Driven: 2020 Toyota Aygo
At times you have to cross Limpopo to drive new cars. So many reasons as to why but that is a story for another day.
Bigger vehicles make more sense for long distance journeys and for family vehicles, but if you’re planning on doing most of your driving within city limits, it’s almost impossible to beat a super-mini car like the Toyota Aygo.
City cars need to be light to drive, which means have light steering and clutch action, and also be light on fuel, without sacrificing nippy performance. Nobody wants a sluggard of a car, even if it does use next to no fuel! Thankfully the little Aygo, which weighs a fairly sparse 1240kg, manages to zip around beautifully and achieves incredible fuel consumption of just 4.3l/100km. These figures are brought about by a drivetrain featuring a 1-litre petrol engine that produces 53kW of power and 93Nm of torque, fed through a five-speed manual gearbox to the front wheels.
Just because a car is small doesn’t mean it should come without an extensive features list. The inside of the Aygo is adorned with things like a Touchscreen audio system with USB, Auxiliary and Bluetooth functionality, steering switch operation and on-board computer. The audio system also features smartphone connectivity via the USB port. The entire range has also been fitted with electric windows, power steering, remote central locking, electric mirrors, air-con and a 12-volt power outlet. An indicator that lets the driver know when to change gear helps with fuel efficiency.
Toyota has also done well to imbue the Aygo with the feeling of quality, not easy to do in a car that is this diminutive and well-priced – the bucket seats are comfortable and supportive, while every surface that you touch speaks of attention to detail. The leather steering wheel is a good example of this. Another improvement that is noticeable in this, the 2018 model Aygo, is that the Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) performance has been improved, which basically means that it is quieter in terms of noise from the road and wind, as well as more comfortable on the road.
In terms of safety, the Aygo punches well above its weight and price point, with ABS braking with Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Hill-Assist Control. The entire Aygo range features driver, front passenger and side airbags, while the X-Cite models also get curtain airbags. ISOFIX child-seat anchor points are standard across the range.
Good looks are as important in the super-mini category as in any other market segment, and this is the area where the 2018 Aygo has raised its game the most. A sharp front end, with angry little eyes and a gaping mouth, successfully dominates the vehicle’s styling. A black lower apron emphasises the depth of this new front, while the Toyota insignia has grown in size. New larger projector headlamps have been fitted, incorporating prominent LED Daytime Running Lights. Upswept back windows make for a sporty profile, while the two-tone roof of the X-Play models are the best looking cars in the range. The flagship X-Cite model is set apart from competitors by a black canvas ‘Funroof’ that opens at the touch of a button for open-air motoring.