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Dashboard, infotainment, sat-nav and passenger space

If any part of the Toyota Aygo X benefits from its growth spurt and move upmarket, it’s the interior. City cars can feel cramped due to an awkward driving position and a featureless dashboard. But that is not the case here. 

In fact, the Aygo X feels in many ways like a supermini. Thanks to the more generous exterior dimensions, the front occupants aren’t as close to each other as they used to be and there is plenty of leg room for the front row.

I like the canvas sunroof. It helps with the sense of fun you want in a cheap small car. I’m mystified why it’s electrically powered, though. If it was manual, it would be quicker and easier to open and close, you could do it without turning the car on, and most important, it would be cheaper.

The dashboard has also been completely redesigned and is defined by a bold, playful look with a dose of colour instead of the slightly sparse furnishings of the old Toyota Aygo. There are still hard plastics galore, as well as exposed metalwork on the tops of the doors and in places you’re unlikely to look, but that’s not unusual in a car like this.

You don’t miss out on tech, either. In fact, in many ways the screens are more advanced but also more user- friendly than in many other Toyotas. There is an analogue speedometer, while the tachometer and fuel gauge are simplified digital displays of illuminating segments. 

Inside the speedo, a small colour screen presents the usual information in a concise but clear way and it’s easy to navigate using the steering wheel buttons.

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The heating and air conditioning are controlled using physical buttons, and for those who want even more choice of ventilation, there is the option of a fabric sunroof on some trim levels. 

It’s certainly nice to have on a sunny day, but leaving it open creates a lot of wind noise above 50mph, and even when it’s closed, it lets some extra sound through.

So long as you’re in the front, then, the Aygo X proves to be a surprisingly pleasant place to be. However, it is still a city car, and not an exceedingly roomy one at that. The rear seats are really only suitable for children and younger teenagers on account of the shortage of both leg and head room. 

Forgoing the sunroof will liberate a little bit of head room, but not much. It’s also a strict four-seater, with rather crude exposed metal hinges separating the two rear seats. At 231 litres, the boot, too, is smaller than an i10’s. 

It shrinks further, to 189 litres, if you choose the optional JBL stereo. The rear seats fold down in a 50/50 split but leave quite a big step. 

Toyota Aygo X multimedia system

For years, Toyota’s multimedia systems have been among the most outdated on the market. However, the brand has started rolling out a completely new system to facelifted and new cars, including Exclusive and Limited Edition versions of the Aygo X.

Lower trims get a 7.0in or 8.0in version of the old system. On rivals, the cheapest model often has just a phone cradle, which would have been a good thing to reduce the Aygo X’s entry price.

Our top-spec test car had Toyota’s new system and at least they have finally got that right. It is responsive enough, the interface looks modern and it is simple and easy to understand, with big buttons and not too many levels to the menus. The built-in navigation can’t beat Google Maps when it comes to estimating delays from traffic, but it otherwise works well.

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Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available wirelessly and there is a physical button to switch between smartphone mirroring and the native system.