- Decent off-the-line acceleration
- Starts to struggle out of town
- No electric or hybrid version
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 - unlike the Renault Twingo, Smart Fortwo, and Fiat 500 - meaning the Aygo’s 71hp, 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 the reality is 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 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 100mph top speed.
- Sharp steering lends agility to the Toyota Aygo
- Faster corners invite bodyroll and understeer
- Not particularly sporty but definitely fit for purpose
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.
Better body rigidity means softer suspension
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 invite a little understeer, pushing the car wider around the corner. This can also introduce a bit of bodyroll into proceedings, but it’s all easily corrected though.
Manual gearbox and brakes tuned for city use
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. Forget notions of honing your F1 skills with the paddle-change on the x-shift though – the experience is anaesthetised.
The brakes, discs at the front, drums at the rear, offer easily modulated stopping power, more than adept at dealing with the Aygo’s lightweight body. Pedal weights feel a little light for those who drive enthusiastically but most will appreciate their ease of use in the city.