Test Drive: Toyota Aygo X
Ian Lamming is relieved to drive the new Toyota Aygo X, a car for all ages
PARENTS fret about their children, that’s a fact.
It’s in our DNA, from the moment they are born and completely reliant on our care to way beyond them becoming adults when they have to look after us…or at least stick us in a home.
Every epoch throws up its own problems but the common denominator is simply helping them survive.
Late teenage years reveal the next concern namely motorised transport. At this stage, it must be said of boys in particular, they think they are invincible when they are not. If only the graph tracked at the same rate and their confidence grew in line with their ability.
But it doesn’t and soon after they learn to drive, enjoying the new-found freedom of travel independent of cadging lifts from parents, they start to push the boundaries, exploring the limits of the car often with disastrous consequences.
Parents are ever mindful of this – they were young once too you know – and when shopping for a new motor for the kids the list of demands tend to be polar opposites. The kids want fast, flash and flighty while the parents want safe, reliable and frugal.
Well, Toyota might have come up with the perfect compromise in the new Aygo X. It’s a pumped up version of the diminutive Aygo city car – again, another model loved by parents.
But X is bigger, bolder, cooler and, for parents, even safer. It’s taller, like a mini SUV which makes occupants think they are in a bigger car than they actually are. The view is better, which is great if you are nosey but also has hidden benefits of improved visibility so you can be more aware of what is lurking around every bend or over each crest in the road.
The ‘Exclusive’ model even comes with 18in alloy wheels – that’s the same size as my C-HR. On an Aygo? Preposterous, but great, nevertheless. Bi-tone wheels really set off the car and complement perfectly the two-tone paint job.
To me X looks like a little rally car but before parents go locking it safely away in the garage they need not worry as it doesn’t have the commensurate performance. In fact, coupled with the CVT automatic gearbox, it is a steady Eddie.
The 1.0 litre three cylinder petrol engine is normally aspirated, i.e. there is no turbo. It turns out 72HP which is more than enough for real road conditions. The throttle is more of a volume control than it is an accelerator. Press it to the floor and the Aygo X makes a lot of noise without corresponding increases in speed. The noise has the benefit of making you feel you are going quickly when actually you aren’t, so it should sate the appetites of young men without getting them into trouble.
For the girls, and the rest of us in fact, there is little point stamping on the pedal as it will reach the required legal speeds in about the same time accelerating steadily and without the engine histrionics.
This also means that young drivers are unlikely to get themselves into trouble with exuberant driving styles as the ride and handling are excellent and way ahead of the performance, particularly when you consider X has all the latest electronic gizmos under the skin to stop the vehicle skidding, straying out of its lane and crashing.
Young people should also love the interior which is ‘class’. The dash is dominated by a elliptical touchscreen with all the Bluetooth and App tech they require. It’s proper funky.
T’other end of the spectrum, more mature drivers will also love Aygo X. I can see mum and dad borrowing the kid’s car to nip to the shops, particularly as the boot is the perfect size for bags.
It is also more cossetting than its baby sibling and therefore comfortable. Age tends to see a drop-off in confidence particularly around spatial awareness and the X could not be easier to drive, manoeuvre and park thanks to great visibility, sharp steering, a forgiving CVT automatic box and rear-view camera with beepers all-round.
All in all the new Toyota Aygo X is a great addition to the range and definitely a car in which you never need fret.
Toyota Aygo X Exclusive
Engine: 1.0 three cylinder petrol
Top speed: 93mph
Transmission: CVT automatic
CO2 g/km: 113