Who remembers when the Aygo first arrived on the market back in 2005? Whilst incredibly successful across Europe it sold well here in Ireland but the ‘not so significant’ price walk up to Yaris meant it was never Toyota’s top Irish seller. The quirky and affordable Aygo no doubt got many into driving for the first time but for us, it lacked a little in terms of engine punch, cabin sound deadening and creature comforts. Now Toyota is set to change this with the introduction of the Aygo X. This is a vehicle that was first teased to the media as the “Sparkling Chilli Red” Aygo X Prologue, which paved the way for the new Aygo X project. It’s a larger, more stylish and engaging car built in Europe designed to work in our busy European cities. At 3,700mm in length, the Aygo X is 235mm longer than its predecessor and the front overhang is 72mm less than Yaris. Even the narrowest Dublin city streets shouldn’t be a problem thanks to the exceptionally small turning circle of just 4.7m. The total body width has increased by 125mm to 1,740mm compared to the old Aygo and the front seats have been moved 20mm further apart, increasing shoulder space by 45mm and raised 55mm to give you better visibility when behind the wheel. The ground clearance has also increased by 11mm through new suspension along with the 17 or 18-inch wheel configuration. Suddenly the little Aygo has become a lot more purposeful and usable!
So what do you get when you sit inside this heavily revised Aygo cabin? Well the driving position feels more generous and your eye is drawn to a large 9-inch high-definition touchscreen display. This latest multimedia system also offers cloud-based navigation to provide live route information via the always-connected services from Toyota. Over-the-air updates are automatically pushed to the system and the Toyota Smart Connect also offers wired and wireless smartphone connectivity via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The sound system was particularly weak on the outgoing model but the same cannot be said for the Aygo X. Thanks to a collaboration with JBL a premium audio system featuring a four-speaker set up coupled with a 300W amplifier and a large 200mm subwoofer located in the boot gives you meaty bass with a clear and wide sound range for your favourite tunes! This is made better by the usage of sound insulating materials to keep out road noise! In fact it’s 6% quieter than the outgoing car. Other creature comforts include ambient lighting and wireless charging along with the MyT smartphone app, which allows you to keep track of various vehicle analytics like fuel consumption, warnings and vehicle tracker.
Getting down to the business end now and Toyota Aygo X is powered by the multiple-award winning 1-litre, 3-cylinder 1KR-FE engine that has been improved to meet European regulations while offering strong levels of reliability and performance. Our initial test drive wasn’t all that long but with a targeted fuel consumption of just 4.7l/100km producing 107 g/km of CO2 it should be pretty frugal over a tank of juice. A new S-CVT transmission delivering a much better response than that of the old CVT transmission will make driving around any city a pleasure. Our test car was the manual option and again it pulls well through the rev range.
This is where one of the largest gains have been made with the new Aygo X. Borrowing technology from some of its bigger brothers Toyota have introduced the Safety Sense package as standard in all markets for the first time on a compact A-segment model. This gives owners a combination of monocular camera sensor and millimetre-wave radar, Pre-Collision System (PCS) with vehicle detection that now operates at higher speeds. Daytime Cyclist Detection, Pedestrian Detection, Collision Mitigation Support, Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Trace Assist and Emergency Steering Assist are all found on the little Aygo X now. The new body shape has had structural reinforcements for impact absorption making it and incredibly safe little package!
Irish buyers will have a choice of 5 different grades starting with the ‘Pulse’ at just €18,035. A small price walk up to €18,850 will get you a ‘Design’ model or if you fancy the S-CVT transmission expect to pay €20,510. Next on the list is the car we test-drove called ‘Envy’ which comes in at €20,540 and is suitably appointed. The final and most expensive version is ‘Limited’ sitting at €22,580. In our opinion the sweet spot for Irish punters will be the ‘Design’ model in manual or auto which will look fantastic with the right interior and colour combo!
After spending a day with the Aygo X in sunny Spain we can safely say that it’s a healthy departure from the outgoing model. Toyota in a way, were restricted with the old platform sharing it with Citroen and Peugeot meaning they really only had a different styling option. Now the bold bi-tone execution of the Toyota Aygo X, coupled with the funky interior creates a unique hatchback that demands attention. With greater cabin space it feels more practical and even the luggage space has grown by more than 60-litres to 231-litres compared to the previous generation. This is a car that should make people consider the A segment once again. Is it a mile munching motorway cruiser? No not really but if you live and work close to the city and are quiet frankly not ready for the leap or price jump to an EV, then this could be the runaround for you. We enjoyed our time with Aygo X and look forward to getting to know the car more when it arrives on Irish shoes in the coming weeks.