Quasi-MPV is the best way to describe the Toyota Aygo’s driving position. The driver is helpfully elevated a few inches above the level of a regular-hatchback driver, providing a better viewing platform for those small gaps the car will doubtless find itself being threaded through.
Safety requirements compromise the Aygo’s cabin space, however. Frontal impact performance dictates that the front occupants sit so far back in the cabin that the rest of the package suffers. Head, leg and shoulder room are fine in the front, but rear passenger room is limited to the extent that six-footers won’t fit behind people of similar size.
It doesn’t quite relegate the Aygo to two-plus-two status, but it does limit the Aygo’s appeal as the only car in the family.
Boot space is equally marginal, and the high lip makes loading a touch tricky. The basic car makes do with a single slab of back seat, but all over models have a 50:50 split for extra versatility.
It’s a cheery cabin though. Trim and build are slightly better than you’d expect for the money, and the car doesn’t cloak its budget roots entirely. There’s a sparseness to the controls and instrument binnacle that somehow suit its role well, although the lack of a glovebox means there's nowhere to hide cameras, phones, CDs, iPods etc.
All but the entry-level Aygo gives you front side airbags in addition to the driver and passenger ’bags standard which are standard on the basic model, likewise ISOFIX points for the rear seats. But perhaps the most important aspect of the Aygo’s active safety measures is the strength of the car itself: over 50 percent of the shell is made from high-tensile steel. Should make it strong in a knock.