The Aygo is in its second incarnation, but it’s not ready to be reborn a third time quite yet. Instead, Toyota has given the car a facelift to freshen things up a bit.
Tim Barnes-Clay drives the latest Toyota Aygo at the European launch in Denmark
But what is the Aygo? Well, it’s very similar to Skoda’s Citigo, Hyundai’s i10 and VW’s Up!. In other words, it’s a cheap, small car – and that means it’s a perfect first motor or second vehicle. The Toyota doesn’t look bargain-basement by any means, though – especially now it’s had this mid-life revision.
So, what’s changed? Well, all Aygos now come with a fresh choice of alloy wheels and colour schemes. The supermini now also boasts LED taillights and LED daytime running lights…
But step inside and, at first glance, not much has altered. The instrument cluster has been subtly redesigned, and tweaks have been made to the seat materials. The most noticeable difference, compared with the pre-facelift model, is the new infotainment system. The slick operating seven-inch screen boasts smartphone app integration, giving the cabin a funky character. The interior feels like it will wear well, too.
Being a tiny car, the Aygo isn’t going to serve as the primary family car – it’s just not practical enough. It’s a perfect school-run machine or a top motor for a couple, though. Space for the front passenger and driver is good, but the rear seat is poky compared with rivals, such as the Hyundai i10. A minuscule 168-litre cargo capacity also means the Toyota falls behind competitors – notably the VW Up! and the Skoda Citigo. These two superminis have 251-litre boots.
So, the Aygo has had a makeover, but it’s also had a few minor changes beneath the metal. Its three-cylinder 1.0-litre non-turbo petrol engine has been updated to conform to the latest Euro 6.2 emissions benchmark. The car also has a little additional clout – up to 72PS, while a balancer shaft has been fitted to cut back on vibrations.
On the move, the new Aygo is in its element around town. Its featherlight controls and comfortable ride make it a pleasing car to drive. Only the steering rains on the parade – it’s not sharp enough.
Away from the urban sprawl, the Japanese supermini is still capable – you just need to work it hard to get up to motorway speeds. The most significant irritant out of town is not the lack of ‘oomph’, though – it’s the noise. Yes, even with the additional sound deadening material added to the new Aygo, the thrum of the three-cylinder engine still makes itself known.
Happily, kit is one of the Aygo’s best points. All models, apart from the entry-level ‘x’ version come with decent equipment. For instance, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and navigation are offered higher up the line-up, while automatic air conditioning is housed within the x-press version of the Aygo and upwards.
So, overall, 2018’s Toyota Aygo looks as funky as can be – and that alone will tempt many buyers. The excellent level of factory-fitted kit on all but the basic model is enticing, too. However, the limp, noisy engine and lack of rear space don’t do the car any favours – especially when compared with current supermini challengers.
Car reviewed: 2018 Toyota Aygo x-clusiv – On the road £ £13,895 0-62mph 13.8 secs Top speed 99mph Fuel Economy combined 68.9mpg CO2 emissions 931g/km Engine 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol EU6 Max Power 72PS
Front seat space