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New Toyota Aygo X Air Edition 2023 review

The Air Edition adds a useful convertible option to the Aygo X range

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.5 out of 5

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Verdict

With the Aygo X Air Edition, you’re essentially paying extra for a canvas roof and when warmer weather rolls around it might seem like a more worthwhile investment. It certainly doesn’t detract from what is a charming, if not a slightly dated city car. 

When we first tried the new Aygo X, it was in top of the range ‘Exclusive’ trim but now there’s a new range-topper in the form of the Air Edition

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It’s based on the mid-range Edge (which our pictures show) but comes with a folding fabric roof so now Toyota’s smallest car can go toe to toe with the convertible Fiat 500C, and not much else besides. 

It’s no secret that city cars are on the wane here in the UK as manufacturers struggle to conjure profits from the segment. A replacement for the decade-old Volkswagen up! seems unlikely and there’s no replacement for the previous Aygo’s Peugeot 108 and Citroen C1 siblings.  

A convertible Aygo isn’t new ground for Toyota, with the old Aygo offering a soft-top X-Wave variant, so obviously the Japanese brand thinks there’s sales to be had in the niche convertible city car segment. 

We tested the new Aygo X Air Edition in less-than-ideal conditions, just as an Arctic blast hit the UK, in fact. Still, if you order one now then you can expect delivery from spring 2023 - just as the convertible season hopefully approaches. 

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The Aygo X (pronounced Aygo Cross) sits a little higher than the typical city car, thanks in part to a new platform shared with the larger Yaris. It’s also a little longer than the old Aygo but still well within the city car remit. 

A few design details, like the huge wheelarch trims, a two-tone paint finish designed to make the Aygo X look beefier and that raised ride height all contribute to the new mini-SUV style. When you compare the Aygo X with the older car on the road, the more recent arrival certainly has greater presence. 

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Every Aygo X gets the same 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engine, with the choice of a five-speed manual or a CVT automatic gearbox. That engine puts out a fairly weedy 71bhp and 93Nm of torque, but when you factor in the Aygo X’s 995kg kerb weight (the Air Edition adds 50kg) it seems a little more suitable. 

The powertrain is fairly refined and there’s a usual three-cylinder thrum during normal driving but if you push the Aygo X hard (which is needed if you’re going up hills or joining motorways) then the noise builds to a roar up to peak power at 6,000rpm. 

The gearing in the Aygo X is long, 60mph can be reached in second so you end up revving for longer than you initially expect. Once you’re at motorway speeds it does settle down a little, however. The manual gearshift itself is a delight, even if the clutch pedal is quite high; there are genuine performance cars that offer a less engaging shift than the Aygo X’s. Seriously.

Because the Aygo X Air Edition has that canvas roof, there’s more exterior noise transmitted to the cabin. Initially you might wonder if you’re left a window open or a door ajar, but after a while you get used to it. With the roof electronically rolled back (this takes just under 10 seconds) you won’t notice too much buffeting, although the two forward-facing air vents were pretty pointless in trying to keep the cabin warm on a frosty December day. 

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The Air Edition uses 18-inch alloy wheels, which contribute to a few jiggles to the ride, but the Aygo X is never uncomfortable; it’s so light, if anything, that it often skips over imperfections in the road. 

The interior doesn’t feel too far removed from the old car’s. There’s still body-coloured plastic on the door cards and dash but the Aygo X seems a little more airy inside. The rear seats are really only suitable for children and small adults, however. 

Despite being the lowest-rung model in Toyota’s range, the Aygo X Air Edition still feels well put together; there may be some scratchy plastics and cheap-feeling trim but nothing rattles when you’re on the move. 

The Air Edition replaces the soft-top Limited Edition, which also got heated front seats. Unfortunately, we found the Air Edition doesn’t offer that feature, but you still get an eight-inch touchscreen (which is supremely easy to use, if a little dated style-wise), Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a reversing camera, automatic wipers and a USB port.

There’s also a suite of safety systems, including steering assist, adaptive cruise control, lane assist and road-sign assist. The pre-collision warning is a little intrusive, sometimes raising alerts over vehicles parked at the side of the road.  

Model:Toyota Aygo X Air Edition
Price:£19,365
Engine:1.0-litre, three-cylinder
Transmission:Five-speed manual
Power/torque:71bhp/93Nm
0-62mph:14.9 seconds
Top speed:98mph
CO2/economy:110g/km/55.9mpg
On sale:Now
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Senior news reporter

A keen petrol-head, Alastair Crooks has a degree in journalism and worked as a car salesman for a variety of manufacturers before joining Auto Express in Spring 2019 as a Content Editor. Now, as our senior news reporter, his daily duties involve tracking down the latest news and writing reviews.

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