In the city there’s a thousand things I want to say to you.
The ‘city car’ sector has really taken off in the last couple of years with the launch of the Volkswagen up!, Skoda Citigo, Seat Mii & Hyundai i10 all adding a bit of class to what had been seen previously as a sector for cheap low specced vehicles. Indeed, SMART are launching a new ForFour as I write this & Renault hit the market with a new Twingo last year, so those brands with a model in this sector have had to change things up a bit. One of these old school cars is the Toyota Aygo, which arrived at CCV in early January for a test. The Aygo has recently been updated & along with the similar Peugeot 108 & Citroen C1, the Aygo has seen a number of upgrades, primarily to take into account the burgeoning desire for young drivers to have touch screen & hands free technology literally at their fingertips, as well as offering parents of young people, the security of having all the latest safety technology on a small car that they may choose for their children
Back in 1989, I was lucky enough to be given a second hand Fiat Uno 55 S as a company car, which cost my boss the princely sum of £1100. It had two goodies ; an AM/LW radio & an ashtray that moved left & right across the dashboard & that was it. In 1989 that was fine, because no one had mobile phones or iPads. However, fast forward to 2015 & young drivers equipped with mobiles & tablets expect an awful lot more for their money when it comes to goodies on their first car & the latest Aygo has been designed to appeal to these customers.
To begin with the Aygo looks good. Although my test car was liveried in red & white, not the best for a Chelsea fan, it still looked impressive. The new styling is striking with my test model resplendant with a white ‘X’ that dominated the front of the Aygo. This is also available in an array of colours to capitalise on the trend for personalisation. Following on from the success of the MINI & Citroen DS3, twenty-first-century buyers want to make their car their own, so Toyota is offering new levels of customization, with bold paint colours, decals and alloy wheel choices to customize your Aygo.
The cabin is a big improvement over the old model as well. The build quality and design are pretty good, with finishes in a mix of different materials & colours. Everything is logically laid out & all the switches are easy to reach & to understand. The dashboard itself certainly gives the Aygo an upmarket feel & again is a real step up in class from it’s predecessor.
I was testing the 5 door Aygo x-pression with the 1 litre petrol engine. Inside space isn’t bad & with two teenagers plus my wife & a Cockerpoo, I found the 5 door more than adequate for us all around town or on a round trip of 60 miles or so to watch my son play rugby. Fully laden with passengers on any small incline the Aygo struggled to impose itself & perhaps the larger 1.2 petrol or 1.4 diesel would be better ?
Front passengers get plenty of space & with the passenger seat pushed partially back, there is room for a medium sized dog in the footwell. However, legroom in the back isn’t great & if you are six-feet plus you will really struggle to get comfy. Unsurprisingly, the boot is small, just 186 litres but it is big enough for a few shopping bags or as I discovered, two small suitcases.
More enjoyably, I spent much of the week driving the Aygo on my own & found the one litre quite nippy around town & out on the motorway it happily ticked along at 70 mph. The 1 litre is noisy though, reminiscent of Fiats 500 Twin Air, but around town this is fine as this noise makes the car feels quite nippy & of course it’s a doddle to park. Performance is a claimed 0-62 mph in 14.2 seconds with a top speed of 99 mph, neither of which will happen unless your alone in the car. The flip side though is that fuel economy is an impressive 68.9 mpg on the combined with CO2 emissions of 95g/km.
What’s most impressive about the Aygo is it’s price. The entry level x-3 door costs £8595. Although my test model the 5 door x-pression retailed at £11,395, it did come with lot’s of goodies including manual air con, a multimedia system with Mirror Link, DAB/AM/FM radio, rear reversing camera, rev counter, electric & heated door mirrors, Bluetooth, LED daytime running lights & 15″ alloys. Just what the kids have ordered !
In conclusion, in what is a very congested sector, if you need a small city car for your employees that’s exceedingly well equipped, looks good, is cheap to buy, own & run then the new Toyota Aygo will tick all your boxes. It’s certainly a vast improvement on what came before from Toyota & especially my Uno from the 1980′s. Just don’t go for the red & white colour combo unless your a Man Utd fan !
A Jamtastic 3.5/5.