Toyota Aygo Hatchback full 9 point review
The sole engine available is a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol. It suffers from a prolonged flat spot when you pull away from a standstill, and doesn’t start to pull meaningfully until around 4000rpm. This means you have to work it hard to make decent progress, and you’ll often have to change down a gear to maintain your speed, especially on hills. We’re yet to try an Aygo with the optional automatic gearbox.
Ride & Handling
The Aygo’s ride is unsettled on patchy surfaces, but it doesn’t become crashy over potholes. Some people will find the steering too heavy for parking and tight turns, although this heft does give some confidence when tackling faster corners, even if you get little sense of how the front wheels are gripping. The Aygo controls its body movements decently well on country roads.
Considerable engine noise makes it into the cabin, and you feel vibrations through the steering wheel and pedals. Those pedals are consistently weighted, but the gearshift is frustratingly imprecise, which is especially annoying considering how many gearchanges are required in and out of town. It’s hard to relax at a motorway cruise, too, because there’s non-stop wind noise around the front windows and too much road noise.
Buying & Owning
As long as you stick to the mid-range trims, the Aygo looks well priced; stray too far up the ladder and it starts to become more expensive than rivals. Running costs are impressively low: the Aygo performed better than most other city cars in our True MPG tests, so will be cheap to fuel, and its low CO2 emissions mean tiny tax bills.
Quality & Reliability
Entry-level Aygos feel a little cheap inside, because they miss out on the piano black dashboard trim and leather steering wheel of mid-range models. Even so, all versions have some interior plastics and exposed metal that look and feel low-rent. This generation of Aygo was too new to be included in the latest JD Power customer satisfaction survey, but the previous Aygo and Toyota as a manufacturer scored well for reliability.
Safety & Security
All versions come with stability control, six airbags, hill-hold control and a tyre-pressure-monitoring system. The Aygo was awarded a decent four stars in its Euro NCAP crash test. An engine immobiliser is fitted, which helped the Aygo get four stars (out of five) from security experts Thatcham for its resistance to being stolen. It was awarded just two stars out of five for its resistance to being broken into, however.
Behind The Wheel
Driver’s seat-height adjustment comes as standard from mid-range X-Play trim upwards, but you sit quite high even with the seat in its lowest setting. Also, the steering wheel adjusts only for height, so taller drivers may struggle to get totally comfortable. At least the heating and ventilation controls are easy to use, and the good all-round visibility is reassuring when you’re driving on busy roads.
Space & Practicality
Front occupants have plenty of room, but many other city cars offer more rear-seat space; even short adults will want more kneeroom, while the tapering roofline limits headroom. The boot is just 168 litres with the rear seats up, which is a long way off what the class leaders offer, and there’s a big drop from the boot opening to the floor. Folding down the rear seats also leaves a big step in the load bay.
Entry-level X models are sparse; they get LED daytime running lights, USB and aux connections, and electric front windows, but not much else. We’d go for the good-value X-Play model, which adds air-con, Bluetooth, two extra speakers (making four in total), a rev counter and a leather steering wheel complete with audio controls. The more expensive models come with desirable kit such as alloy wheels, part-leather sports seats, DAB radio and a reversing camera, but they’re a little pricey.