During almost a decade of service, the first-generation Aygo has proven itself a fine starter car for Toyota.

Built in a joint venture with Peugeot and Citroën, the snappily styled, modestly priced model has become a popular fixture of the city car class – particularly in the buoyant secondhand market, where the brand’s reputation for reliability and dealership transparency has probably done it no harm at all.

Before signing a deal with PSA Peugeot-Citroën in 2001, Toyota had not built a bona fide city car — preferring instead to leave smaller domestic models to its subsidiary, Daihatsu.

Following the success of the Yaris supermini, the B-Zero project was aimed at meeting the demands of European urbanites, with the Aygo and its French-badged sister cars being produced at a new joint facility in the Czech Republic.

The model was launched in 2005 and received subtle, largely cosmetic facelifts in 2009 and 2012. Although age had caught up with it, the final edition of the previous Aygo arguably suffered as much from the maturing of the segment around it.

More recent entrants such as the latest Hyundai i10 and Volkswagen Up, for example, have shown that grown-up quality isn’t the preserve of bigger hatchbacks.

Desirability, then, is a key part of the new Aygo’s strategy, and Toyota has dug deep into what it imagines are the “outspoken shapes and forms” of Japanese youth culture to launch a car (on the surface, at least) easily distinguished from those around it.

‘Fun to drive’ and ‘easy to fall in love with’ are also among the firm’s stated aims, which ought to dovetail perfectly with our unchanging criteria for small cars.

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