The Aygo, Toyota’s smallest European offering, has a new look where the bold, manga-inspired X-graphic across the front has transformed into 3D-rendered relief. It’s a successful transformation and one of the rare occasions where a facelift is better-looking than the original. Even more impressively, no metalwork has been altered – the changes are restricted to the front plastics and expensive-looking LED front and rear lights.
Inside, the changes are minimal. The exterior colour and dashboard inserts govern the level of funkiness, but it’s all easy to use with minimal knobs and buttons. There are new trim materials and revised graphics in the column-mounted instrument binnacle, but the big news is the availability of a Pioneer-developed entertainment system supporting Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. This integration is significant in a sector where first time buyers are more tech-savvy than ever. The seat shape has barely altered, but has plenty of adjustment and remained comfortable all day. Rear seats are for two and probably not for longer journeys but reasonable in this sector and the boot is tall but narrow.
There are more changes under the bonnet. The one-litre triple has been heavily revised for efficiency and even a smidge more power. Toyota says 68.9mpg combined, 93g/km and 71bhp with 93Nm of torque. The top speed is 99mph and 0-62 in 13.8 seconds. Straight-line performance isn’t this car’s forte, but the revised motor delivers its torque low down making it feel sprightly enough away from traffic lights. Tortuous Alpine passes are conspicuous by their absence around Copenhagen, but the steering was nicely weighted and the 5-speed gearbox short and precise. A sixth gear would have been welcome on the motorway, the only part of the test route the Aygo felt a little out of its depth. No doubt more miles to bed in would make a noticeable difference.
Equipment levels vary significantly from the monastic “x” trim, the only one available as a 3-door, to the climate-controlled “x-clusiv” I drove. Notable options include a near-full-length fabric “Funroof” and an automated 5-speed gearbox. Prices start from just under £10,000 and rise to about £15,000, an increase of a few hundred pounds over the pre-facelift model. Buyers are unlikely to care. Instead, they will be tempted by the likely sub-£150/month low-interest finance per the current model.
The Aygo is currently the best-selling A-sector car in the UK. The new look and the incorporation of precisely the kind of new tech that will appeal to people buying their first new car mean that’s unlikely to change.
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