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Toyota Aygo X Undercover

Toyota Aygo X Undercover

The Aygo has morphed into the Aygo X, a “beefed-up pseudo-SUV” that rides 11mm higher than the old model and sports some plastic cladding to the sills, wheel arches and bumpers to create a more rugged appearance but, make no mistake, this is a car for urban, not off-road, environment.

My particular model was a limited edition UNDERCOVER Jun Takahashi. Either side of the roof, above the doors, were Takashi’s catchwords – CHAOS & BALANCE – while flashes of contrasting red on the sills, bumpers and black alloys add a little more pizzaz.

Under the bonnet is a 71bhp, one-litre, three-cylinder engine. It makes do without turbocharging or hybrid assistance so don’t expect lightning quick, or just quick, responses to throttle inputs. The sprint, which might be over-egging the experience a little, from standstill to 62mph takes a fraction under 15 seconds and you’ll have to work that little engine hard to extract even that performance.

Toyota Aygo X Undercover
Toyota Aygo X Undercover

On higher speed roads you’ll find yourself swapping through the gears regularly. As soon as you start climbing a hill you’ll have drop down a couple of ratios to maintain your speed and if you can’t see the horizon it’s probably best to shelve any ambitions you might have about overtaking.

The Aygo X is available with either a manual (driven here) or CVT automatic gearbox which I’ve yet to try. Thankfully, given how often you’ll need it, the manual swaps cogs easily and with a nice precise action.

It’s no surprise, then, given what’s under the bonnet, that the Aygo X isn’t fast. Does it matter? It shouldn’t, because being fast isn’t what this car is all about.

Stick it back in its natural environment – towns and cities – and its tight turning circle is a boon. Negotiating congested roads and car parks is a doddle and, though the thick rear pillars and small back windscreen do hamper your view out the back, you do get a rear-view camera and standard and parking sensors – front and rear – are available as part of the Park Pack or as standard on the top-of-the range Exclusive trim.

The view out the front, in contrast, is very good, with slim pillars and big door mirrors.

Toyota Aygo X Undercover
Toyota Aygo X Undercover

The ride is quite firm but still forgiving, even on the 18in rims fitted to my review car. Opt for 17in wheels and the ride is likely to improve further. On more challenging, undulating, roads the Aygo X remains composed, refusing to be unsettled by sudden changes in attitude and altitude.

The firm ride ensures that the Aygo X is reasonably resistant to body lean in corners and its tidy handling is aided by steering that, while it could be a little more responsive, possesses decent weighting that allows you to place the car accurately on the road.

For a small the occupants are well insulated from road noise but the sound of the wind blowing around the roof pillars can start to become intrusive at motorway speeds.

The driving position is good. The driver’s seat, and steering wheel, are both height adjustable – the wheel doesn’t adjust for reach – and all the major controls line up well.

Toyota Aygo X Undercover
Toyota Aygo X Undercover

There’s a 4.2in colour screen at the heart of the instrument cluster that displays handy information including your speed, fuel efficiency and media selction.

Infotainment options range from a seven-inch touchscreen in entry-level Pure trim, eight-inch in in mid-range edge and nine inched in Exclusive trim.

The limited edition Undercover is fitted with the larger screen and that, like the two smaller versions, comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay (both wireless) as standard. The menu layout is simple and intuitive. The screen isn’t very responsive and, sometimes, needs a second prod to register your selection. Of course, that’s moot if you’re using the smartphone mirroring options.

All models come with a USB charging port and 12v power outlet in the front. The four-speaker audio system sounds pretty good but there is an optional JBL system available on top-spec trim that adds a 300W amp and subwoofer.

Toyota Aygo X Undercover
Toyota Aygo X Undercover

The physical (yay!) air-con controls give a satisfying click when you turn them and the indicator and wiper stalks feels reassuringly robust and reliable.

The steering wheel is wrapped in leather but that level of material quality is sadly lacking across the rest of the cabin with lots of shiny, hard plastic on display. The doors lack a “reassuring thud” when you shut them, instead sounding tinny and insubstantial.

There’s plenty of room for front-seat passengers so there shouldn’t be any banging of heads or clashing of elbows, even if you’re taller than six feet. There’s no height adjustment on the passenger seat so it can feel as though you’re perched up rather high.

Storage space up front amounts to a pair of cupholders and a tray for your mobile which, in the Undercover, will also charge your phone wirelessly. Both the glovebox and door pockets are too small be useful for anything other than dropping your odds and ends in.

It shouldn’t be a shock to hear that space in the back is limited. Both head and legroom are in short supply and, with small windows that pop open on hinges rather than wind down, it could quickly start to feel claustrophobic.

The rear doors are pretty small so climbing in and out is a little awkward. The rear bench only seats two – there’s no third seatbelt – but, given the already cramped conditions, this is probably no bad thing.

Toyota Aygo X Undercover
Toyota Aygo X Undercover

The boot will hold 221 litres of your stuff. That’s small, even by city car standards, and the high lip makes loading and unloading awkward but, given its size and the relatively small boot opening, you’re not likely to be lugging heavy loads around.

Even if you fold (50/50) the rear seats flat – freeing up 829 litres of capacity – you still have to deal with a backrest that lies on of the base so there’s a step in the floor of the load area.

The Aygo X is cramped in the back with a smaller boot than its rivals and its engine needs to be worked hard to extract even mediocre performance from it. That said, if you’re looking for a car to amble around town in then it makes a lot more sense. It’s cheap to run and offers a decent level of safety kit and a 10-year warranty. And, in Undercover trim, it does look pretty cool too.

Toyota Aygo X Undercover

Price (from): £20,110

Engine: 1.0-litre dual VVT-i

Transmission: 5-speed manual

Max power: 71bhp

Maz torque: 93Nm @ 4,400rpm

0-62mph: 14.9 secs

Max speed: 98mph

Combined fuel consumption: 56.5-58.85mpg

Emissions (CO2): 109-110g/km

For more information click here.

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