By Amanda Mfuphi
I recall being confused on which car to buy a few years ago when buying my first car. To be honest the choices were not as many as there are now and I eventually decided on a second hand 2005 Ford Fiesta 1.4. This was based on price, looks, ride quality, decent engine power and relatively good fuel consumption. Looking at the number of choices in the ‘entry level’ vehicle segment, I can only imagine the confusion first-time buyers go through with the many choices they have. That might not necessarily be a bad thing though. The vehicles on offer are decent and one such decent offering is the refreshed Toyota Aygo X-Cite which we had on test recently. The Aygo is pitched at primarily first-time buyers and those who require a budget car. In its second generation, the Aygo seems to be a worthy option in terms of safety, technology and looks.
On the exterior front, the range-topping Aygo X-Cite presents itself as a petite, cute and funky vehicle. Our Aygo X-Cite came in white with black trimmings above the front fenders and exciting orange retractable roof, which added to its cute and funky character. The retractable sunroof gave our Aygo X-Cite a convertible feel and quite a nice bargain and touch for a vehicle that retails for just over R200,000. The refreshed Aygo also gets new redesigned larger headlamps with LED daytime running lights and new tail lamps as well as fog lamps which come standard. Our flagship Aygo X-Cite model came with 15-inch alloy wheels and the lesser versions of the Aygo come standard with 14-inch alloy wheels. The Aygo has the following 6 exterior colours in its line-up: White, Silver, Ash Grey, Cherry Red, Caribbean Blue or Black.
The Aygo has a compact cabin but it is packed with technology and safety features. The Aygo has a touchscreen infotainment system with USB and auxiliary audio inputs and Bluetooth connectivity, a trip computer, front electric windows, remote central locking, climate control and a 12V power socket. The speakers of the Aygo are unfortunately not the most powerful but they are decent for a car of its budget.
Safety is taken care of in the Aygo as it comes with 4 airbags, ABS, vehicle stability control, hill-assist control and ISOfix child-seat mounts. The safety concern we had was the lack of automatic door locking at take-off, which gives the driver that added layer of safety at intersections in case one forgets to lock their doors when driving. As indicated, the inside cabin is on the tight side and you will struggle to fit in 3 adults at the back without complaints. We also found the rear legroom and headroom to be tight. If you are more than 1.7m tall, you will struggle sit at the back without crouching. The front seats of our Aygo were relatively comfortable but they could have had better cushioning.
The Aygo is powered by a 1.0 litre naturally aspirated 3-cyclinder petrol engine, which pushes out 53kW of power and 93Nm of torque. This naturally aspirated engine is not the quickest engine you’ll find in the segment but we found it to be decently capable of taking on inclines with the occasional gear down. We also found the engine to be relatively refined, with no noticeable drone sounds and drag on acceleration. We did mostly city driving in the Aygo on the commute to work and when we eventually managed to get the Aygo on the highway, we found it to be a stable drive and a vehicle with good handling. We unfortunately did not get to the claimed 4.3L/100km fuel consumption but managed a decent 5.2L/100km. Curiously, this is closer to competitors who offer bigger engines.
All things considered, we found the Aygo to be a compelling a budget car because of engine performance, looks, fuel consumption, safety and technology. The Aygo will impress a young first-time buyer who is looking for a good city runner. The Aygo will not be sufficient for a buyer who needs all four seats but will be more than adequate for a young couple looking to explore the urban centres of Mzansi thanks to the seats that can be folded down to accommodate additional luggage.
All Aygo models come standard with a 3-year/100,000 km warranty. A range of service plans are available for purchase from Toyota dealer and pricing for the Aygo range is as follows:
- Aygo R174,900
- Aygo X-Play Black R177,200
- Aygo X-Clusiv R177,800
- Aygo X-Cite (Black or Orange Roof) R201,900
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