The Toyota Aygo city car is small, bold, and economical. A sister car to the Citroën C1 and Peugeot 108, GreenFleet finds out if it is daringly different to the French pair.
So-called ‘city’ cars have seen their star rise in recent years thanks to the quest for low emissions and running costs. The Citroën C1, Peugeot 107 and Toyota Aygo were launched in 2005 as part of the ‘B-Zero’ joint-venture project which saw the three cars developed on the same platform with many shared components. The triumvirate was so successful that the project was continued, and the second-generation models were unveiled at the 2014 Geneva motor show. The Citroën C1 was the GreenFleet City Car of the Year in 2014, but how does the baby Toyota differ?
One engine choice
The Japanese manufacturer offers just one engine choice in the UK as opposed to two in the Aygo’s French rivals. The petrol-powered 1.0-litre ‘Toyota Optimal Drive’ VVT-i engine develops 69bhp with maximum torque of 95Nm (70lb ft) arriving at 4,300rpm. The three‑cylinder unit is one of the lightest in its class, and runs on two cycles depending on the style of driving detected. Clever stuff.
Unlike its PSA Peugeot Citroën extended family members, though, there is no stop‑start function. Toyota claims that it doesn’t add the cost of such a system unless it changes the tax category. As it is, the 95g/km Aygo is in the current cheapest UK tax band (A), and the C1 with stop-start capability only drops 7g/km. Official fuel economy of the Aygo is quoted as 68.9: over our varied 360‑mile test distance we achieved 59.4.
To drive, the Aygo is unsurprisingly similar to its French sisters. It feels fun and nimble in the way that small cars do. While noise from the 998cc engine can be raucous under acceleration, it’s never unpleasant and is subdued at cruising speeds. Performance is surprising: a 0-62mph time of 14.2 seconds might not sound that fast but the Aygo feels acceptably brisk and pulls well.
Three special editions
The Aygo x-cite is one of seven trim levels and one of three special editions with unique features. Only available with Cyan Splash paintwork and gloss black 15-inch alloy wheels, the Aygo x-cite is a bold looker. Inside, the gloss black dashboard insert and Cyan Splash air vent surrounds lift the cabin and the same digital rev counter ‘strip’ as the French cars makes driving that little bit more fun. A gearshift indicator notifies the driver of the best time to change for optimum economy, while standard equipment includes air conditioning, electric front windows, remote central locking, and a rear‑view camera. Toyota’s £395 ‘x-nav’ satellite navigation system is easy to use and the seven-inch ‘x-touch’ touchscreen infotainment system is also simplicity itself, with a smartphone MirrorLink function, DAB radio, as well as USB, AUX and Bluetooth connectivity. Safety is high, too, with front, side and curtain airbags, and a vehicle stability system.
With a five‑year/100,000‑mile warranty, the Aygo beats the C1 and 108 on potential running costs, while 10,000‑mile service intervals are shared between all three. Tax and BIK rates are the same for all of the trio, too, so it really is down to personal choice. Toyota’s city car star has daring looks and good economy. It’s just as much fun as its French relatives, too, and that’s one sibling characterisitc we’re glad doesn’t differ.