Toyota Aygo review
It’s stylish, fun, and cheap to run, but the Toyota Aygo faces some formidable rivals
The current Toyota Aygo isn’t all that mechanically different from its predecessor, but its looks are refreshingly contemporary with a youthful slant.
There’s not much power or dynamic capability, and while improvements to the sound-deadening make this a more refined car to be in at speed, it’s still some way short of the city car class leaders for motorway driving. Practicality also suffers thanks to the Aygo’s super-compact dimensions.
Yet the latest Aygo maintains the same sense of fun as before, and there are small but worthwhile technical improvements under the skin, including some significant advances in vehicle safety. Plus it’s super frugal, easy to personalise, and well-connected with Toyota’s latest x-touch multimedia system. So it may only earn three stars from us, but if you like it - you’ll love it!
About the Toyota Aygo
The Toyota Aygo was one of the first wave of sub-supermini-sized city cars that created the modern formula for compact, lightweight bodies designed to shoehorn in four adults, perky three-cylinder power and lots of scope for personalisation.
The first model arrived in 2005, and was manufactured alongside Citroen and Peugeot siblings in a joint venture factory built in the Czech Republic by Toyota and the PSA Group. Clever design, low running costs and cheeky looks made all three variants popular in markets around Europe.
Car group tests
- Hyundai i10 vs Toyota Aygo vs Kia Picanto
- 6. Toyota Aygo - Best city cars
- Toyota Aygo vs Kia Picanto
- Suzuki Celerio vs Toyota Aygo & Skoda Citigo
Used car tests
That first generation of cars was still being built almost ten years later, which is a mark of their success. The second generation is proving long-lived too, having been in production itself since 2014 - albeit with a facelift in 2018, which freshened up the looks along with a few small technical improvements.
While the Aygo’s longevity is admirable in some respects, it does mean Toyota isn’t able to offer an EV option, or even a hybrid. That’s an upgrade we’d expect to see in the third generation Aygo, but that’s not likely to appear before 2022, giving certain rivals a distinct head start.
Aside from its French stablemates, with which it shares much of its mechanical make-up, the little Toyota has a raft of popular rivals including the Fiat 500, Hyundai i10, Kia Picanto, Renault Twingo, SEAT Mii and VW up!
Although it was billed as a new replacement model, the Aygo Mk2 retained much of the engineering of its predecessor, including the 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine. However, the styling was freshened up considerably, with a bold new look said to be inspired by Japan’s manga comic art. The interior was much improved too, along with the cabin tech and connectivity.
While the Aygo continues to be built alongside new versions of the Peugeot 108 and Citroen C1, there’s greater visual differentiation between the brands. You can get manual and automatic gearboxes, both with five speeds, while the rest of the package is pretty conventional, including a front-wheel drive chassis with front MacPherson struts and torsion beam suspension at the rear. Brakes are discs up front, drums at the rear, and steering is courtesy of an electrically assisted rack and pinion set-up.
The Aygo range starts with the entry-level x-play trim which features 15-inch steel wheels, power-adjustable heated mirrors, body-coloured exterior trim, air-con and on-board tech such as smartphone integration, a DAB radio and Bluetooth.
Next is x-trend, which adds 15-inch alloy wheels, coloured side sills and matching exterior highlights, automatic headlights, front fog lights and privacy glass. There’s also an x-clusiv model, which adds everything but the kitchen sink - albeit at a price. The specification adds a range of two-tone exterior paint options, smart entry, push-button start and automatic air conditioning.
Toyota isn’t shy of producing Aygo special editions, either. In 2017 it released the limited-run x-claim, which featured an electrically retractable roof and special decals, while in 2019 it launched the x-cite Mandarin, sporting bright orange paintwork with a contrasting black roof and orange interior trim highlights.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingIt’s stylish, fun, and cheap to run, but the Toyota Aygo faces some formidable rivals
- 2Engines, performance and driveLively three-cylinder engine makes all the right noises, but Toyota’s little Aygo is most at home in the city.
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsFrugal, clean and warrantied to the hilt. Living within your means can be fun after all…
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe stylish, sharp-suited Aygo proves fashion and practicality don’t always mix.
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe Aygo may have some space-age design cues, but it’s certainly no Tardis…
- 6Reliability and SafetyEuro NCAP results show Toyota has raised its city car safety game, and reliability is strong, too