Latest round of changes can’t mask Aygo’s age next to ever-stronger city car rivals

What is it?

It’s a tough life being a city car these days. Dealing with the arrival of Volkswagen Group’s Up/Mii/Citigo triplets to the segment is competition enough for those already in the segment, such as the Toyota Aygo tested here, but it’s also got to deal with Autocar’s new class leader: the latest Fiat Panda.

The Aygo is a triplet of its own, its sister cars being the Citroen C1 and Peugeot 107. All are now on sale with a final round of revisions for 2012 before all-new models replace them within the next couple of years.

The revised Aygo also brings with it two new special editions: Fire and Ice. The Fire model, tested here, is the more sporting of the pair, the Ice model the more comfort orientated.

What’s it like?

The design may be seven years old now, but the latest changes certainly keep the Aygo looking fresh and characterful from the outside at least, particularly with the addition of the Fire’s 14in alloys, privacy glass and LED daytime running lights.

It’s bad news inside though, where time most definitely has caught up with the Aygo. It’s mediocre at best in both design and perceived quality, especially when looked at next to the plush Volkswagen triplets. Not even the leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear knob the Fire model brings can help.

We learned a lot about how this latest Aygo would drive from a recent go in its updated C1 sister car. Revised chassis setting include new shock absorbers that go some way to improving the ride and handling. Body control is also decent, particularly at higher speeds, although some of the lower speed compliance has been lost.

The engine’s ECU has also been tuned to allow the Aygo to dip below the 100g/km CO2 emissions threshold for the first time. The three-cylinder engine still lacks both refinement and performance compared to more modern rivals’ units, but a smile can still be raised when revving up to the 6000rpm mark where peak power of 67bhp arrives, and listening to the shriek it makes.

Should I buy one?

The Aygo is as good as it’s ever been after its latest round of changes. But that’s not to say we’d recommend it over its city car peers.

This isn’t 2005 anymore. Truth is, there’s just too much competition out there – at a similar or even lower price – to put the Aygo or its sister cars anywhere near the top of the city car league.

Toyota Aygo 1.0 Fire A/C

Price: £10,490; Top speed: 98mph; 0-62mph: 14.1sec; Economy: 65.7mpg; CO2: 99g/km; Kerb weight: 890kg; Engine: 3cyls, 998cc, petrol; Power: 67bhp at 6000rpm; Torque: 69lb ft at 3600rpm; Gearbox: 5-spd manual

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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giulivo 2 May 2012

Re: Toyota Aygo 1.0 Fire A/C

1.0 Fire? Sweet memories of my Uno...

qpgkx the unpro... 1 May 2012

Re: Toyota Aygo 1.0 Fire A/C

Mini1 wrote:
Buzz Cagney wrote:

qpgkx the unpronounceable wrote:
The wife bought a aygo go (all the trimmings) in white with auto box three weeks ago,

you clearly should have researched a bit harder. I'm very sorry but over time you will come to detest that MMT gearbox. Toyota has realised its an awful box and is going back to cvt or traditional autos.

Well the owner is clearly happy with it - so stop trying to rain on their parade.
Buzz Cagney wrote:
For gods sake, if you really must have an Aygo (though there really is no reason why)
For you maybe. Why so much hate, I don't know...

The wife bought an auto because thats what she is licenced to drive. Her money her choice and we both love it. She owned a fiesta with the cvt box beforehand and although the aygo box is different (automated manual) once you learn how to use it properly (advice on the net) then no problem. The reason she bought new was because thats what SHE wanted, her money, her choice. Still think its a brilliant car, so there.

Adrian987 1 May 2012

Re: Toyota Aygo 1.0 Fire A/C

gathome wrote:
We both find the MMT works fine for us, it isn't an Automatic so we don't use it like one. We have learned to use it, for example easing slightly off the accelerator can be used to encourage a change up. If we are going up a steep hill in a lowish gear and have to back off because we have caught up a slower car, we flick the lever across from the e setting into manual to stop it changing up and bogging down. If you take the trouble to learn how to use it it's fine. A bit like driving a manual or an ordinary automatic - f you learn how to do it, it presents no problems.

Good points. Automatics cannot read the road or your mind, so manual select (or hold) is very useful at times. If you do that, then they can have a satisfaction factor all of their own. If you lazy-bones it all the time though, there could be disappointment. Having an automatic does not have to absolve the driver from interacting with the car.