Funky city car that's cheap to run, fuel and finance
- Distinctive design and customisation
- Easy and economical to drive
- Most versions are well equipped
- Five-year warranty as standard
- Space is tight in the rear
- X-shift automatic unresponsive
- Option bundles can make it expensive
- Out of its depth on motorways
They Toyota Aygo is a low power, cheap-to-run city car available in either three- or five-door form. Built and designed as part of a joint venture between two French manufacturers and Toyota, the Aygo shares its mechanical underpinnings with the Citroen C1 and Peugeot 108.
Differences between the three are mainly aesthetic, yet trim and exact engine options also vary across each brand’s model. Aside from the C1 and 108, rivals for the Aygo are many and varied, and include the Fiat 500, Kia Picanto and Hyundai i10, not to mention the Volkswagen Up, SEAT Mii and Skoda Citigo platform-sharing triumvirate.
Bold exterior styling
Dominating the look of the new Toyota Aygo is the contrasting coloured ‘X’ across the nose of the car, leading up towards the side windows. This is part of Toyota’s aim to make the Aygo appeal to a younger clientele as the ‘X’ and various other elements of the car’s exterior and interior design can be customised.
Three- and five-door versions of the Aygo are available, and while the full glass tailgate continues, it provides access to a deeper boot than before.
Cheap but solid cabin
The interior design is shared with the Aygo’s sister cars and represents a significant leap over the older models’ back-to-basics approach, especially when fitted with the seven-inch colour ‘X-Touch’ infotainment screen. All the plastics are firm and resilient, but they feel well-assembled and are interestingly-styled.
That X-theme continues with the six Aygo specification grades available: X, X-Play, limited-edition X-Press (just 2,500 examples will be available in 2018), X-Plore, X-Cite and and two special editions known as X-Cite and X-Clusiv.
Lively and frugal three-cylinder engine
Under the Toyota Aygo’s bonnet is an improved version of the 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrol motor that the old model was powered by.
Producing 71hp and 93Nm of torque, performance is adequate, and fine for city use. Beware, though, that it’ll quickly feel out of depth on motorways – especially when heavily loaded. Yes, it’s not designed for high-speed cruising, but rivals – such as the Volkswagen Up – are more capable.
Combined with the light sub-one tonne body, Toyota claims it will average 68.9mpg with the manual gearbox, emitting just 93g/km of CO2 in the process.
A five-speed manual transmission is standard, while an automated gearbox, known as X-Shift, is available on certain five-door models.
Updates in 2015 and 2018
Despite only going on sale in 2014, Toyota brought new technology and trim levels to the Aygo barely a year later.
Firstly it offered the x-wave canvas roof as an option on the five-door x-pression trim, and then added the x-pure and updated x-cite special editions.
Finally the Toyota Safety Sense suite of crash prevention technology seen on other models was added to the Aygo and also the Yaris as an optional extra.
Then, in 2018, a facelift brought a stronger design to the ‘X’ on the front bumper, which featured new integrated daytime running lights.
New LED taillights were complemented by a new range of colours and alloy wheel designs for a more modern look. Toyota says performance, handling and comfort were also improved, and we’ve detailed those in the separate review sections.
Tweaks were also made to the three-cylinder engine – making it more frugal – and a restructured trim structure, starting with base X-spec and topping out at the premium X-Clusiv version.
The Parkers Verdict
Toyota has kept it's entry-level city car fresh with a number of updates, while its cheap running costs will continue to attract buyers across the board. However, there are more polished and premium feeling rivals on sale in this congested sector of the market, so consider your options carefully before buying.
Read on for the full Parkers Toyota Aygo review to see how we rate this cheap-to-run city car.