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Toyota Aygo hatch 5Dr 1.0VVTi 68hp X-Play

Date: 23 August 2018   |   Author: Rachel Boagey

Toyota's city car gets a new look, but does it have the X-factor?
Standard equipment:
7in touchscreen, DAB radio, electrically adjustable heated door mirrors, leather steering wheel, height-adjustable driver's seat
Engines:
Petrol: 68hp 1.0
Diesel: n/a
Trims:
X, X-Play, X-Press, X-Plore, X-Cite, X-Clusiv
Transmissions:
Five-speed manual

When the Toyota Aygo was first launched alongside its Citroen C1 and Peugeot 108 cousins, there really wasn't much to choose between them. 

Granted, the Aygo came with a longer warranty, but to be honest, they all looked a bit dull. 

Thankfully, Toyota saw the light and got things popping with the second iteration, which featured a slashy X front end and some imaginative interior treatments. 

Toyota Aygo 049

It's a strategy that has paid off, big time, as the Aygo currently holds the number one spot in its segment with a market share of 15.2%, an increase in volume growth year- on-year of 8.9% - with a sales forecast for the full-year 2018 of 22,250. 

Of course, nothing stands still for long in this industry, so in an attempt to stay ahead of the usual suspects, including the Fiat 500, Kia Picanto, Renault Twingo and VW Up, Toyota has cranked up the volume once again, giving the Aygo a refreshed exterior and a trim rejig for 2018.

Whereas the previous model's prominent front end was little more than a trick of the eye thanks to some imaginative graphics, the latest model's trademark X is sculpted into the front bodywork, and along with new LED lights, new wheel designs and a refreshed colour palette, it's easy to think of the Aygo as an all-new model.  

City car cabins are rarely the pinnacle of luxury, and the Aygo is no different. Things are pretty plasticky throughout but to its credit, it still looks pretty funky. That said, some items are a bit dusty, especially the media screen graphics, which look proper old school. 

If you want to give matters a lift, it's worth opting for X-Play (the second trim level in the range) as it features more appealing materials, so the cabin doesn't feel quite as cheap as the entry-level car. It also adds a 7in touchscreen system, including Bluetooth, a DAB radio and reversing camera. If you're less inclined to use a phone app than a fixed sat-nav, X-plore is the only model to give you this feature as standard rather than an option. 

Although top-of-the-range X-Clusiv trim adds part-leather seats, there's little attempt to disguise the scratchy plastics on the dashboard and inside the doors, so it's really not worth the upgrade. 

Once you have picked your trim, there aren't too many other choices, apart from whether you want three or five doors. 

Toyota Aygo 003-1000x 667

Toyota has also kept it simple in the engine department, offering a single three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engine. Although this is a long-standing feature of the Aygo, it has received several updates to ensure it keeps pace with European emissions standards, and is claimed to average almost 69mpg. 

With only 68hp available, the performance isn't exactly mind-blowing of course, and with maximum torque arriving at a heady 4,600rpm, you need to rev it quite hard and be pretty nifty with the five-speed manual gearbox to make meaningful progress. When you do, you'll also be well aware that the engine is quite rowdy. To put this in perspective, the Kia Picanto and VW Up feel far gutsier around town and more civilised on the motorway. 

The Aygo is in its element darting around busy city streets thanks to its dinky dimension, tall windows and narrow pillars front and back that provide excellent visibility from all angles, even for shorter drivers. It's also easy to manoeuvre at low speeds as the steering is very light, making U-turns and parking in tight spaces a doddle. It's true to say the steering doesn't offer much feedback as speed builds, although the grip levels are a saving grace. Overall, the Aygo feels agile and nippy at low speeds, but it does feel a wee bit out of its depth on faster roads.

Headspace up front is pretty decent, and although there is not a huge amount of legroom, it is considerably better than those travelling in the rear get. At 168 litres the boot can only be described as 'compact' although should just about be big enough to let you squish in your weekly food shop - provided you don't have too big an appetite.

The door pockets are a useful size and there are neat little touches like the large cubby hole in front of the gearstick, which incorporates two cup holders. Plus, considering how small the Aygo is, the glovebox is larger than many cars from a couple of classes above.

As costs go, the Toyota is among the best in its class. At just £35 benefit in kind (BIK) at 20% it beats many rivals due to its low CO2 emissions. However, as shown in our recent Aygo whole-life cost analysis, its P11D is one of the highest among its rivals, including the Volkswagen Up, which has a P11D of just £10,570.

The Aygo has come a long way since 2005, and on route it has seen many improvements. Unfortunately, the engine and interior still need more detailed changes to refine the model enough to place it in line with the VW Up and Kia Picanto. Compared with those cars, it just doesn't quite stack up.

Toyota Aygo Hatch 5Dr 1.0VVTi 68hp X-Play

P11D £11,195

On sale August 2018

Residual value 34.1% 

Depreciation £7,370

Fuel £5,047

Service, maintenance and repair £1,835

Cost per mile 31.6p

Fuel consumption 68.9mpg

CO2 (BIK band) 93g/km (19%)  

BIK 20/40% a month £35/£70

Boot space 168 litres

Engine size/power 998cc/68hp


Verdict


  • Spacious for a city car, low emissions, cheap to run.
  • Disappointing refinement levels, small boot.

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