasn't that it was the cheapest new car for me to buy and run for 3 years I wouldn't have bought it.

If I had £10,000 to blow on a city car I would actually go for the Brand new Hyundai i10 with a mid spec trim and the 1.2 engine as you get alot more car for the money. I would however consider the new Aygo.

Like FIAT with the Panda, Toyota and PSA have conciously chosen not to invest in overhauling their citycar platform even though they are off the competition now with Picanto, i10, UP, Mii, Citigo and Twingo all offering a better product. Renault and Hyundai are especially further ahead of the pack now.
They choose not to invest in the platform and hope the amount they save is more than they would loose in lost sales due to offering an inferior product.

Could be fantastic with PSA's 1.2 VTI. What a pity. As an old Citroen C1 (2008) owner I quite didn't like C1's new gen. This is most original looking one among the trio.

I like what I see with the new Aygo, and roadtests like this and one or two others I have read suggest it's good to drive. With Toyota's other well known attributes I think this will do well. I thought the i10 looked good until this debuted.

After 9 years everything underneath the Aygo is still the same, only the look changes to something special. City cars, please provide a proper CVT rather than AMT for city driving.

Smaller? Why is that a problem? It is a city car? That is surely the whole point?

Otherwise you would buy a Yaris?

If you are doing lots of 4 up motorway journeys with flat-pack wardrobes in the boot then you bought the wrong motor.

Best news in this article is that they didn't try to compete with the UP! and bloat out too much. Otherwise I'd be researching Fiesta's instead....

They are a bit pricey though and Toyota dealers are some of the worse when it comes to high pressure sales tactics trying to mug consumers with paint treatments etc.

I think the styling is quite nice. Looks far more youthful where as the Yaris takes a real pasting from the Clio/Fiesta in that regard.

I think age plays more into this than anything.

To me, a 24 year old, the Aygo looks absolutely amazing. The orange paint work with black X and black wheels makes it look like a far more sporty car than it actually is. The jazzy coloured seats are the icing on the cake.

When you consider modern youth fashion right now is neon nonsense from the late 1980s, the neon paint options and large "X" fit like a glove.

Key specs

  • Price: £9,000 (est)
  • Engine: 1.0-litre three-cylinder
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel drive
  • Power/Torque: 68bhp/95Nm
  • 0-62mph: 14.2s
  • Top speed: 99mph
  • Economy/CO2: 68.9mpg/95g/km
  • Equipment: Multifunction steering wheel, keyless start, 15-inch alloys, seven-inch ‘x-touch’ touchscreen (optional)
  • On sale: July 2014