Around town it’s more than responsive enough. There's good flexibility within gears and the performance is sufficiently peppy to allow you to pull away from traffic lights with minimal effort. Nimble handling only adds to the Aygo’s intrinsic ability for ducking and diving through narrow streets, and it also has a pleasantly surprising amount of steering feel for the class, rounding corners with enthusiasm and accuracy.
The manual gearshift has a slick action and changes takes place with minimal fuss. There's also a shift light in your line of vision that's useful when you’re watching your fuel economy. One slight issue with the gearbox is the closeness of the gate: you can easily engage the wrong gear if you're not careful.
The ride is decent, so the Aygo deals with big bumps well, but on undulating surfaces it can be fidgety. As a result it's not up to the standards of the best city cars, such as the Volkswagen Up or Hyundai i10.
Take the Aygo on the motorway and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. You have to push fairly hard to get up to speed on shorter slip roads, but you don't struggle as much as you might expect for a city car. In fact, the most annoying aspect of travelling at speed is the amount of wind noise you get coming off the canvas roof when it's closed.
Inside, the X-clusiv doesn’t quite live up to its name. Certainly the leather seats and steering wheel add an air of finery, but there's no hiding the rest of the scratchy plastics on the dashboard and door cards. Generally this is the norm for the city car class, yet VW manages to apply a better-looking sheen to its Up models. The Aygo's seats provide a comfortable, upright driving position, with fair adjustment, but the steering wheel only adjusts for rake, not reach.
This X-clusiv’s standout feature is its canvas sunroof, which can be opened at any speed. On a perfect summers day it bathes the interior in sunshine, which certainly makes even the most mundane trip that bit more enjoyable.
The infotainment system is pretty intuitive and functional, with a clear Bluetooth connection, easy to work sat-nav and a decent-sounding stereo. Our only qualm is the speed camera warning that sounds more like a military klaxon than a gentle reminder: thankfully, it can be turned off.
X-clusiv trim also brings ‘privacy glass’. It seems a little unnecessary on such a small car, and at night makes picking out objects in the rear-view mirror trickier, rendering following cars as ghostly floating lights.