What Car? says...
The Toyota Aygo X is here to prove that there’s still a place for affordable small cars – and they don't have to be electric to be fun, simple and cheap to run.
If you're thinking of buying an Aygo X as an urban runaround, you might be considering electric cars too, but they demand a bigger investment from the get-go. Indeed, Toyota has set prices for the model – which is available with a 1.0-litre petrol engine and, er, that's it – way below the cost of, for example, an All-Electric Fiat 500.
There are plenty of petrol-powered rivals too, of course. They include the Fiat Panda, the Hyundai i10, the Kia Picanto and the Suzuki Ignis. Unlike the Ignis, the Aygo X isn't available with four-wheel drive, and despite its mildly rugged looks, it's not blessed with any off-road ability. Sure, there’s body cladding on the wheel arches and the suspension has been elevated, but not with the intention of rambling over rocky terrain.
Still, Toyota says the 11mm raised ride height it offers over the previous, second-generation Aygo makes it easier to spot cyclists and pedestrians in good time. On congested city roads, where space and reaction times are at a premium, that could make a big difference to your stress levels.
So, how does the Toyota Aygo X compare with the best small cars? Read on to find out how we rate it for performance, quality, practicality and more, plus which trim we prefer.
When you know which car is the right one for you, we can help you find the biggest discounts on a new one if you search our free New Car Buying service. It lists lots of excellent new small car deals.
Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
The Toyota Aygo X has a 71bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine that’s free from any turbocharging or hybrid electrical assistance. Its pace is best described as leisurely, with a 0-62mph time of 14.9 seconds, and you’ll need to rev its little heart out to keep up with everyone else, even at town speeds.
On faster roads, you have to work the five-speed manual gearbox hard. You'll need to change down a gear or two when you encounter a hill, and think very seriously before attempting to overtake a slower car on a country road. The Hyundai i10 has the extra get-up-and-go needed to haul you out of bends and scale inclines without prolonged downwards pressure on the accelerator pedal.
Toyota also gives you the option of a CVT automatic gearbox. With that fitted, the 0-62mph drops by a modest 0.1sec, but the engine's limited power means revs continue to rise for drawn-out periods of time. There is a manual mode, but it has little effect on your rate of progress.
On a more positive note, the tight turning circle makes low-speed manoeuvres easy. The ride is quite firm, but still surprisingly supple on the 18in wheels we’ve tried so far. Versions with 17in wheels should be just as comfy, if not more so. Over rougher sections of road, the car feels settled, retaining composure over sudden undulations at speed far better than the i10.
The Aygo X handles neatly, resisting body lean in bends, and while the steering response could be sharper, there’s enough weighting to help you place the car accurately on the road. If you want a small car that's truly fun to drive, you’re better off looking at the Suzuki Swift or – if your budget allows – the Seat Ibiza.
The noise from the Aygo X's little engine settles into the background at motorway speeds, but you will feel vibrations from it through the seat and floor when it's idling or working hard.
Road noise is kept in check, but wind noise grows markedly at motorway speeds, mainly from around the roof pillar by your right ear, and – if fitted – the sliding fabric roof. When it rains, the retractable roof gives you the pitter-patter sound you get in a tent.
Strengths Tight turning circle; neat handling; supple, well-controlled ride
Weaknesses Noisy at speed; lacklustre engine performance
The interior layout, fit and finish
The Aygo X is the smallest car in the Toyota range, but there’s little cause for complaint when sitting in the driver’s seat. The seat is height-adjustable and the steering wheel and pedals line up well. The steering wheel adjusts for height but not reach (you get the same in the Hyundai i10).
The instrument cluster has a 4.2in colour screen and displays useful information including your speed, fuel economy and media selection. The touchscreen and climate controls are angled towards the driver, making them easy enough to reach. Forward visibility is generally good, helped by big door mirrors and relatively narrow front windscreen pillars.
However, the chunky rear pillars and small rear window make seeing out of the back tricky, and cause a large blind-spot when looking over your shoulder to change lanes. You do get a rear-view camera as standard to help when parking, and opting for the Park Pack or top-spec Exclusive trim adds front and rear parking sensors.
There are three sizes of infotainment screen available, and all of them have Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring. Entry-level Pure trim gets a 7.0in set-up, mid-range Edge has an 8.0in display, and Exclusive features a 9.0in screen.
The 9.0in screen runs different software and includes wireless Apple CarPlay, and also has a much simpler main menu for your sat-nav, media and phone functions. The 7.0in and 8.0in displays have a far less intuitive layout. The system isn't that quick, and you often have to prod the screen a second time to get a response. It often makes more sense to use the smartphone mirroring to bypass the software.
All versions come with a USB charging port and a 12V power outlet in the front, while Exclusive trim gets wireless phone-charging. All Aygo Xs have a four-speaker stereo which sounds pretty good. The optional JBL system on top-spec trim adds a 300W amp and a subwoofer.
The air-con dials give a satisfying click when you turn them (and are easier to use than touch-sensitive or screen-based ones). The indicator and wiper stalks have a reassuringly chunky feel, and the tactile steering wheel is covered in quality leather.
Unfortunately, these elements are let down by the acres of hard, shiny plastics, and the tinny sound the doors make when you shut them. A similarly priced i10 sounds far more substantial.
Strengths Easy-to-use interior; colourful interior options
Weaknesses Limited rear visibility; rivals feel more substantial
Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
The Toyota Aygo X offers plenty of space up front, with enough elbow room to avoid feeling cramped and a decent amount of leg and head room for those over 6ft tall. The front passenger seat doesn't have height adjustment though, so taller occupants might feel perched a little high up.
Storage space up front is reasonable, with two cupholders and a tray for phones ahead of the gear lever. The glove compartment is smaller than the one in the i10, and the door pockets are more like letterbox slots and can only take small bottles.
In the rear, space is tight for adult passengers, and the optional canvas sunroof reduces head room further. With limited leg room and small side windows (which pop out instead of wind down), claustrophobia could set in quickly.
Access to the rear seats is really restricted because of the small opening, which makes installing a child seat difficult. The Aygo X has seatbelts for two in the back, while the shorter and narrower Hyundai i10 manages to find room for three.
The Aygo X’s 231-litre boot is pretty titchy, even by small car standards. The i10 and the Picanto offer more than 250 litres. There's enough space for your weekly shop or a couple of carry-on suitcases, but the opening of the boot is rather small and there’s a very high lip, making it awkward to load larger items.
You can fold down the back seats to create an 829-litre luggage space, but the backrest (which splits 50/50) flops on top of the base, so there’s an awkward step between the boot floor and the seats when you do so.
Strengths Plenty of space for the driver and front passenger
Weaknesses Limited rear seat space; awkward boot access
Buying & owning
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
The entry-level Toyota Aygo X – called Pure – costs more as a cash buy than the cheapest versions of the Fiat Panda, the Hyundai i10 and the Kia Picanto.
Even so, a significantly more practical Dacia Sandero will be cheaper, while the rugged Dacia Sandero Stepway is a similar price. Meanwhile, high-end versions of the Aygo X cost more than our preferred version of the Skoda Fabia.
High residual values mean that monthly PCP finance costs should remain competitive with rival small cars because depreciation and future values are part of the payment calculation.
Entry-level Pure is our favourite Aygo X trim. It has all the kit you’ll need while keeping the price down. You get 17in alloy wheels, electric front windows, automatic headlights, air conditioning and touchscreen infotainment.
Mid-range Edge trim adds a two-tone paint finish, 18in alloy wheels, climate control, automatic wipers and rear privacy glass.
Range-topping Exclusive trim gets you keyless ignition, LED headlights, ambient lighting and some faux-leather on the seats.
Alongside those three trims is a limited-edition version called Undercover that includes everything from Exclusive trim, plus heated front seats, a JBL stereo and a few cosmetic tweaks. It's too expensive to recommend, pushing well into the price territory of the Seat Ibiza and the Skoda Fabia.
In terms of running costs, the Aygo X is competitive. Private drivers will appreciate its fuel economy – the official 58.8mpg figure is good, and our True MPG results suggest 52.2mpg is realistic. The CO2 emissions are lower than those of the 1.0-litre i10 and the 1.2-litre Ignis, so it will costs you less in tax as a company car.
The Aygo X doesn't feature in the 2022 What Car? Reliability Survey but the 2014-2022 Toyota Aygo was the most reliable car in the small car section. Toyota came second in the survey out of 32 car makers – a very impressive result – and has an excellent warranty. You can get up to 10 years and 100,000 miles of cover by getting your car serviced as a franchised dealer.
Safety testers at Euro NCAP scored the Aygo X four stars out of five, which is not bad for such a small car. That’s better than the i10’s three stars and much higher than the zero stars scored by the Fiat Panda. All versions come with automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane-keeping assist, six airbags, traffic-sign assist, tyre-pressure monitoring and Isofix child seat mounts in the back.
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Strengths Well-equipped; strong fuel economy; generous warranty
Weaknesses High list price
The Aygo X is the successor to the 2014-2022 Toyota Aygo and is a bit bigger than that car (235mm longer, 125mm wider and 65mm taller).
At the time of writing, the Aygo X is available in three trims – Pure, Edge and Exclusive – plus the limited-edition Undercover. All versions have a 1.0-litre petrol engine.
|RRP price range||£16,130 - £21,545|
|Number of trims (see all)||3|
|Number of engines (see all)||1|
|Available fuel types (which is best for you?)||petrol|
|MPG range across all versions||56.5 - 58.9|
|Available doors options||5|
|Warranty||3 years / 60000 miles|
|Company car tax at 20% (min/max)||£795 / £1,107|
|Company car tax at 40% (min/max)||£1,589 / £2,213|