Toyota wants the new Aygo to be more ‘playful’ than before. Hence not only the design, but also a lower driver’s hip-point, making the driving position less upright and more youthful. Despite there being a 5mm lower roofline, then, front headroom has increased by 7mm. An 8mm wider track gives a little extra muscle to the stance (although these things are relative), while the wheelbase is the same and the overall length is up by just 25mm; at 3455mm, this is still a compact city car, as you’ll find out if you try to get in the back.
Power comes from a 69bhp 1.0 three-cylinder petrol engine, the only powerplant available. It has the same '1KR' designation as before, but has again been significantly reworked, primarily for greater efficiency. There’s now (if you spec stop-start) a version emitting as little as 88g/km of CO2. The regular five-speed manual is a 95g/km, 68.9mpg car, while even the five-speed single-clutch robotised, flappy-paddle manual – designated x-shift – emits just 97g/km (67.3mpg).
What's it like?
More pleasant inside, certainly. Our test cars were pre-production examples, but apparently not far away from the finished item save for trim fit, although that seemed decent enough. Bold colours and design touches make a welcome entrance, as does a 7-inch touchscreen on some models.
Toyota is offering a new degree of personalisation in this Aygo. The brighter bits of plastic can be swapped in a quarter of an hour for ones of a different colour; ditto plastic bits of the exterior, only in more time, and probably at a dealer, and probably leaving you with (or relieving you from) a two-tone Aygo. Which might be weird.
But if you’re reading Autocar the chances are you’re more interested in how it drives, and the news there is pretty positive. The old Aygo had a few good qualities, most notably a feeling of agility and an appealing thrum to the three-cylinder engine.
Those elements have been retained, while joining them are the benefits of the stiffer bodyshell. There’s more precision and less kickback through the steering and the manual gearshift is much more positive (the five-speed auto wants patience). Control weights are all light and easy.
Our drive was restricted to a test track, and while the surfaces weren’t perfect – far from it, in fact – I wouldn’t yet want to make a definitive assessment of ride quality. But it feels relatively pliant, with modest grip levels and enough lean to pick-up a rear wheel in cornering. The handling is crisper and, while the Aygo is not an enthusiast’s car, there’s fun to be had driving any car this small and agile and whose three-pot motor is so easy to warm to.
Elsewhere, the Aygo is as you were. The boot's opening is slightly larger than before and the load space itself grows from 139 litres to 168 litres. It’s still quite diddy, though, as is the turning circle, and as is accommodation in the back; adults will only want to countenance short journeys in the rear. Access to the rear is fine, but we’ve only tried a five-door. A three-door goes on sale as the same time as the 5dr.
Should I buy one?
Sure. Our nod might still be towards a Fiat Panda or a Volkswagen Up (or its sister models), but there’s much to like about the Aygo. The littlest Toyota has sold comparatively well in the UK despite it, typically, being slightly more expensive than its PSA alternatives.
People tend to like Toyota dealers, and as this is the only budget Toyota you can get, a lot of buyers get steered towards it. Last year, in fact, was the Aygo’s record sales year in the UK, which isn’t shabby for a nine-year-old car.
Having received a healthy dose of interestingness and objective improvement, this one deserves to do even better.
Toyota Aygo 1.0 VVT-i
Price na; 0-62mph 14.2sec; Top speed 100mph; Economy 68.9mpg; CO2 95g/km; Kerb weight 840kg; Engine 3-cyls in line, 998cc, petrol; Power 69bhp at 6000rpm; Torque 70lb ft at 4300rpm; Gearbox 5-spd manual