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Driving

What is it like to drive?

First thing to note is that the Aygo X is not a quick car. The naturally-aspirated three-cylinder kicks out a mighty 71bhp and 69lb ft of torque, and 0-62mph takes 14.9 seconds in the manual or 14.8 in the CVT, by which time you'll be tone deaf, as well as late. 

Does that really matter, though?

Not if you're exclusively using this as a town runaround. At low speed the X is nippy enough, but get it onto a motorway and the 1.0-litre does sound strained – even through the extra insulation compared to the old hatch. And the thing is, as much as carmakers like to pretend that city cars live in cities, they don't. Young people bomb up and down motorways to university or college in them. The elderly sometimes want to go cross-country too. And that's where a really grown-up and refined city car like the VW Up comes into its own, and the Aygo X does not. 

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Through twisty stuff it fares better, though. The Aygo X stays remarkably flat despite the taller suspension and higher centre of gravity, while the steering is nicely weighted. The turning circle is also a usefully tight 4.7m.

Which gearbox should I go for?

We’ve driven both, and our ears have now finished bleeding from trying the CVT. Cannily on the car's original launch Toyota confined it to urban Barcelona where the CVT's lacklustre response wouldn't be too prominent, but we've since tried it on all manner of UK roads and it's everything you hate about CVTs, people. Dreadful throttle response, migraine-inducing noise and unimpressive fuel economy. If you're medically able, buy the manual. If not, try a second-hand Renault Zoe, or a mobility scooter. 

The manual is a decent shift and offers more control when you only have 71bhp on tap, although the bite point on our test car was unusually high. Not great for learners if that’s the case across the board. Toyota reckons the manual/auto split will be around 60/40.

Is it comfortable?

For a tall-ish car with big wheels, the Aygo X seems to ride surprisingly well, though you can hear more of what the suspension is up to than in the benchmark VW Up. That said, the extra ride height and taller tyres mean that you don't feel the jolts from speed humps shuddering through the chassis as badly as in the old Aygo. So, if you're too lazy to slow down for speed bumps, here's your car. Delivery drivers will adore it. 

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It’s certainly not revolutionary, but then again no part of the X’s driving experience really is. It has been designed for right now. It might not have the future-proofing, the refinement or the instant torque of an EV, but it almost stands out as being a little bit fun to drive because of the lesser-spotted combustion-engine/manual gearbox combination and the circa one tonne kerb weight. 

Just avoid the CVT. Please.

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