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Toyota aims to keep the city car alive by making it a crossover SUV thing. Your nan will like it.

Good stuff

Chunky looks, much safety tech, not too pricey

Bad stuff

It's more of a styling job than a city car rejuvenation


What is it?

This is the Toyota Aygo X, and it’s here to prove that city cars do still exist – they just look a little bit different these days.

Oh, and that X is actually pronounced “cross”, despite not being written out in full like on the back of the new Yaris Cross. So there's... a complete lack of logic for you. 

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Funnily enough, speaking of names, the original 2005 'Aygo' was a cheeky Apple-ish nod to 'i-Go' and the mid-Noughties trend for everything that was aimed at young people having an 'i' added to the front. The Aygo ended up outlasting the iPod...

Where have I seen it before?

Born from the lightbar-equipped Aygo X Prologue concept that we first saw back in March 2021, Toyota describes the Aygo X as a “new generation of accessible style and fun”. Of course. 

The finished product was fully unveiled in November 2021. Technically this is the first car to be fully designed and developed by Toyota’s European branch. Looks rather good, no? It’s identifiably Aygo with the glass rear hatch, pop-out rear windows and contrast roof, but it’s slightly smartened up with LED lighting and 17- or 18-inch wheels.

We think it has some of the original Ford Ka about it, in its chunky stance and unashamed celebration of plastic wheelarch-meets-bumper trims. you can also have a peel-back fabric roof, creating a sort of semi-cabrio crossover city car. It's a rival to the Vauxhall Adam Rocks Air, folks. Remember that? Thought not. 

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Does this mean the old Aygo is dead?

It does. In time the X will replace the Aygo hatch completely. That car and its siblings (the Citroen C1 and the Peugeot 108) were built in Kolin, Czech Republic, but Toyota has now assumed full control of that plant as Citroen and Peugeot pull out of the segment. 

The Aygo X is built on the same TNGA GA-B platform that also underpins the Yaris and Yaris Cross too, so Toyota will move some of its other hatch production in with the jacked-up Aygo.

Tell me more about the underpinnings…

Interestingly for 2022, the X is launching as a pure ICE city car. Toyota sells enough hybrids to allow for that under European legislation, and when pressed it reckons 66 per cent of new cars in this A-segment will still be combustion-engined in 2025. See, adding batteries and motors ups costs, and city cars are designed to be cheap and cheerful.

The powertrain is a low-cost solution, with a retuned version of the previous-gen Aygo’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder connected to either a five-speed manual or a small CVT gearbox. Despite the 11mm suspension hike it’s front-wheel drive only, though. No Fiat Panda 4x4 or Suzuki Ignis AllGrip rival here. Toyota wants the rise to help with potholed city streets and to improve visibility, rather than creating a go-to ski chalet runaround. 

Does this mean it’ll be more expensive than the old Aygo?

Prices for the X start at over £15,400, which is just under £2,000 more than a base-spec Aygo hatch would have set you back. You’ll get more kit spec-for-spec, though, and Toyota says that because of the current crossover craze residuals will be higher, meaning monthly payments can be similar to that of the outgoing Aygo. So, if you're under the age of 40 you might stand a chance of being able to buy one before a house. Imagine that. 

Our choice from the range

What's the verdict?

A city car for people who are bad at parking and don't slow down for speed bumps, it seems.

It’s a fun little thing, the Aygo X, particularly in Cardamom Green Limited Edition spec with the retractable fabric roof. It rides and steers impressively well too, although the little three-cylinder engine can feel a little gutless at anything above city speeds and the CVT 'auto' is truly, eye-wateringly awful. 

The presence of a manual gearbox can make it enjoyable to drive, but it’s a shame there won’t be a 4WD version to rival Fiat’s joyous Panda 4x4. That could have given the X a little more character – something that’s lacking slightly despite the newly-raised suspension and chunkier styling. Still, we're glad Toyota's fighting the good fight to keep the city car alive. 

The Rivals

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