ON THE FACE of it, Toyota has kept the changes to a minimum on its Aygo city car, and you can see why - it’s the biggest seller in its segment so far in 2018. The front end has been tweaked to bring out that striking ‘X’ design and updated light clusters fitted at each corner. Inside, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are now available, while on the outside there are a couple of new exterior paint colours on offer.
Dig a little deeper, however, and there’s a broad array of tweaks and modifications designed to make the Aygo more pleasant to drive. For example, having decided refinement needed to be improved, Toyota’s engineers have been busy with the soundproofing in an effort to cut the amount of road noise.
What’s more, outright torque has been sacrificed in favour of greater flexibility at lower revs, making it easier to pull away in first and second gear - all useful stuff in a car that’ll probably spend most of its time in town.
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Have the changes made a difference? In short, yes, but only just. The 7ibhp three-cylinder engine (now producing 5g/km less CO2) still feels coarser and less refined than the rival powertrains you’ll find in VW Group cars like the Seat Mii and VW Up. Also, the ride lags behind the best in class, often failing to find its feet over pockmarked roads, especially at higher speeds.
The Aygo’s tight dimensions and agile low-speed handling mean it’s not hard to dart between the worst of the potholes, although it can feel top-heavy above somph. These improvements are not enough, however, to quash the nagging feeling that this refresh of 2014’s secondgeneration Aygo has not moved far beyond 2005’s original.
Refinement aside, the Aygo is still a solid choice in the city car segment - even if this update has done little to close the gap to its class-leading rivals. JAMES DENNISON