Toyota Aygo Review (2014)
Toyota Aygo Review (2014)

Since its launch back in 2005 in a joint venture with PSA Peugeot Citroen, Toyota's first ever compact city car - the Aygo - has been given annual updates with more colour options and design tweaks along the way.

But now, the new Aygo has been given a complete make-over. It's more dynamic, boasts a striking design ethos geared towards youth, is feature-rich and comes complete with a whole range of personalisation packs so buyers can really stamp their own identity on the car.

Prices start from £8,595 and there are three regular trim grades to choose from - x, x-play and x-pression. A further two special edition models called x-cite and x-clusiv are also available.

And with younger buyers in their sights, the ways to modify the car are plentiful. For example, a double bubble roof with contrasting coloured decal adds £195 to the cost. The OUTstand pack (£395) and OUTburst pack (£245) allow buyers to transform their car's bumpers, side sills, pillars and rear diffuser decal in different colours. Then the INspire pack and INtense pack - both priced at £165 - add colour coding to the instrument panel, door inserts, air vent surrounds and gear shift area. And these additional packs can be changed at any time at a Toyota dealer.

The Aygo is powered by an improved version of Toyota's award-winning three-cylinder 1.0-litre VVT-I petrol engine which produces 69bhp and 95Nm of torque. There is a choice of five-speed manual transmission or Toyota's x-shift automated manual gearbox. The latter is a fully automatic shift mode with no clutch pedal. It uses a computer-controlled system to synchronise the engine, clutch and transaxle for quick and precise gear changes. There are three driving modes - E (easy, M manual) and R (reverse). In M mode the driver can change gears using the steering wheel-mounted paddles or via the gear stick itself.

Even the entry-level x model comes complete with features such as LED daytime running lights, electric front windows, Isofix child seat anchors, a tyre pressure monitoring system and radio with USB connectivity.

Move up through the grades and the likes of Bluetooth, part-leather upholstery, a DAB radio and Toyota's x-touch multimedia system are introduced. This brings with it a 7-inch colour touchscreen, smartphone connectivity, multi-media compatibility and a Rear View Monitoring System which is a first for the segment.

Toyota believes 90 per cent of sales will be five-door models with manual gearbox in the mid-to high standard trim levels.

Performance

I tested out the five-door x-play model which is priced at £10,195, although this price-tag was bumped up with the introduction of x-touch technology costing £295 and the x-nav system priced at £395.

Despite its three-cylinder 1.0-litre engine delivering 69bhp and 95Nm of torque, the Aygo is nice and lively with fairly good acceleration for a city car. Admittedly the test driving was carried out in Holland which is as flat as a pancake, so it would be interesting to see how the car copes with any steep inclines, but there always seemed to be plenty of power on tap.

Another plus factor is how well the Aygo coped on the motorways. Acceleration was impressive and it could easily hold its own with fast-moving motorway traffic.

The five-speed manual gearbox was smooth and responsive although the revs had to be kept very high when pulling away in first to prevent stalling.

I also had a shorter run in an Aygo fitted with the x-shift automated manual gearbox which was surprisingly good. Acceleration was rapid, the gear changes well timed and there was the option of taking control of the gears via paddles or the gear stick. Although it's not expected to gain huge sales, it's certainly worth considering.


Published : 27/06/14 Author : Maxine Ashford

Toyota Aygo News

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