The little 2012 Toyota Aygo is a stylish super mini car which share similar design to Smart vehicles, and 2012 model brings some subtle cosmetic changes, such as new front end, a wider bumper, redesigned upper and lower grilles, tinted rear windows, and a more car detailing angular bonnet. The build quality and spaciousness of the interior is a bit behind the times now, but the Aygo is still a likable and perfectly suitable little car.
It comes in two new variants: the Fire, designed for those who want something sporty, and the Ice, which offers more comfort and on-board connectivity. The LED daytime running lights come as standard on the Fire version. The sporty Fire is available in a Burnt Orange paint finish, with matching side moldings and interior trim, as well as privacy glass, foglamps and LED daytime running lights. The Ice is focused on comfort, and adds DAB radio, air-conditioning, Bluetooth, USB connectivity and leather-and-Alcantara upholstery.
Under the bonnet, the 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engine is now cleaner and more efficient. There is no diesel option, only petrol. With CO2 emissions of just 99g/km, the 2012 Aygo is exempt from road tax and London’s Congestion Charge. Fuel economy is up by 3mpg, to an average of 65.7mpg.
Critics were pleased with the spritely little engine, though did say you need to use all of the 6,000 revs to make optimum progress. It’s perfect in the city, and the off-beat thrum of the three cylinders gives it a bit of character. However, some testers had negative comments about the noise levels at higher speeds. There’s lots of wind and road noise at the national limit – you have to really shout at your passenger if you want to have a conversation.
Inside it remains largely unchanged, apart from a restyled steering wheel, gear stick and updated radio. It includes air-conditioning, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a USB-port as standard. It has leather-and-Alcantara seats. However, like the standard seats, they lack support and aren’t height-adjustable. There’s room for four adults, and the boot is a usable size.
The new Aygo is best suited to towns and cities; the steering is light and has an excellent turning circle, although it’s a bit vague. Stop-start city traffic is bearable, too, because the clutch operation is effortless and gear changes are smooth. Take to faster roads, though, and the Aygo needs to be worked hard to keep up with traffic. The car’s small engine and long gearing blunt its progress, so overtaking requires plenty of advance planning.
You can get Fire version from £9595 and Ice version from £9895. Fire and Ice buyers have the option of an Xtraprotected Pack, which adds rear parking sensors, mud flaps, carpet mats, rear bumper protection plate and side protection moldings. A Style Pack is available for the Ice model, which adds chrome trim, aluminium scuff plates and chrome exhaust pipe; Style+ adds 14-inch alloys.
The 2012 Aygo is cheaper to run, but it feels outdated when compared with modern city car rivals such as the Peugeot 107, Citroen C1, Fiat Panda, Seat Mii and VW Up. If it was better equipped, it could be recommended, but as it stands, it no longer dominates the market for budget super minis. There are far better value city cars on the market these days.