The previous Aygo displayed a great deal of pep to its driving experience – not from the raw numbers, but from the general nature of its thrummy three-cylinder engine’s delivery.

Less get up and go, more get up and show willingness to get a shift on, if you like. That impression is present this time around, too.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Editor-at-large
In fifth gear, 50-70mph takes 24.1sec in the Aygo. Volkswagen's Up took 18.6sec

Given the engine’s paucity of capacity and relatively low outputs, you’d expect nothing other than the 13.9sec that it requires for a 0-60mph ‘sprint’. Of more value to the driver here is in-gear flexibility.

First, the bad news: low-end shove is not its strong point. Peak torque arrives at 4300rpm, which is no great surprise for a naturally aspirated petrol engine, but it means that the Aygo needs to be worked if you’re looking to join a motorway at a pace similar to the traffic already on it.

Fortunately, the fact that there are only three cylinders means that the relative frequency of the bangs is a bit lower than in a four. And the note is appealing. So you don’t feel as bad about working the Toyota as you might an engine with an extra cylinder. Do so and you’ll find that 50-70mph in third gear takes a respectable 11.4sec.

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Shifting the lever for the five-speed gearbox used to be a bit of a chore, with excessive notchiness and too little return to centre, but both of these criticisms seem to have been addressed. The ratios themselves are well spread to allow swift enough response at low revs and an able motorway cruise.

The five-speed automatic – designated x-shift – works in an acceptable fashion but it does take time to shift; we'd recommend you stick with the manual if possible.

The Toyota's pedals are light yet well weighted relative to each other, while braking is respectable in the dry and good in the wet.

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