Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 5 3.9
  • Just one engine available
  • Three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol
  • Usable in town, starts to struggle on faster roads 

With its small, 1.0-litre petrol engine, the performance of the Toyota Aygo is never going to be scintillating. It’s fine around town, but struggles on motorways and faster A-roads, more so than a number of rivals.

Toyota Aygo engine: sole 1.0-litre unit

Toyota has steered away from recent trends meaning the Aygo’s 72hp, three-cylinder engine isn’t turbocharged, hence the low power output. 

It only produces 93Nm of torque too, at an audible 4,400rpm (peak power arrives at 6,000rpm), but in reality it's capable for city use, where most Aygos will spend the majority of their time. It’s smooth, fairly quiet and efficient.

Venture further afield and you’ll become far more aware of the motor’s limitations, taking a leisurely 13.8 seconds (15.2 for the automatic transmission) to complete the sprint from 0-62mph; that distinctive three-cylinder thrum becoming more noticeable the faster you go. Should conditions legally permit, the Aygo will continue on to a 99mph top speed.

Five-speed manual or X-shift automatic transmissions

You will be making frequent use of the five-speed manual gear lever to make decent progress, and it’s one that’s got a pleasant, well-weighted action to it. Go for the X-Shift automatic and you get racing car style paddles behind the wheel allowing you to override the gearchanges.

Do so and you’ll notice a big gap between flicking the paddle and the ratio actually engaging, with the system not designed to feel sporty. Unless it’s absolutely necessary to have an automatic, the Aygo is best sampled with the simple five-speed manual option.

How does the Toyota Aygo drive?

  • Sharp steering lends agility to the Toyota Aygo
  • Faster corners are best taken with caution
  • Effortlessly maneuverable around town

As a small hatchback with its wheels pushed out to the corners, the fundamental characteristics of the way the Toyota Aygo handles are good. It’s not a sporty little car, but neither does it pretend to be. In urban environments it feels easy and light to manoeuvre, coping very well with potholed surfaces and ironworks in the road.

Explore further afield at higher speeds and the Aygo’s suspension again impresses, feeling soft yet well-controlled, not bouncing along over every undulation in the asphalt. One key factor is a stiffer body than the last model, allowing the suspension to be softened as the body itself is more rigid. Although the steering’s quite sharp, it’s not hugely communicative, but there’s a decent amount of weighting so as not to seem too detached from what the front wheels are up to.

Ease the Aygo into a sweeping bend and it follows your steering intentions faithfully, but rapid changes in direction tend to push the limits of the car and the amount of grip delivered by the front wheels. This can also introduce a bit of bodyroll (where the body of the car leans outwards under hard cornering) into proceedings, but this isn't uncommon for small city cars.