Toyota Aygo X

1 Toyota Aygo X 2022 first drive review lead
City car returns from SUV boot camp ready for the ultimate series of speed bumps

The Aygo X might look new and yet strangely familiar, but what you’re seeing here isn’t simply a facelift of Toyota’s city car with a bolted-on SUV-style bodykit.No, this is an all-new car that combines a shortened Yaris supermini platform with a rugged-looking body and raised suspension to tackle the hustle and bustle of inner-city motoring. Oh, and the name is pronounced Aygo Cross, by the way, not Aygo Ex (or Aygo Kiss).Even with entirely electrified motoring on the horizon, there’s still a place for small affordable city cars right now – but have we really reached the point where even these have succumbed to the SUV trend?At least this third-generation Aygo has no pretence of providing any off-road ability. Toyota claims the 11mm-raised ride height over its predecessor is there to bring the Aygo X’s occupants closer in line with cyclists and pedestrians, making them easier to spot and less of a surprise when you encounter them. On roads where space and reaction times are at a premium, this could make a difference to your stress levels. Especially if you’re lost.There’s still life in the internal combustion engine, too, especially in this most affordable segment. The Aygo X uses a 71bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol without any form of assistance, whether it’s from forced induction or a mild-hybrid system. It’s plain and simple motoring that should be cheap to fuel and run.Sure, this might sound a little old-school to some, especially for those who would consider going electric, but electric city cars are significantly more expensive to buy. That a basic Fiat 500 Electric costs north of £20,000 makes the Aygo X’s entry-level price of £14,795 much more palatable.You may not get the snappy 0-30mph acceleration from the Aygo X, but there’s enough to keep up with everyone else. Performance above 30mph is leisurely at best, and with maximum torque arriving at a peaky 4400rpm, you do have to work the five-speed manual gearbox more frequently than you would with a turbocharged engine, but there’s an element of fun in doing so. The ability to keep your right foot pinned to the floor for an elongated amount of time is a real novelty these days.Alternatively, you could opt for the CVT automatic, and the proportion of buyers choosing one is expected to be higher than ever. Those looking to give their left leg a break in heavy traffic will be tempted by it, but it feels a little out of its depth once you leave the city streets. Start pressing on or encounter a steep incline and the revs rise and fall as it struggles to decide how much power you need.The noise from the thrummy engine never becomes raucous, but the drawn-out meandering tone isn’t a pleasant companion.At least it encourages you to drive gently, which would further save fuel. You could slot the lever into manual mode or pull the steering-wheel-mounted paddles, but the response isn’t particularly sharp either, so you need to plan ahead.If you strictly drive in the city, the CVT makes sense, but the manual works better everywhere else. In fact, the stop-start system with the manual is quieter and smoother when crawling through congested roads, while the clutch pedal is light and the shift action is pretty precise.The Aygo X is otherwise fun to drive, whether you’re in a city or not.The ride is a little on the firm side but surprisingly pliant. Considering Toyota’s smallest offering comes fitted with wheels the same size as on the GR Supra 2.0 Pro (18in), it doesn’t thump about too much.The suspension set-up also means it handles well, resisting body lean through bends and remaining pretty composed. The benefit of not having much power in the first place is that traction levels always remain high, and while the steering response isn’t the sharpest, there’s enough weighting here to help you place the car accurately enough on the road.Prices have risen slightly over the old Aygo, but the Aygo X also offers a higher level of specification, with a greater focus on driver-assistance technology and multimedia.With a touchscreen infotainment system that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, it’s certainly a far cry from the basic radio and 3.5mm auxiliary-input port that buyers got in the first-generation Aygo of 2005.Three trim levels are available, named Pure, Edge and Exclusive (although a Limited Edition model is also brief ly available at launch), even the cheapest of which comes with 17in alloys, electric front windows, automatic headlights and air-con.If you would rather trade the SUV looks for more rear passenger space, the Hyundai i10 is for you. It offers a turbocharged engine if you need a bit more pace, too. But as it stands, the Aygo X is refreshingly simple for thrifty everyday motoring.Autocar RSS Feed Read More