We were surprised with just how many major changes were made to the Aygo, considering this is really just a facelifted version of a car that’s been on sale since 2014. The 1.0-litre engine has been substantially overhauled, which means that the Aygo is now better to drive and more frugal.
The Toyota Aygo is mechanically almost identical to the Citroen C1 and Peugeot 108, which are built in the same factory. You’d expect, then, the running costs to be the same, but the Toyota is actually very affordable to buy and will also hold its value better, which should keep overall running costs impressively low. Another main city car rival, the Volkswagen Up, is a bit cheaper to buy but doesn’t get such good fuel economy, despite having less power, which makes the overall costs very similar to the Aygo.
Expert rating: 4/5
Reliability of a Toyota AYGO
Toyota almost always finishes top, or close to the top, of reliability surveys such as the JD Power rankings, although the manufacturer took an unexpected plunge in the 2019 edition of the Vehicle Dependability Study, which we hope will be just a temporary blip. The entire mechanical package of the Toyota Aygo has been in production since 2005, and if you add Toyota’s general reputation to that fact, you should have one of the most reliable cars on the road. If anything does go wrong, the Aygo comes with an impressive five-year, 100,000-mile warranty.
Expert rating: 4/5
Safety for a Toyota AYGO
The problem here is one of cost. When tested by the independent crash test experts at Euro NCAP, the Toyota Aygo scored only a three-star rating (out of five) in standard form. Up the spec, by adding extra equipment in the form of Toyota’s ‘Safety Sense’ system (which includes an automatic braking system that can detect if you’re about to run into the car in front, as well as a warning buzzer if you start to drift out of your lane on the motorway) and it’s a four-star car, as far as NCAP is concerned. The trouble is, Safety Sense is an option on all but the top-spec X-Clusiv model, so you do have to pay extra to stay safe. The standard Aygo does at least come with front, side and curtain airbags, electronic stability control and an electronic speed limiter.
Expert rating: 3/5
How comfortable is the Toyota AYGO
Being a Toyota, you’d expect decent quality inside the Aygo, and that’s what you get. There are quite a few hard plastics and metal surfaces, rather than soft-touch materials. The main instruments, which feature a small digital display set within a big analogue speedo, have been given a small makeover with the addition of a background pattern that looks a bit like a jet turbine, but they do look rather dated. So too does the rest of the cabin, apart from the new 7.0-inch touchscreen. This unit, developed for Toyota by audio and electronics expert Pioneer, looks good and works well, but some functions are expensive add-ons. On the upside, the front seats are surprisingly comfortable, even for taller drivers and passengers.
If you’re buying an Aygo for practicality, you might want to reconsider, as even within the boundaries of the city car class, it’s pretty small inside. There’s decent space and very good comfort up front, but taller passengers in the back seats will find kneeroom limited, although headroom is OK. The boot really is tiny, though. Its 168-litre capacity is considerably smaller than those offered by its major competitors. One carry-on sized wheelie bag pretty much fills it.
The Aygo is surprisingly engaging to drive, with nicely weighted steering and a very good ride quality that soaks up urban lumps, but doesn’t leave the Aygo swaying and wallowing when you take it out on the motorway. In fact, it’s really very good in this department.
Expert rating: 3/5
Features of the Toyota AYGO
Basic X models – which come in three door form, unlike the other five-door models – are pretty bare, and Toyota only expects them to make up around 2% of sales. The next level up, X-Play, is far better equipped, coming with air conditioning, steering wheel-mounted audio switches, a height adjustable driver's seat, an adjustable speed limiter, LED rear lights and the x-touch multimedia system with DAB and Bluetooth.
The X-Plore models get 15-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights, automatic air conditioning, automatic headlights, rear privacy glass, a reversing camera and sat-nav. It can also be specified with a power-retracting canvas ‘Funroof’ and Toyota Safety Sense.
X-Cite versions add the dramatic ‘Magenta Fizz’ colour scheme, as well as seat fabric with magenta stitching, body-coloured inserts for the air vents and gear-knob, and piano black instrument panel and gear lever surround.
The top-spec X-Clusiv comes with black paint with silver roof, or blue and silver with black roof. It has seats with part-leather upholstery, keyless entry and start, Safety Sense and the touch-screen supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
There’s also a limited-edition X-Press, which has a full roof sticker and coloured accents for the front and rear and side sills, plus a reversing camera. Customers can add either the connectivity package or navigation as an option, and can also specify Toyota Safety Sense.
Expert rating: 3/5
Power for a Toyota AYGO
There’s only one engine option for the Aygo, and it’s the same 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine it’s always used. Well, not quite the same. Toyota has changed a great deal and, without boring you with too much tech data (new combustion chambers, a new fuel injection system, better environmental controls, new variable valve timing system), it’s slightly more powerful than before and yet has lower emissions. It has the sort of power that, previously, you’d have needed to trade up to a 1.4-litre engine to get. Performance is still hardly fast, with a 0-62mph time of 13.8 seconds for the manual version, but it only rarely feels short of puff, and cruises with surprising grace on larger roads.