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