By Mike Torpey on 2022-10-22 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Toyota Aygo X
AFFORDABLE to buy and inexpensive to run, the Toyota Aygo has been a hotshot on the urban and suburban scene since its launch some 17 years ago.
Now the Japanese brand has introduced an extra emotional dimension to its most accessible model line-up with this summer's arrival of the Aygo X, giving the compact hatchback a more crossover body type.
The Aygo's youthful character is well and truly still present, but this capital X version - which Toyota says should be pronounced Cross - heralds a mini-SUV styling with its raised ride height, 17 or 18-inch wheels and consequently larger wheel arches.
And adding some extra fun to the party is a two-tone paint finish in four primary colours, all inspired by different spices.
So we have Cardamom Green aimed at giving an impression of elegance, Ginger Beige for a more sophisticated shade, Juniper Blue for an icy coolness and Chilli Red, which is fiery but deep with its sprinkling of blue metallic flakes in the red paint.
Combined as they are with the bi-tone black paint option, these colours - and particularly the Chilli Red of our model in Exclusive trim grade - give the Aygo X a unique and head-turning appeal.
That spice theme is extended to the compact Toyota's cabin too, where the dashboard and centre console match the particular exterior colour, while the X symbol is stitched into the seat upholstery on higher grade models.
The Aygo X being a city car, it would be optimistic to expect too much in the realm of interior space. That said, we had four adults aboard for a 220-mile trip to ‘the smoke', at the end of which there were no groans about aching hips or legs.
You also get a surprisingly accommodating boot capable of coping with 231 litres, which is half decent for a car in this area of the market.
The Aygo X is up for grabs in four trim levels - Pure, Edge, Exclusive and Limited Edition - all of which feature the same 1.0-litre three cylinder petrol engine with a choice of automatic or five-speed manual transmissions.
With only 72bhp on tap there isn't an awful lot of performance in there, though to be fair the Toyota's agility, light steering and poised dynamics make the car feel more spirited than it actually is.
It's frugal too, our fuel return over a wide range of driving conditions ranging from inner city to rural lanes and motorways averaging a fraction above 50 miles per gallon.
Right across the board, the Aygo X offers a high level of kit, focusing on comfort, multimedia connectivity and an enhanced Toyota Safety Sense package of active safety and driver assistance features.
So while the entry level Pure model (from £15,405) gets the likes of 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, air con, multimedia system with seven-inch touchscreen, power front windows and leather steering wheel trim, the tested Exclusive grade really ups the ante.
It brings in cloth and synthetic leather upholstery, a wireless phone charger, LED headlights, smart entry and start and intelligent clearance sonars with auto brake.
Buyers also get the new Toyota Smart Connect multimedia system with nine-inch high definition display, giving access to cloud-based navigation, road event info, connected services and over-the-air updates.
And there are also options for Exclusive like a canvas roof and a five-speaker JBL sound system with 300W amplifier.
Toyota Aygo X Exclusive
Mechanical:72bhp, 998cc 3-cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via CVT auto gearbox
Insurance Group:7 (1-50)
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