What is the Toyota Aygo
On sale from 2014 in Mk2 form, the Toyota Aygo is the Japanese brand's city car produced as a joint venture with Citroen and Peugeot, which sell the C1 and 108 versions, respectively.
The second-generation Aygo - pronounced 'I go' if you were wondering - continues with Toyota being responsible for the engineering work of its Czech-built model, with no Peugeot-Citroen engines offered.
Nevertheless, a strong reputation for reliability isn't the sole buying decision for car purchases, and as well as its in-house rivals, the Aygo has to face-up to the excellent SEAT Mii, Skoda Citigo and Volkswagen Up trio.
- Top speed: 99mph
- 0-62mph: 13.4-15.0 seconds
- Fuel economy: 67-68 mpg
- Emissions: 93-95g/km of CO2
- Boot space: 168-812 litres
They say X marks the spot and rarely is that more true in the automotive world than with the Toyota Aygo Hatchback. From its nose design to all of its trim levels - X, X-Play, X-Press, X-Plore, X-Cite and X-Trend currently - the 24th letter of the alphabet is an ever-present theme with the brand's smallest model.
That said, the frontal styling was softened and the X-graphic made less dominant as part of a range-wide facelift in 2018.
It's a lively performer courtesy of Toyota's own 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine - the only motor on offer - although it's not remotely swift enough to be considered a hot hatch. Nippy enough around town though.
Two gearbox choices are the five-speed manual and another transmission with a robotised clutch that you drive like an automatic. That's called X-Shift, because X again... Regardless of it's name, we'd recommend avoiding it due to its jerkiness.
Finally, there's the option of a full-length fabric sunroof that opens at the touch of a button. No, not X-Top, but - try not to roll your eyes - Funroof.
There's no mistaking the Aygo for its French cousins – with its dramatic ‘X’ graphic on the front, and chiselled styling, its bold, edgy, and just a little bit unusual. The grille, front wing sections and rear bumper can be changed by the dealer for added personalisation. In addition, bold colours and a number of alloy wheel options give the car a sporting look that ahould appeal to the younger buyers its aimed at.
The excellent three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engine that powers it has been around for a long time, but is bang up to date in terms of emissions and fuel consumption thanks to a continual development process.
It has efficiency-maximising features introduced at this generation Aygo's launch, such as a brand-new cylinder head that incorporates a built-in exhaust manifold. It might sound geeky but this all-in-one approach improves thermal efficiency, which in real terms means it warms up quicker from a cold start - great news in winter.
Yes, although if you're looking for out-and-out excitement, go elsewhere. It's acceleration and maximum speed are not that impressive in absolute terms, even if they are perfectly competitive in the city car arena. Still, it's a giggle trying to maintain momentum on a windier country road.
It does begin to feel out of its depth on motorways and faster, flowing A-roads, though. It's here that the Mii/Citigo/Up triumverate trounce the Toyota.
As for its handling, it's perfectly adequate, and is infused with that tiny-car feel that's really rather endearing – especially in town. It's here that it feels light and manoeuvrble, coping very well with potholes shrugging-off other imperfections. So, it handles as you'd expect for a city car with a long wheelbase, wide track and modest overall dimensions.
The ride quality of the Aygo is impressive considering how small and light it is - there is a pay-off, though, in that is does roll a fair bit in corners.
While the entry price of a smidgen under £10,000 might attract attention, the Aygo lags behind the Citroen C1 in terms of value for money, and what equipment's thrown in. Basic X models come with steel wheels and and modest equipment tally, but if you're looking for maximum metal for your money, you'd probably knocking on the door of a larger Dacia Sandero, anyway.
Thanks to low repair costs and a decent reliability record, the Aygo could be a great first car and will clearly be inexpensive to run, too, thanks to its excellent fuel economy. Learners will love its simplicity, ease of use and fun yet robust design. Consequently, it's also very cheap to insure.
Furthermore, finance and leasing costs are also low, and these days you don't need to pick one with a built-in sat-nav. Thanks to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto your smartphone's navigation can be mirrored on the Aygo's touchscreen.
Find out just how dependable the Toyota Aygo is with our comprehensive owners' reviews.
Watch our Toyota Aygo video review
Toyota Aygo Model History
Of the original trio of city cars from this joint venture, the Mk1 Toyota Aygo Hatchback was much more distinctive than its Citroen C1 and Peugeot 107 cousins, largely due to to it being the only one with unique bodywork.
Nevertheless, it shared its underpinnings, 1.0-litre Toyota-built engine and dashboard with the Citroen and Peugeot, not that it seemed to concern customers over its nine-year production run.
A handful were sold with 1.4-litre diesel engines, but they rarely make sense in city cars, so stick with the petrol.
Toyota introduced a mild facelift in 2009, with a slightly more substantial one in 2012 that introduced a wider grille and revised tail light graphics.