Small cars are usually synonymous with pure driving pleasure, as they are sharp, nimble, easy in the city, adventurous and more or less sporting on curvy roads. If they can stand their own on long motorway trips, you have a winner, that is, if the looks and image are Ok...
Well, such a car is the Aygo. We had fun with it, its young heart and personality seduced us, it truly made us go...
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The Aygo is actually part of a trio. Indeed, there are two sister cars, the Peugeot 108 and the Citroën C1. We haven't driven these cars yet, but expect them to be rather similar, as this subcompact is actually engineered by Toyota. Styling differs however, with the 108 aiming at slightly more upmarket audience than the C1. With the Aygo, these cars have only the windscreen and the doors in common. Suffice to say that all cars are built in one Czech factory.
Of course, the platform, mechanics and suspensions are strictly the same, right down to the damper settings, so it appears. PSA has added its own 1,2 litre 3 cyl. engine to the range, and this engine we would like to test for you also in the foreseeable future.
The Aygo has an uncanny freshness, and this is not suprising as one knows that the lines of this Aygo are inspired by a Japanese cartoon... Indeed, Japanese engineer David Terai was a true fan of Astro Boy, or known in Japan by its original name "Mighty Atom". Well, a mighty atom this Aygo has become, with its bold X profile up front. The whole car is longer and lower, has more bold lines, and yes, even a double bubble roof profile. Take that!
The interior styling and cabin style also breathes this bold youth, and indeed makes you feel great stepping into the Aygo. Of course, modern infotainment is also very present in this Aygo, and yes yes, you are connected... A multimedia touchscreen gets you on the way, and we liked also very much the rearview camera...
Panels, colours of the body and interior can be adapted to your taste, just look at the dedicated Aygo website to configure the "mighty 4-wheeled atom" of your dreams. Besides the grille, you can change the centre console and instrument panel for instance, together with gear knob and stick.
Driving it really lets you go...
The 1 litre 3 cylinder Toyota unit is very willing, and has a very nice exhaust note. We loved to take it through its paces, and rev it up a bit, although that is not what one should do for good economy.
The maximum torque of 95 Nm however comes at a 4300 rpm, so to really discover what this unit can do, it needs revs. Maximum power of 51 kW or 69 hp also comes in at 6000 rpm. But then the gearing of the box is on the high side, and this compensates, so enthusiastic stints do not cost you a fortune at the pump. Actually it was no effort at all to stay around 4,4 to 4,6 litres/100 km, with a lot of driving pleasure in the bag. By the way, CO2 emissions are only 88 g/km, and that lets you drive "green"...
The Aygo can therefore be driven with spirit, and will accelerate from 0 to 100 in a good 14,2 seconds, and clock a top speed of around 160 kph. Engine roar and tyre/wind noise stay at very reasonable levels at higher cruising speeds, and as a result the car will cruise all day at 120/130 km/h effortlessly. The sound insulation has been improved markedly compared to the previous Aygo. The 5 speed box is pleasant to use, with good precision and quick, short throws.
The Aygo is very willing also on curvy stretches, and will hold very well its own, remaining rock stable in fast bends. Front suspension is the same as the former Aygo, but springs and dampers have been retuned, and the result is a more comfortable and a bit sharper ride. It does not corner flat as a sports car, but the handling is crisp and precise enough to enjoy driving the Aygo with verve.
The Aygo has rather limited legroom in the back, but then in this market segment it is the maximum luggage or load volume with the seat folded back which really counts. It is close to 200 litres, and that is enough space for some very serious supermarket shopping.
When you like a compact, urban cruiser with plenty of sporting zest and donned with great styling which give it a unique, modern personality and character, then this Aygo is the car for you. Toyota built-in engineering quality will make it last, and retain its value very well. Running costs are very little, with good consumption and CO2 values. So their are enough rational reasans to convince you. For the rest, you can unleash your emotions, have a go with this Aygo!
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