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Driving review: Toyota Aygo

Compact, fun and trendy!

“Compact, fun and trendy.” These are the words used by Clynton Yon, Senior Manager Corporate and Product PR for Toyota South Africa, to describe the new Toyota Aygo. I never take note of the usual PR speak, but after having driven the Aygo at the local launch in Durban this week, I could not find better words to describe it myself.

The affordable entry level Toyota Aygo was first launched in April 2011 and since then we have seen the A-segment grow from 14 competitors to 18 with the likes of the Hyundai Grand i10, the Datsun Go, the Kia Picanto and Women on Wheel’s Budget Buy Car of the Year, the Volkswagen up! So in just a few short years, the competition has become even stiffer than before. But the new Aygo New Toyota Aygo Lrg-21will most certainly take its rivals head on.

 

I love these small cars. I have let it be known that I am a huge fan of the Volkswagen up! so I was excited to get behind the wheel of the new Aygo.

First off, it is one good-looking car. It is funky, it is modern and it stands out on the road. We certainly turned heads driving along the Durban beachfront. The front is instantly noticeable with the prominent “X”-motif in the front grille, which extends upwards to the A-pillar and side mirrors to create a unique identity.

New Toyota Aygo Lrg-33

What the Aygo has over the up! is five doors! The space in the back is not ample, but if I sit behind myself I had plenty of legroom. If I sat behind my driving partner however, who stands at 1,86 m tall, I would have to sit with my legs curled up under me. But, I would still take a five door over a four door any day.

This car is tiny, it is supposed to be, so it is expected that the boot would be teeny as well. It has been increased by 29-litres making it 168-litres, which is really not very big. We weren’t able to fit our bags and gifts in the boot so resorted to placing our Magic NutriBullets on the back seat. But the upside of a small boot is that your groceries don’t roll around, they have no where to roll to. The overall length of the new Aygo, however, has been increased by 25mm.

A unique feature of the new Aygo is it being available with a two-tone exterior colour design. Two bi-tone models are available, the X-play Black and X-play Silver. The Black adopts a black roof which can be paired with Cherry red or Ice White body. Where as the Silver can be paired with an Ash Grey body colour. A mono-tone model is also available.

The interior is clean, fresh and minimalistic. A centrally mounted multi-information display with a 7-inch colour touch screen is easy to navigate through and gives this entry-level car a far more premium feel.

New Toyota Aygo Lrg-207

The new Aygo is powered by a 51 kW 1,0-litre three-cylinder engine that produces 95 N.m of torque. It is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, which is smooth shifting and with the small engine, you will find your drive very…well…engaging. If you are zooting around the city centre you will love the nippy, short gear changes, but if you head on to the highway you will need to work a lot harder and you will need to be well prepared for over taking! Save yourself the stress and stick to the city streets in this car. The clutch is very light and so you may find yourself struggling a bit, either revving too high or stalling before you eventually get used to it.

The standard list of specification is impressive and includes the likes of the touch screen display audio system, Bluetooth functionality, remote central locking, front electric windows, air conditioning and electrically adjustable side mirrors. There is also a 12-volt power socket and USB input. The X-models add leather treatment for the shift lever and steering wheels. A full safety suite comprising of front and front side airbags, ABS and Brake Assist (BA) is fitted to all models. ISOFIX attachment points add to the already comprehensive list.

A 3-year 100 000 km Warranty is standard with a service plan being optional.

Pricing

Aygo 1.0 – R 138 900
Aygo X-play Black 1.0 – R139 900
Aygo X-play Silver 1.0 – R 139 900

If you spend most of your time around the city, this car is one to consider. And for just R1 000 more you would be silly not to opt for one of the funky X-play models!

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