Only one engine is offered: a three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol. And with just 71bhp available, performance can only best be described as lacklustre. Torque is available at 4600rpm, so you need to rev it hard and work the five-speed manual gearbox to make any meaningful progress. Once up and running, acceleration is by no means immediate; getting up to speed on a motorway slip road takes some time. And even around town, you need to keep the revs high to get away from traffic lights and junctions quickly.
Put simply, it's nowhere near as gutsy as a Volkswagen Up 1.0 TSI 90 or Kia Picanto 1.25 – both of which are better choices if you regularly venture out of town.
Retuned suspension has gone some way to improving the Aygo’s ride comfort over the prevous model, but only by a fairly small margin. It’s not quite as jittery over potholes as it once was, but it’s still not the last word in composure. Rivals such as the Hyundai i10 and Skoda Citigo are much more comfortable.
Things are a little better on the motorway. The Aygo doesn’t bob up and down over undulations or corrugations, but any cracks in the road, or serious imperfections taken at speed, can make the car feel quite choppy and unsteady.
The steering doesn’t provide a particularly informative picture of what the front wheels are up to, but it’s weighted nicely and responsive to inputs. City cars should be easy to manoeuvre at low speeds and, fortunately, the Aygo's steering is light enough to make U-turns and parking in tight spaces a real boon.
However, faster bends will expose the Aygo’s top-heavy nature, giving way to a noticeable amount of body lean. Still, at lower, urban speeds, it’s a usefully agile car that can nip in and out of traffic with little bother.
Work the engine hard – something you’ll need to do – and refinement really suffers. Engine noise rises, as does the amount of vibration you feel through the steering wheel and pedals. When you ease off the accelerator, there’s a fair bit of gearbox whine, too.
Despite the pedals being consistently weighted, the Aygo's gearshift is frustratingly imprecise; this isn't ideal because there's plenty of gearchanging required both in and out of town. The incredibly short travel of the clutch pedal and fairly sudden bite point might take some getting used to, as will the need to give the Aygo a considerable amount of revs to get going.
It's also hard to relax at a constant motorway cruise, because there's non-stop wind noise around the front windows and plenty of road noise. The engine can be particularly vocal at speed, too.
There’s no driver's seat height adjustment on entry-level cars, although the next trim up (X-Play) does have this useful feature.
The backrest can be easily adjusted using the rotary dial, while the seat bolsters provide reasonable lateral support and there’s even a decent amount of lower back support.
Everything on the dashboard is within easy reach. The rotary temperature and ventilation controls are simple to use on entry-level cars and so, too, are the electronic climate controls on higher-spec versions.
Small cars need to be easy to see out of, especially when you’re darting around busy towns and cities. Fortunately, the Aygo's tall windows and narrow pillars front and back provide good visibility in all angles.
A rear-view camera is standard from X-Play trim, while rear parking sensors are available as part of an optional pack on all but entry-level X cars.
Entry-level Aygos miss out on any sort of touchscreen technology, making do with a two-speaker audio system with AM/FM radio and USB/Aux connectivity.
Moving up to X-Play adds Toyota’s 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system, which includes Bluetooth, a DAB radio and a reversing camera. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available as an option on the limited-edition X-Press trim and standard on X-Cite and X-Clusiv models. X-plore is the only trim to get sat-nav as standard; it’s an option on all other models apart from entry-level X.
The screen's icons are crisp and bold, and working through the menus is extremely simple. Connecting your mobile phone via Bluetooth is particularly easy. We’d recommend opting for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, though, since they are even easier to use.
It's worth going for X-Play, the second trim level in the range, because this brings a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearknob over entry-level X trim's plastic versions. X-Play and above also add more appealing, gloss-finish dashboard plastics that can be personalised to your taste.
Top-of-the-range X-Clusiv trim adds part-leather seats, but the rest of the interior still features lots of scratchy plastics – especially on the dashboard and inside of the doors.
Whichever trim you go for, the Aygo feels solidly built and the ancillary controls, although not quite as weighty as those in a Volkswagen Up or Kia Picanto, feel meaty enough.
Two adults can sit comfortably in the front of the Aygo and only the burliest of drivers will find themselves rubbing shoulders with the person next to them. There’s certainly enough head, leg and shoulder room; in fact, there's about as much room as you'll find in a Volkswagen Up.
There are good-sized door pockets, plus a large cubby incorporating two cupholders ahead of the gearlever. Considering how small the Aygo is, the glovebox is large and will definitely hold more than the handbook.
As a general rule, the rear seats in city cars are not very comfortable for adults. The Aygo is no different. Getting to them isn’t the easiest job, either. Once there, tall people will feel hemmed in, with their knees brushing the front seats and their heads touching the ceiling.
There’s not much in the way of shoulder room and the door armrests are too short. There are door pockets for the rear passengers, although they’re smaller than those in the front. There are no pockets on the front seatbacks and you don’t even get traditional wind-down windows; you’ll have to make do with a glorified flap.
For those needing to carry four people, an Up, a Hyundai i10 or a Skoda Citigo is a much better choice.
The Aygo’s rear seats split 50/50 and fold down almost flat. The seatbacks aren’t especially heavy items, so are easy to fold down.
There’s no folding front seat on the options list, so it’s impossible to slide long items into the car. On three-door models, the front seats slide back to their original position when you’ve tilted and pushed them forward to let passengers into the back of the car.
Seat height adjustment isn't available for the front passenger seat, while the driver’s seat only features height adjustment from X-Play trim and above.
The Aygo's 168-litre boot is, frankly, tiny – even by city car standards. You'll fit loads more in an Up or a Kia Picanto. It’s made worse by the fact that there’s quite a drop from the entrance to the boot floor. It is, however, enough for a decent load of shopping or a couple of carry-on suitcases.
When folded down, the rear seats create a large step in the floor of the extended load bay. This makes sliding longer items into the boot an awkward process.
Around 90% of Aygos are bought on PCP finance and investigation into monthly payments for the equivalent Skoda Citigo reveals that the Citigo is cheaper based on the same deposit over a three-year period. However, the Aygo should cost you slightly less per month than a like-for-like Kia Picanto or Hyundai i10.
The Aygo’s running costs are more impressive. With CO2 emissions of 93g/km, you’ll be liable for £125 in road tax in the first year of ownership and the standard £140 in each consecutive year. Claimed fuel economy is a competitive 68.9mpg, but expect to see a more realistic 48mpg in real-world conditions.
Those choosing to run an Aygo through work will benefit, too, thanks to those low CO2 emissions. As far as depreciation is concerned, our experts forecast a five-door Aygo X-Play to retain just 40% of its value after 36 months of ownership and 36,000 miles.
Entry-level X models come with LED daytime running lights and electric front windows, but we'd spend a little more.
Our favourite X-Play trim adds a leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel and gearlever, air-con, a rev counter and electrically adjustable door mirrors. The 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system is standard, although you’ll have to upgrade to X-Press trim if you want to add Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as an option.
There are three more trims above that, X-Plore, X-Cite and X-Clusiv, which add increasingly more standard kit. However, the more you spend on the Aygo, the less financial sense it makes, so we'd stick with the cheaper trims.
The Aygo was the most reliable city car featured in our most recent reliability survey. Owners reported fewer faults than drivers of the Citigo, Hyundai i10 and Volkswagen Up, while Toyota was the third most reliable manufacturer (out of 32) in the study, behind only Mitsubishi and Lexus.
All Toyotas come with a five-year, 100,000-mile warranty, with no mileage limit for the first year. There's also a 12-year anti-corrosion and perforation warranty, as well as a three-year paintwork and surface rust warranty. That's significantly better cover than that provided on the Citigo, although the Kia Picanto has an even longer warranty.
The Aygo was awarded a disappointing three stars for safety by Euro NCAP in 2017. A safety pack (with automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning) is available on all but entry-level X trim that lifts the Euro NCAP rating to four stars. Top-spec X-Clusiv trim is the only variant that has this as standard.
All Aygos get a steering column lock and an immobiliser. However, security firm Thatcham Research has rated the Aygo poorly in its resistance to being broken into, awarding it two out of its maximum five stars. In tests to determine its resistance to being driven away, the Aygo did better, scoring four stars.
For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here