Jaws dropped when we unveiled the all-new Toyota Aygo at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show in March. Sporting a distinctive x-shaped front end, a broad range of customisation options, and boasting levels of equipment on par with models from the class above; Aygo has grabbed the city car class by the scruff and given it a shake.
Now, the British motoring press has driven the car – here’s a round-up of their thoughts.
“Light control surfaces, its small size, tight turning circle and good visibility make the Toyota a natural urbanite – much as its predecessor was.
“In the wider world, the news is better still. Thanks to additional spot welds and a higher use of high-tensile steel, this is a stiffer, lighter Aygo – and it shows. The ride is busy, but very well-judged and rarely seems overloaded; meaning that there’s plenty of play to accommodate some mid-bend surface turbulence even when cornering. The result, when combined with decent grip levels and an even-tempered front end, is a city car that can happily be driven with vigour.
“…at the moment its (Toyota’s) latest contender looks set to immediately return to our city car top five.”
“No other city car drips with so much sheer attitude.
“Inside, the new Aygo is much more sophisticated, with less exposed metalwork and materials that are more pleasant to the touch.
“The new car is also quieter at a motorway cruise. Less wind and road noise is a welcome bonus, but there’s still enough of a cheery thrum when revved.”
“The Aygo has grown up and now features a hi-tech infotainment system, as well as a more refined interior… which makes it a much nicer place to be, while still maintaining the original model’s youthful appeal.
“As a city car, the Toyota Aygo is most at home in town where its small dimensions make it perfect for darting through congested streets, and parking in tight spaces, while the steering is now more direct than the old car’s. The Aygo’s engine also sounds nice – so working it is not a chore – and the car has plenty of pace for the city.”
“…the refinement levels are easily on a par with any car from the class above, with an excellent ride quality in particular.”
“In the front, there’s plenty of head and leg room and the seats are excellent and very supportive…”
“The three-cylinder engine has a lovely off-beat thrum to it and always seems keen to rev and be worked hard. Not that you will often feel the need to.”
“If this new Toyota is anything to go by, the days of city cars being the short straw are long gone.”
“Not only will drivers of the old model appreciate refined levels of new Toyota Aygo comfort, but those downsizing to it will too.
“Although it’s a small car with fine all-round visibility the reversing camera fitted to many Aygos makes it supremely easy to park.”
“That face is a deliberate Marmite feature. It looks a bit like a superhero’s mask with a huge X shape of interchangeable coloured panels…
“From different angles you see different things in the Aygo’s striking new lines. Maybe a Manga-style spider in the long, claw-like tail light clusters or a hint of Lexus in the narrow projector headlights, which, incidentally, are a class above the regular halogen lamps you normally get in cars like this. Whatever you see – or don’t – the Aygo is not a car you could mistake for anything else.”
“The ride is exceptionally good, and body roll is reasonably well controlled. Chunky front seats are nicely shaped and make comfy places to park your behind, so basic comfort is impressive.”