Car Enthusiast - click here to access the home page


First drive: 2019 Toyota Aygo 1.0. Image by Toyota.

First drive: 2019 Toyota Aygo 1.0
Updated Aygo is more fun than you might think, but feels old inside.


<< earlier Toyota review     later Toyota review >>

Reviews homepage -> Toyota reviews

2019 Toyota Aygo 1.0

2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5

Toyota has given the Aygo a raft of updates, with new styling and a heavily revised 1.0-litre engine, but can it keep up with the Volkswagen Up?

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Toyota Aygo 1.0 VVTi X-clusiv
Pricing: starts at £9,695
Engine: 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol
Transmission: five-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Body style: five-door hatchback
CO2 emissions: 93g/km (VED band 91-100; £125 first year)
Combined economy: 68.9mpg
Top speed: 99mph
0-62mph: 13.8 seconds
Power: 72hp at 6,000rpm
Torque: 93Nm at 4,400rpm
Boot space: 168 litres (seats up)

What's this?

This is the new Toyota Aygo, which is actually the old Toyota Aygo with a new face. Which is actually the old-old Toyota Aygo, with a new face. The Aygo, in a mechanical sense, has been in production since 2005, and this is the third time it has been given a significant update. The most recent was in 2014, when it got an all-new body and that dramatic 'X-face' frontal styling, which saw a huge x-shape writ large across the front end, usually highlighted in a contrast colour.

Well, that's gone now. Except not gone, more re-imagined. Toyota says that it has taken the old two-dimensional x-shape and made it more three-dimensional. More of a structure, less of an appliqué. The new lights, with their distinct LED highlights, accentuate that x-shape, and it's replicated round the back too. There are also new LED flashes in the rear lights, but behind the bonnet much less of the Aygo has been changed, so you'll struggle to spot that it's new from anything other than dead-ahead.

It does look a little more (marketing speak klaxon) 'premium' at the front now, but sadly that doesn't extend to the interior. Toyota has updated the cabin, but the main instruments still look cheap and old (the digital display set into the speedo looks like an ancient digital watch). There is a new centre console that, optionally, comes with a new seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Designed by Pioneer, it's easy to use and pretty good for such a small car, but you have to pay a lot extra if you want such niceties as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, or satnav, which kind of flies in the face of the Aygo's cheap-and-cheerful personality.

If it's cheap you want, though, the rest of the cabin can oblige. Despite the update the Aygo looks and feels old inside. The front seats are good, though, with decent support and comfort, but the rear is cramped and there are just too many cheap materials to be found. The boot is close to being a joke - at 168 litres it's the guts of 100 litres smaller than anything on offer from the major competition.

At least you can jazz things up a bit with some funky colours. There's a limited-edition x-cite model that comes in a very bright 'Magenta Fizz' pink, but once your eyes have stopped watering, you might prefer one of the more manageable black-blue-silver mixes, which do make the Aygo look rather smart. You can also get a full-length sunroof (called the 'Funroof' - sigh...) and, knowing that buyers in this class are motivated primarily by looks, Toyota's going to introduce a new colour option for the Aygo every few months.

How does it drive?

You wouldn't think it to look at it, but the Aygo is surprisingly good fun to drive. Toyota's engineers have tweaked the steering (simply by adjusting the software) and changed a few of the damper and spring settings for the suspension, and the result is a car that feels eager. The steering is nicely weighted and surprisingly fast across its locks, while the suspension does a decent job of balancing the requirements of comfort around town, with the need to keep the Aygo steady and stable at higher speeds. It's sweeter to drive than, say, Hyundai's i10, but perhaps doesn't quite have the sophistication of the VW Up.

The Toyota's engine is rather good too. It's the 1.0-litre VVT-i three-cylinder petrol unit from the old Aygo, but Toyota's engineers have really broken out the spanners and given it a good seeing-to, to the point where you could almost consider it a new engine. The fuel injection system is new, as is the variable valve timing, the combustion chambers are re-shaped, there are new cooling paths and a smattering of diamond-like coating to keep friction as well-quelled as possible.

Not surprising then that it's a rev-happy, fizzy little engine, that trills a happy exhaust beat at you when you rev it hard. You will need to rev it hard, too, as although power is up to 72hp, acceleration is still best described as 'placid', with a 0-62mph time of 13.8 seconds. Still, stir the five-speed gearbox and keep your foot in and it feels zippy enough, certainly at urban speeds.

Keeping your foot down will harm the fuel consumption, though, Toyota says that you'll hit 69mpg, but the best we could do on a mixed route of motorway, town and country roads was 53mpg. Mind you, it was a hot day and we had the air conditioning blasting, so maybe with a bit less chilling and a bit more care and attention, we'd have done better.

Refinement is actually very good, as Toyota has added a lot of extra sound deadening material, so the Aygo is quite hushed by tiny car standards when cruising on the motorway, something it does rather well.

It is safe too, but only if you're prepared to spend money on it. You do get all-round airbags and stability control included as standard on all models, but such items as autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning and a reversing camera, are all on the extras list.


If anything, the Aygo has a bit of a split personality. It wants to be a stylish, quasi-premium small car with lots of tech options and a price tag to match, but at its heart it's a cheap-as-chips run-around, with titchy running costs and, at the base of the range, a low price tag. Toyota reckons that the Aygo is big on customisation and personal detailing, but quietly admits that buyers generally only go for such options when they're bundled together in a better-value pack. While the changes have made the Aygo (surprisingly) better to drive and, while you'd certainly appreciate the potential for excellent long-term reliability, there is a lack of sophistication here, and the cheap cabin, tinny doors and tiny boot all let it down. Keep to a basic model and it makes a certain amount of sense, but the more expensive versions just mean you should be buying a Yaris instead.

3 3 3 3 3 Exterior Design

1 1 1 1 1 Interior Ambience

2 2 2 2 2 Passenger Space

1 1 1 1 1 Luggage Space

3 3 3 3 3 Safety

3 3 3 3 3 Comfort

3 3 3 3 3 Driving Dynamics

3 3 3 3 3 Powertrain

Neil Briscoe - 12 Jun 2018    - Toyota road tests
- Toyota news
- Aygo images

2018 Toyota Aygo. Image by Toyota.2018 Toyota Aygo. Image by Toyota.2018 Toyota Aygo. Image by Toyota.2018 Toyota Aygo. Image by Toyota.2018 Toyota Aygo. Image by Toyota.

2018 Toyota Aygo. Image by Toyota.2018 Toyota Aygo. Image by Toyota.2018 Toyota Aygo. Image by Toyota.2018 Toyota Aygo. Image by Toyota.2018 Toyota Aygo. Image by Toyota.


Internal links:   | Home | Privacy | Contact us | Archives | Old motor show reports | Follow Car Enthusiast on Twitter | Copyright 1999-2024 ©