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In-depth reviews

Toyota Aygo X hatchback - Engines, drive & performance

The Aygo X's raised ride works well in the urban jungle, but its petrol engine can feel sluggish on the move

Carbuyer Rating

3.8 out of 5

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Engines, drive & performance Rating

3.0 out of 5

The Toyota’s quasi-SUV looks aren’t just for style, they also affect the driving experience. Nipping through city traffic, the raised driving position means you feel like the view out is slightly better than in rivals (the driver’s seat is 55mm is higher than before), and light, quick steering makes it easy to confidently drive through narrow gaps and make lane changes. 

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There’s a small amount of body lean to remind you of the taller ride height, but the Aygo X handles in a neat and reassuring fashion, so you can tackle a winding road without the car feeling out of its element. It’s clear the new underpinnings from the Toyota Yaris have made the Aygo X feel more mature to drive all-round than the outgoing car, which sometimes felt a little insecure at higher speeds. All in all, the Aygo’s low weight and plentiful grip remind you how much fun a small petrol car can be.

Toyota Aygo X petrol engine

Those hoping for a smaller, funkier version of the Toyota Yaris Cross SUV will be disappointed, because the Aygo X forgoes that car’s frugal hybrid powertrain. Instead, the Aygo is only available with a somewhat outdated-feeling 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine which lacks any kind of hybrid assistance.

This produces 71bhp and while that may seem pretty meagre, the Toyota feels well suited to nipping around busy city streets, helped by the fact the Aygo X weighs under a tonne. While it’s pretty refined in normal driving, the thrum of the engine can be obtrusive under hard acceleration; this is something you’ll hear often as getting up to speed takes a lot of effort. The sprint from rest to 62mph takes a leisurely 14.9 seconds – nearly six seconds slower than the electric Fiat 500. This isn’t helped by long gearing in the manual car – it’s possible to reach 60mph in second gear.

In the Toyota, buyers have the choice of two transmissions: a five-speed manual or a CVT automatic gearbox. The former is slick enough, with the lack of a sixth gear a clear indicator that this car is not really intended for motorway driving. The CVT ’box makes getting up to speed even more of a chore, and because it holds the engine rpm high for maximum acceleration the drone from the engine is even more pronounced.

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