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Toyota Aygo (2012 - 2014)

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Introductionword count: 64

It seems to have been around forever, but Toyota's Aygo is still one of the smartest used citycar buys. We're concentrating here on the last of the first generation models, built between 2012 and 2014. If you're in the market for a small and inexpensive runabout but don't want something unsafe, unreliable or unattractive, the Aygo makes a seriously strong case for your custom.

Modelsword count: 8

(3/5dr hatchback 1.0 petrol [Aygo, Aygo+, Fire, Ice])

Historyword count: 190

If you had to bet who Toyota would partner up with to bring a citycar to market, Peugeot and Citroen might not have been at the top of your list. Still, the tie-up has worked a treat, with the Toyota Aygo racking up some huge global sales; certainly more in total terms than the Citroen C1 and the Peugeot 107. The partnership was such a success that in 2014, the three companies renewed the deal with a trio of brand new city cars. By that time, the Aygo had been on sale since 2005. If the usual city car life span had been observed, it would have been replaced sometime around 2011, when the Volkswagen Group launched a new offensive in this market with the VW up!, the Skoda Citigo and the SEAT Mii. Toyota was forced to respond to this triple threat which looked set to sink the Aygo without trace and in 2012, the Aygo was subtly restyled and efficiency was also improved. Toyota followed this up with Fire and Ice editions that helped slow the Aygo's declining sales before being replaced by an all-new car in 2014.

What You Getword count: 630

This car may have been around since 2005, but it still looks reasonably fresh. As ever, the wheel-at-each corner proportions look just right and the facelifted front end isn't trying too hard either. Compared to the original first generation Aygo design, this later MK1 model gets a wider front bumper, with integrated foglights at each corner and a big trapezoidal air intake. Optional LED daytime running lights set into the lower edge of the grille add further emphasis to the look. The upper front grille in this lightly improved model was also rendered more slender, while early MK1 Aygo owners might also spot a revised bonnet, dark-tinted rear privacy glass for both three and five-door versions and smarter 14-inch wheel trims. It all looks less cutesy than original versions of this design and a little more grown-up. There's little change at the rear though, where (as before) an opening glass panel replaces a conventional tailgate. With this facelifted model, Toyota had listened to feedback from existing Aygo owners and as a consequence, changed the opening angle of the rear parcel shelf to offer better access to the load space. Not much could be done about the basic design of the rear end though, with its use of an opening glass panel rather than a conventional hatch. The disadvantage of that is that because the panel doesn't cut into the bumper, there's quite a high lip over which you've to lift in your shopping (the VW up! suffers from the same thing for the same reason). Still, once you have your packages in place, there's 139-litres of space. That's a bit less than some rivals offer, but given that in cars like this one, the rear bench is rarely used and so can be pushed down (in this case to reveal up to 751-litres of space), that shouldn't be an issue for most owners. If you need more than that for your weekly shop, it might well be time to change your lifestyle rather than your car. For those with a pathological inability to pack light, Toyota offered original buyers of this model an aluminium roof rack tailor-made for it. With a quick attachment facility and aerodynamic bars, it offers a little extra versatility that you might not expect to get in a citycar. Of more importance perhaps, is this Toyota's people-carrying potential. We're used to space-efficient citycar designs these days, but back in 2005 when this model was first launched, it really was astonishing just how much space the designers had managed to cram into a vehicle that remained only 3.43m long and 1.63m wide, thanks to the wheel-at-each-corner design. Even though the length of this facelifted version increased by 15mm thanks to its various exterior tweaks, it still remained shorter than a MINI. Despite that, two adults can sit reasonably comfortably on the back seat as long as they're not too long-legged. Up front, Toyota took the opportunity to improve the look and feel of the fixtures and fittings in this facelifted MK1 Aygo, adding a smarter dark grey finish for the upper and lower dashboard sections, plus a redesigned steering wheel finished with leather trim. This featured paddle controls on the steering column for models using the Multimode automated manual transmission. The wheel itself still wouldn't adjust for reach though - only for rake. The cabin's practical - there are cup holders and massive storage bins - and the fascia design of this Toyota continued to be smart and refreshingly non-boring thanks to ring surrounds of the speedometer and air vents finished in grey, orange or black. The nice touches continued too, like the intriguing back-lit translucent panel for the heating and ventilation, plus front door speaker surrounds that original buyers could specify in either silver or orange.

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Category: Small Runabouts

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