Toyota Aygo Review

Find out more about the Toyota Aygo in the latest Motors.co.uk Review

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3
Out of 5

Pros

  • Trusted brand
  • Small dimensions
  • Nippy around town

Cons

  • Striking looks won’t be to everyone’s taste
  • Only offered with one low-powered engine
  • Unresponsive automated transmission
  • MPG

    0 - 0

  • CO2

    0 - 0 g/km

Review

The Aygo was born in 2005 when Toyota teamed up with Peugeot and Citroen to create a new city car. To save money, all three brands would then produce the same car in the same factory with just badges and mild styling tweaks to differentiate them.

Peugeot’s 107, Citroen’s C1 and Toyota’s Aygo were the results, and they were very well received. Not only were they popular with youngsters looking for a first car, but they also went down well with those seeking an urban runaround.

The latest Aygo is once more the product of the three brands’ collaboration, sharing underpinnings, an interior and a basic silhouette with the C1 and the new 108. The three cars also share engines, although the Aygo only takes the lower-powered 1.0-litre unit with 68bhp.

The biggest feature of the new Aygo, though, is the distinctive X graphic at the front. It’s a dominating theme that runs throughout the range, providing inspiration for the trim names (all of which begin with X) and playing a large part in the colour schemes.

For the first time ever on the Aygo, you can also have a convertible version with a folding canvas sunroof.

Latest model

Arriving in 2014, the current-generation Aygo completely revamped the city car’s image. Whereas before it had been an upright urban runabout, the newcomer looked much more like a small version of a normal supermini.

The big X on the front, however, has been divisive, with some customers loving the bold design and others finding it outlandish and a little too brash. Other than that, though, there’s little about the styling to criticise. The double-bubble roof looks great, and the car is generally well proportioned.

Inside, top-spec models get a touchscreen with smartphone connectivity and a host of steering wheel-mounted audio controls.

There’s also a range of personalisation options for both the interior and the exterior, with customers able to choose from a range of paint jobs, decals and interior trims to really make the car their own. The result is a huge range of choice for new buyers, although some left-field selections can affect the car’s used value. On the plus side, used buyers who can cope with a weird combination could bag themselves a bargain.

Value for money

The basic Aygo X model comes in at £9,135, and for that money you get the standard three-door car with the five-speed manual transmission.

As standard, the car comes with 14-inch steel wheels with hub caps, LED daytime running lights and remote central locking, but not an awful lot else.

Moving up to the mid-range X-Play model costs an extra £1,200, but it provides digital radio, air conditioning and larger wheels, while an automated manual transmission is also offered.

At the top of the range, the X-Clusiv provides 15-inch alloys, a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system and keyless start, as well as climate control, but it costs more than £13,000.

If you’re looking to spend a little less, however, you can always go for a used example. First-generation cars start at less than £1,000, while an early second-generation car will set you back at least £4,500.

Looks and image

The first Aygos sat quite upright, but the rounded Japanese styling has aged quite gracefully. The bug eyes and protruding tail lights won’t be to everyone’s taste, but it’s testament to how well the design worked that the facelift in 2009 was minor. A second facelift in 2012 changed the bumper slightly, but left much of the car untouched.

The second generation, however, is much more modern, but also much more divisive. Opinion is split over the X graphic at the front, which seems to gain criticism and praise in equal measure.

Inside, the newcomer has a completely revamped cabin, with the firm plastics of the original replaced with glossy trim and, on high-spec models, a sizeable seven-inch touchscreen.

It’s a less fussy dashboard layout, but the touchscreen can be a pain in bright sunlight (especially in convertible models) and it isn’t that easy to use when you’re on the move, necessitating your attention far more than a collection of physical buttons.

Space and practicality

The Aygo is available with a choice of three or five doors, and it comes with a 168-litre boot. That’s a little small when compared with rivals such as the Volkswagen Up, but it’s an improvement on the first-generation car, which only had a 139-litre boot.

That said, folding the rear seats down does free up an enormous amount of space in the back of these cars, and there’s a decent amount of space in the back seats. Of course, adults will find it a cramped place to while away long trips, but the Aygo isn’t designed as a grand tourer. While adults can be carried occasionally, the rear bench is really best suited to children, who will have plenty of room.

With five-door cars, you also get the benefit of easier access to the rear seats, although the larger door apertures of three-door variants may be better suited to some less agile customers.

Engines

The current Aygo is offered with just one powerplant – a 1.0-litre unit with 68bhp – and though it isn’t especially potent, it is at least efficient.

Officially, it will return 68.9mpg and emit just 95g of carbon dioxide per kilometre, but the trade-off for all that economy is performance. The sprint from 0-60mph takes an uninspiring 14 seconds and the top speed is just 99mph.

It isn’t as slow as those numbers suggest, though, with enough poke to nip around in urban traffic. It’s fine once it’s in the cruise, too, although it does feel laboured when it’s getting up to speed. Joining motorways and fast A-roads requires a little forethought.

Older variants of the Aygo came with a little more choice in the engine bay, however, so first-generation cars can be had with a smattering of small petrol and diesel engines. Diesels will feel a little punchier and offer impressive economy figures, but will only make sense if you’re doing a lot of miles.

Running costs

With relatively frugal engines, running an Aygo shouldn’t be ruinously expensive, and because it’s small, servicing ought to be relatively cheap, too.

You also have the advantage of a simple car with few things to go wrong. Of course, there are reliability issues, but most of these are fairly easy fixes, and some can even be done without particularly specialist knowledge.

With such low-powered engines lurking under the bonnet, insurance is cheap, too.

Things to look out for

On first-generation cars, water pumps are common failures for both the 1.0-litre petrol engine and the 1.4-litre diesel. Look for signs of coolant leaks when you’re looking at a car, and ask whether any work has been carried out.

Seals are also an issue at the back, where water can leak into the boot and the rear light clusters, bypassing misaligned seals.

Other leaks can come from the rear brake cylinders, even if they are just a few years old. Make sure there’s no fluid on the rear brake plate, and ensure there’s plenty of brake fluid in the system.

Finally, the exhaust back boxes are a known weak spot, with some rotting within two years. Listen for any blowing from the exhaust on a test drive.

Rivals

The Aygo’s key rivals are, in fact, its Peugeot- and Citroen-badged cousins. The French cars offer a larger engine range and tweaked styling, but otherwise they’re identical to their Japanese competitor.

Other rivals include the popular Volkswagen Up and its siblings, the Skoda Citigo and the Seat Mii. The Up was revamped at the tail end of 2016, and the Skoda is about to receive a facelift, but the Mii is almost identical to the car that was revealed in 2012.

Apart from these key players, the Aygo is also challenged by the Suzuki Celerio – a back-to-basics city car with a certain simplistic charm – and the Hyundai i10, a critically acclaimed budget hatchback with a classy cabin and decent interior space.

Depreciation warning

Aygo depreciation is relatively strong, with cars retaining more than half their value at two years old, and well-equipped three-year-old cars also boasting price tags well in excess of £5,000.

In general, though, going for high-spec cars, rather than mid-range one is likely to be money down the drain when it comes to selling the car on.

Trims Explained

The current Aygo is offered with a choice of six trim levels, plus the option of three and five doors, and a choice of manual or automatic transmissions.

X

The entry-level X trim level starts at £9,135 and offers 14-inch steel wheels with plastic caps, LED daytime running lights, remote door locking and a radio with MP3 compatibility.

Prices start from £9,135.

X-Play

Moving up to the X-Play model adds larger wheels, electrically adjustable door mirrors and air conditioning, plus the added luxury of a digital radio.

With a £10,385 starting price, however, the X-Play is £1,250 more expensive than the basic X model.

X-Press

Further up the range, X-Press models benefit from 15-inch alloy wheels, the seven-inch X-Touch infotainment system and a reversing camera, as well as privacy glass and automatic air conditioning.

Set apart by their red roofs and trim accents, these variants are only available with five doors and cost £11,935.

X-Style

Like the X-Press, X-Style cars also get 15-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning and touchscreen, but they are marked out by their contrasting colours on the X graphic and the rear diffuser.

This trim is priced identically to the X-Press.

X-Cite

The X-Cite, meanwhile, gets the 15-inch alloys of the X-Press and X-Style but foregoes the automatic air conditioning.

It does, however, get privacy glass and a bold yellow paint job included in its £12,490 price tag.

X-Clusiv

Crowning the range, though, is the X-Clusiv model, which costs just over £13,000. It’s a lot of money for a small car, but it does offer the touchscreen infotainment system, as well as automatic air conditioning and push-button keyless start.

This model also comes with keyless entry.

Summary

  1. The water pumps can cause problems
  2. Exhaust back boxes are known weak spots
  3. Check if there is blowing from the exhaust
  4. Compare similar Peugeots and Citroens
  5. Cheap to insure
  6. Diesel versions can be expensive doing small journeys
  7. Used first generation is great value
  8. Newer models are more attractive and practical
  9. Alternative to superminis
  10. Less reliable that competitors

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