An ur­ban war­rior

Nuneaton Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By Peter Keenan

THE funky Toy­ota Aygo x-press is the per­fect com­pan­ion to help you cope with the rigours of the ur­ban jun­gle. The lat­est ad­di­tion to the city car’s model range was launched at the be­gin­ning of the year with a price-tag of £12,055.

With its red roof top­ping a black body lifted by a red strip along the bot­tom of the doors and 15-inch gloss black 10-spoke al­loys, this city car is im­pos­si­ble to ig­nore.

The Aygo’s face is sim­i­larly strik­ing thanks to a red bumper in­sert and sil­ver front X which is also avail­able in black. The neat small grille fea­tures an im­pos­ing Toy­ota badge so you know who’s the daddy.

At the rear pri­vacy glass adds a touch of class to pro­ceed­ings while good­ies in­clude body-coloured door mir­rors, au­to­matic air con­di­tion­ing and dusk-sens­ing head­lights.

One small quib­ble though con­cerned the air con as get­ting a re­fresh­ing breeze blow­ing to­wards the car’s oc­cu­pants proved dif­fi­cult as the main vent is sit­u­ated on top of the dashboard, so send­ing air up to the roof rather than out to the cabin.

That said, the in­te­rior car­ries on the youth­ful feel of the ex­te­rior with a large colour touch­screen giv­ing easy ac­cess to the x-touch smart­phone­friendly in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem while gloss black in­serts on the dashboard and doors lift pro­ceed­ings.

A de­cent driv­ing po­si­tion is as­sured thanks to a fully ad­justable seat and steer­ing wheel and there is plenty of room up front.

How­ever, things are a lot tighter in the rear with two adults just about able to squeeze in, al­though it wouldn’t want to be for a long jour­ney.

There are three cup hold­ers dot­ted around the cabin and a cubby hole in front of the gear stick but again there is not much room to stow away your nik-naks al­though a cov­ered glove­box is wel­come.

The rear win­dow dou­bles as the bootlid re­veal­ing a rea­son­able amount of space for a city car.

The x-press shares the same power unit as its Aygo sib­lings so is pow­ered by Toy­ota’s 69bhp three-cylin­der 1.0-litre VVT-i petrol en­gine. My test car fea­tured the five-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion al­though the model is also avail­able with an x-shift au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

Low run­ning costs are a given as car­bon diox­ide emis­sions are be­low 100g/km while of­fi­cial fuel econ­omy is 68.9mpg.

A gear shift in­di­ca­tor helps you to drive at max­i­mum fuel ef­fi­ciency al­though the in­di­ca­tor on my car had a slight quirk in want­ing me to change to fourth from fifth when trav­el­ling around the 60mph mark.

It is not the quick­est al­though a 0-62mph time in ex­cess of 14 sec­onds doesn’t give the Aygo credit for a rea­son­ably rapid re­sponse to 30mph when the lights go green with the three-pot en­gine mak­ing a pleas­ing sports car-like rasp when pushed hard. And if it is a sunny day you prob­a­bly won’t see what speed you’re do­ing any­way as a re­flec­tion ob­scures the dial.

The x-press is good to drive thanks to sharp steer­ing which makes it ideal for duck­ing and div­ing around town. The ride is rea­son­able with only the larger humps and hol­lows mak­ing their pres­ence felt in the cabin.

Mo­tor­ing peace of mind is given by Toy­ota’s five-year, 100,000-mile war­ranty.

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