No doubt about it, the Toyota Aygo X, which I drove last week is a city car and would be ideal for a young person who is learning to drive or who has just passed their driving test. It might also be suitable for an older couple who are thinking about downsizing their home and their car.
Toyota has given their smallest car on the Irish market a makeover. I drove a green version with black roof and boot. It certainly had a sporty look to it with orange touches on the alloys, doors and rear, that will catch your eye.
Inside, that touch of orange is replicated around the infotainment screen, near the gear lever and on the stylish seats.
The nine-inch infotainment screen dominates the interior taking up most of the space on the dash. But the massive screen is easy to use and I had no difficulty using the air condition, radio and phone.
The car is bit longer and wider than the old Aygo and it also sits higher off the ground. At the front it looks a bit more modern and chunkier, with a high bonnet and large headlights.
The rear light design retains the iconic Aygo signature shape and no doubt the back of the car is very colourful. There are lots of options and you can customise the version you want when buying new.
Big wheels are also part of the new car. You get 17-inch or 18-inch fitted depending on the trim level you opt for and they fit the flared wheel arches beautifully, adding to the car’s charm.
Most Toyota cars are now Hybrid, but my test car was a 1.0-litre petrol. I have been driving a lot of expensive automatic cars of late and it was strange to be back in a manual version last week.
No doubt there was a fair bit of road noise. But the only real complaint was the access to and the space in the back seat. Most small cars can accommodate three people in the back seat. In the Aygo you could carry three children, but only two seatbelts are provided.
The rear doors don’t open very wide and when you do manage to squeeze into the back seat you will find just two seats and pop-out windows. You wouldn’t want to be suffering from arthritis to get into that back seat.
My daughter, whose first car was a Nissan Micra, reckoned the space was much better in the old Micra. The boot is a decent size for such a small car. With the rear seats down, the boot space increases to 829 litres.
Really, it’s everything you need from a city car. It’s so easy to park and it can turn on the proverbial six pence. The official turning circle is 4.7 metres. You also sit higher than in the previous Aygo so there is a better view of the road and other traffic.
It’s lively on the road, but a bit noisy on long journeys and there were times I thought I needed to change to a higher gear but only five forward gears available. That’s why you need the radio to drown out the noise. If you think the Aygo is too small for you then the hybrid Toyota Yaris might be a better alternative.
My top of the range test model had lots of safety items plus heated seats. It also had a good old-fashioned hand-brake. The official name is Aygo X, but Toyota call it the Aygo Cross.
The Aygo X Pulse edition is available from €19,370. The Design version starts at €20,565 and the top of the range Envy is available from €22,245. Road tax is €180.