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.

Top 5 City cars

First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Toyota range

Driven this week

  • Car review
    9 December 2016
    Audi Sport drops a sub-4.0sec-to-60mph bomb into Porsche Cayman territory
  • First Drive
    9 December 2016
    Plug-in-hybrid 3 Series shows the benefit of BMW's experience with the i3 and i8. Sophisticated, swift and broadly talented to drive – and sweet-handing, too
  • Car review
    9 December 2016
    Italian brand emerges as a true luxury power with a large SUV
  • 2016 Porsche Panamera Turbo
    First Drive
    8 December 2016
    A smaller engine doesn't prevent the new Porsche Panamera Turbo being a ridiculously quick and capable sporting GT. We've driven it in the UK
  • 2016 Vauxhall Adam 1.0i Turbo Unlimited
    First Drive
    8 December 2016
    The 1.0-litre turbo engine and Unlimited trim combine to make this the best Adam in the line-up