NEW AYGO AN X-CIT­ING PROPO­SI­TION

Toy­ota has made this new model stand out from the crowd with its fuel ef­fi­ciency and fun drive

Belfast Telegraph - NI Carfinder - - Front Page - FIRST DRIVE ANDY EN­RIGHT

TOY­OTA goes to ex­tra­or­di­nary lengths to give its cus­tomers what they want. So when this Ja­panese brand says it knows what younger bud­get buy­ers want, it’s worth tak­ing no­tice. And what they’re cur­rently look­ing for, it seems, is some­thing like this, the Aygo x-cite.

The idea here is to make an al­ready quite vis­ually ar­rest­ing car stand out fur­ther.

So x-cite buy­ers get a smart me­tal­lic blue paint job, spe­cial wheels and var­i­ous other match­ing el­e­ments.

As a re­sult, buy­ers can be pretty sure that no one else down their street is go­ing to have an Aygo that’s quite the same. There’s noth­ing dif­fer­ent be­neath the bon­net. Like all Ay­gos, this one gets a fru­gal revvy lit­tle 1.0-litre petrol en­gine.

Driv­ing Ex­pe­ri­ence

The 998cc three-cylin­der petrol en­gine is much the same as the unit used by the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion Aygo, though Toy­ota as­sures us that it’s not just a carry-over from the old car.

The unit has been re-en­gi­neered to run with a higher 11.5:1 com­pres­sion ra­tio and has an im­proved com­bus­tion cham­ber de­sign for bet­ter ef­fi­ciency.

Power is mod­est — 68bhp — as is pulling power, rated at 95Nm. Still, nearly all of that is avail­able from as low as 2,000rpm, so you won’t need to rev the car to death in or­der to get it mov­ing.

There are no pok­ier petrol en­gines and no diesel op­tion. You can get a self-shift­ing ‘x-shift’ gear­box as an op­tion, it’s what the engi­neers call an ‘au­to­mated man­ual’ gear­box that can be used in fully au­to­matic mode, or with man­ual gear se­lec­tion us­ing pad­dle shifts or the shift lever it­self.

De­sign and Build

The de­sign of the Aygo is quite strik­ing, some­thing that x-cite trim em­pha­sises. There’s bright blue Cyan Splash me­tal­lic body­work with gloss black cus­tom in­serts for the door mir­ror cas­ings, the front ‘X’ grille, the front pil­lar ex­ten­sions and the rear bumper in­serts. You also get 15-inch twin-spoke al­loy wheels. The re­sult is a real head-turner.

The same colour scheme con­tin­ues on the in­side with the Cyan Blue theme on the air vent sur­rounds and car­pet mat edg­ing. The seats are fin­ished in dark grey with con­trast­ing blue and light grey bol­sters and the cen­tre con­sole and gear shift sur­round are done in gleam­ing gloss black.

The dash and switchgear are of a high qual­ity and the ma­te­ri­als used are much bet­ter than what was of­fered on the first gen­er­a­tion model. There’s plenty of room up front and the seat can be low­ered. Prac­ti­cal­ity is good too: this Toy­ota has a use­able boot space of 168-litres that’s 29 litres larger than the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion could of­fer.

Mar­ket and Model

Prices for this Aygo x-cite model start at around £11,300, which rep­re­sents a pre­mium of just over £2,500 over the least ex­pen­sive Aygo vari­ant in the stan­dard range. In other words, you’re re­ally go­ing to need to want the ex­tra kit that comes as part of this pack­age.

There’s a £400 pre­mium if you want the added ver­sa­til­ity of five doors and if you do go for the five-door bodystyle, then for an ex­tra £700, there’s the op­tion of the ‘x-shift’ auto gear­box.

Cus­tomers can mix things up by opt­ing for a bi-tone body­work pack­age, which adds a me­tal­lic black paint for the roof and front and rear pil­lars, plus rear pri­vacy glass. The pack­age costs £395.

Stan­dard kit on the Aygo in­cludes Toy­ota’s ‘x-touch’ mul­ti­me­dia sys­tem, in­clud­ing Blue­tooth and DAB, plus a re­vers­ing cam­era.

There’s also air con­di­tion­ing, power-ad­justable heated door mir­rors, split-fold­ing rear seats, a leather steer­ing wheel, leather gear knob trim, front fog lights and LED day­time run­ning lights.

Toy­ota has also added high lev­els of safety kit, which in­clude six airbags ABS with emer­gency brake dis­tribu- tion, ve­hi­cle sta­bil­ity con­trol and a tyre pres­sure warn­ing sys­tem.

Cost of Own­er­ship

The Aygo x-cite de­liv­ers a claimed com­bined cy­cle fuel econ­omy fig­ure of 68.9mpg and CO2 emis­sions from 95g/km.

That CO2 fig­ure will put buy­ers be­low the 100g/km thresh­old for an­nual VED. Should you choose the x-shift gear­box, the Aygo’s num­bers are barely dented, with 67.3mpg com­bined cy­cle fuel con­sump­tion and 97g/ km CO2 emis­sions. Run­ning costs are fur­ther en­hanced by Toy­ota’s war­ranty pack­age of five years or 100,000 miles, which­ever oc­curs soon­est.

Sum­mary

In a sec­tor of­ten packed with rather bland cars, the Aygo is cer­tainly one of the most strik­ing, es­pe­cially in this x-cite guise. Yes, you’ve to pay for the lit­tle ex­tras that set it apart but many style-con­scious ur­ban buy­ers will think the pre­mium worth pay­ing for a lit­tle ex­tra ex­clu­siv­ity and trendi­ness.

Oth­er­wise, this model’s virtues re­main as be­fore. It’s not quite as prac­ti­cal as some ri­vals but it is im­pres­sively eco­nom­i­cal to run and fun to drive. If you’re shop­ping in this sec­tor, you’d prob­a­bly like one.

See in­side for all the latest of­fers

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