Toyota Aygo X hatchback review
“The Toyota Aygo X is still a city car, but now with mini-SUV styling. It’s just a shame its engine lacks any form of electrification”
- Smooth ride
- Well equipped
- No electrification
- Cramped rear seats
- Sluggish acceleration
Verdict - Is the Toyota Aygo X a good car?
The Toyota Aygo X is a comfortable and fun city car that feels much more contemporary inside, thanks to updated technology. However, the extra price it commands following its SUV makeover might price it out of the first-car market, and it’s a shame it misses out on Toyota’s excellent hybrid technology.
Toyota Aygo X models, specs and alternatives
The Toyota Aygo X (pronounced “Cross”) is the Japanese giant’s bet on the future of the city car; a small, nippy hatchback with the styling of an SUV and raised suspension. It looks ideally suited to Britain’s often less-than-ideal roads, which are strewn with potholes and speed bumps.
It’s still instantly recognisable as an Aygo, but now with even more expressive headlights, tough, fashionable body plastic cladding and large 17- or 18-inch alloy wheels pushed as far to each corner of the bodywork as they’ll go. But with the upgrades comes a price hike, and it remains to be seen if first car buyers and city car shoppers on a budget will stump up the extra cash. The Aygo X does have fewer rivals to pick from, however, now the Peugeot 108 and Citroen C1 have been discontinued, and even the Volkswagen up! looks unlikely to be replaced.
This is a bold, contemporary look, but Toyota has been rather more conservative in other areas. While there are brightly-coloured pieces of trim around the infotainment touchscreen and gearlever, you’ll also find an analogue instrument cluster and plenty of hard, durable plastics. In other words, it’s a reminder that the Aygo X starts from around £16,000 – a price point where manufacturers struggle to make a profit nowadays.
Its standard equipment list looks good, though, with features laser-focussed at its target audience that include a seven-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, air conditioning and even a reversing camera in the entry-level Pure trim. Edge adds a bigger eight-inch screen and 18-inch alloy wheels, along with bi-colour paintwork, while the top Exclusive gets LED headlights, a wireless smartphone charger and a larger nine-inch touchscreen. Most notably, the Aygo X Air Edition brings an opening canvas roof, that’s also an option for the Exclusive trim. Meanwhile, an Undercover limited edition is a collaboration with the fashion brand, ushering in a unique Under Grey paint colour and decals, Coral Red interior and exterior accents and unique seat upholstery for a distinctive appearance.
The Aygo X also gets an impressive array of safety features as standard, including pre-collision warning and emergency steering assist. However, the car narrowly missed out on top marks in Euro NCAP safety tests with a four-star overall rating.
Under the short bonnet of the Aygo X’ there’s an evolution of Toyota’s tried-and-tested 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine – with no hybrid or all-electric version on the horizon. It’s a traditional take on the city car formula, that keeps the cost of buying or leasing the Aygo X very low, and will prove cheap to run for private buyers. However, its tailpipe emissions of just above 100g/km won’t make it as appealing for business users as an EV like the electric Fiat 500, Honda e or MINI Electric. Official fuel-efficiency figures are between 56.5 and 58.9mpg.
On the road, the Aygo X has light steering and its slightly raised view out feels like an advantage on congested city streets. The raised suspension feels like a net gain too, because while it has slightly more lean in tight corners, it’s better at soaking up bumps. Its engine feels rather old-fashioned, though, with a fairly loud thrum under acceleration that’s characterful, but not especially relaxing with the five-speed manual and even more pronounced with the CVT automatic gearbox fitted.