Toyota Aygo Review (2014-2021)
The Toyota Aygo is a compact, cost-effective hatchback that’s stylish, solid and very affordable to own.
Published: 7 February 2023
If you want a small car that looks sharp and costs very little to run, the Toyota Aygo could be just the ticket. It’s good to drive and many models are well equipped for a city car. Insurance costs are very low, making the Aygo a great option for a young first-time car owner.
We’re looking at the second-generation version of the Aygo, which was sold new from 2014 to 2021. It was updated in 2018 with styling tweaks, some extra tech and different trim levels. You can choose from three- or five-door bodies, while the only petrol engine available comes with either a manual or an automatic gearbox.
- Very fuel-efficient
- Sharp styling
- Low ownership costs
- Tight back seat space
- Small boot
- Feels strained on motorways
Dashboard & tech
The Aygo looks as bold on the inside as it does on the outside. The interior’s full of curving shapes, as well as panels that match their (sometimes very bright) exterior paint colours.
The layout is simple enough and there are only a few buttons and controls to get used to, but these are grouped together in a rather small area in the centre of the dashboard.
Most models have a touchscreen infotainment system above the heating and ventilation controls that features DAB radio and Bluetooth. The system in top-of-the-range models sold new after 2018 supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Sat nav was available as an option on certain models, so some used Aygos will have it. The touchscreen doesn’t respond as quickly when you press it as in some similar systems, but the menus are easy enough to navigate around.
The front seats in the Aygo are generally comfortable, so a journey of several hours should be free of any additional aches or pains. They don’t give you a lot of support at the sides, however, which you’ll notice if you go around a corner quickly. Back-seat passengers don’t get quite such a good deal because the cushions for the rear seats feel quite thin, which can make them a bit uncomfortable for adults on longer journeys.
Many models have air con and all have electric front windows. The back windows pop out at the rear edge rather than wind down, which is a surprisingly effective means of ventilation.
The Aygo sits close to the ground and the door openings are quite small, which might make getting in a bit tricky for some people. It’s a similar situation getting into the back seats of five-door models, too. You need to be really flexible – or a child – to get into the back of a three-door Aygo.
The plastics used in the Aygo’s interior all feel tough and hard-wearing, and everything feels robust enough to stand up to years of use. You’ll find some plusher materials in top-spec models, but in general the Aygo’s interior does have a rather basic, functional feel. Some rival city cars – such as the Hyundai i10 – have a slightly more upmarket look inside.
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Practicality & boot space
The Aygo is surprisingly spacious in the front, where the head and legroom is pretty generous for a car this size, with enough for someone six feet tall to feel comfortable. The interior is narrow, though, which could be an issue if you or your passenger are particularly broad-shouldered.
There are just two seats in the back. The available space is fine for children but tight for adults – legroom in particular is quite limited. Each back seat has a set of Isofix mounts but fitting a particularly bulky child-safety seat can be difficult.
Your phone and wallet will fit in the door bins, there are two cupholders and a tray in front of the gear lever. A couple packets of biscuits will fit in the glovebox.
City cars aren’t known for their big boots, but that’s not to say the Aygo isn’t practical. Its 168-litre boot capacity will accommodate a few large reusable shopping bags, or a couple of carry-on size suitcases. There’s quite a big step down from the back bumper to the boot floor, but it’s not like you have to heave bags up a long way to drop them in. Be careful when putting irregular-shaped or taller things in the boot – the entire boot lid is made of glass.
If the Aygo’Page Settingss boot isn’t big enough, you can fold down the back seats to create more loading space. The entry-point model has a one-piece back seat whereas the higher-spec versions have a 50/50 split. Either way, folding down the whole lot frees up 812 litres of space, which could be useful if you need to do a big shopping trip or run to the tip.
The Aygo is an absolute doddle to drive around town. The steering’s light, you have a good view out, you can see exactly where the four corners of the car are, and it’s small. Add it all up and darting down side streets and slotting into parking spaces couldn’t be easier.
It doesn’t feel out of its depth out of town, either. Indeed, it can be quite fun. The steering is responsive, there’s little lean through corners and it generally gives a smooth ride. Things can get a bit bouncy on rough roads, but for such a small car the Aygo feels pretty solid on the motorway.
The Aygo only has a modest amount of power – around 70bhp – which is enough for nipping around town. Accelerating up to 60mph or more takes a bit of time, however, and the engine can feel strained on the motorway, especially if you've got a full load of passengers.
All of this applies to pretty much every other city car, although some – such as the Hyundai i10 and Kia Rio – are available with a choice of engines including higher-powered versions that are better suited to higher-speed driving.
Fuel economy & CO2 emissions
The Aygo is a very fuel-efficient car. According to official figures, it can give an average of 56mpg to 68mpg with a manual gearbox and 54mpg to 67mpg with an automatic gearbox. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are 95g/km to 113g/km with a manual and 97g/km to 118g/km with an automatic.
The lower mpg and higher CO2 figures apply to cars sold new after May 2018 because fuel economy was calculated using a new method designed to better reflect driving in the real world.
Either way, the Aygo won’t cost much to run, in fuel or in car tax charges. Insurance costs are very low, too, making the Aygo a good choice for a new driver.
Value for money
The Aygo carried a low price tag when it was new and it’s still very affordable as a used car. Top-of-the-range models are arguably better value because they had more features included as standard.
Reliability & Warranty
The Aygo is a robust little car that’s proven to be generally very reliable. It’s an uncomplicated car, so there’s not as much to go wrong, anyway! Toyota provides a three-year warranty on all its new cars – the same as most other car manufacturers – but this can be extended up to 10 years if you have the car serviced by a Toyota dealer. Without the extension, the most recent examples of this generation of Aygo, sold new in 2021, will be covered until 2024.
Safety organisation Euro NCAP assessed the Aygo twice, in 2014 and 2017. It was awarded a respectable four-star safety rating in the first assessment, scoring very good marks for a tiny city car for protecting adults and children in a crash. A stricter scoring system meant the Aygo was downgraded to a three-star rating in 2017, however models fitted with Toyota’s optional Safety Sense package retained the four-star rating. The package adds some extra advanced driver-safety features, specifically automatic emergency braking and lane-departure warning. Other Aygo models have six airbags, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control.
Trims & Engines
There are a lot of trim levels to choose from on this generation of Aygo – no less than 15 by our count. Many of those were special editions that were only available for a few months, maybe a year or two. In almost every case, the name of the trim level starts with an ‘X’.
For most of its time on sale, the entry-point trim level was Aygo X, with Aygo X-Clusiv at the top of the range. Standard features fitted to Aygo X models are limited but include AM/FM radio, USB and aux-in sockets, front electric windows and remote central locking. Aygo X-Clusiv has extra features including air con, Bluetooth, DAB radio, a reversing camera and, from 2018, an upgraded infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The differences between the complex web of trim levels in between the two ends of the range are relatively minor, often amounting to different packages of styling details.
There’s only one engine available in the Aygo – a 1.0-litre petrol unit. Though actually, two different engines were used over time, a new one being installed when the Aygo was updated in May 2018. Why? The new engine was designed to meet the latest Euro 6 emissions standards, which the old one didn’t do. Updated Aygos with the new engine also have a bit more power – 70bhp instead of the 68bhp in older models.
An automatic gearbox – called X-Shift – is available on this generation of Aygo, but the standard five-speed manual is much more popular. The manual feels light and responsive, slotting into each gear with next-to-no effort. The automatic changes gear a bit slowly, but it does make it easier to drive in town.
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