Toyota spices up Aygo X

AS highlighted on these pages in recent weeks through the Dacia Sandero Stepway and Kia XCeed, it seems no size of car is safe from being given the faux SUV treatment these days, writes William Scholes.

This little hatchback, the latest version of Toyota's learner driver favourite, the Aygo city car, rather proves the point. They've even given it a suitably on-trend 'X' suffix to emphasise the off-road allusions.

Toyota suggests the 'X' is said as 'cross', making the Aygo X an 'Aygo cross'. For some reason this is a different naming strategy to that Toyota has deployed on the SUV-styled version of the Yaris, which it calls... the Yaris Cross.

As it happens the Aygo X sits on the same platform as the Yaris. Unlike its bigger sibling, the Aygo X doesn't get a hybrid system, and nor is it electric. Instead, it's resolutely petrol-powered, with a 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine churning out a mighty 71bhp - so it ought to still be L-plate friendly.

You can have either a five-speed manual gearbox or automatic CVT set-up. Toyota claims 60mpg and CO2 emissions of 109g/km.

The outgoing Aygo was a co-production with the Peugeot and Citroen, with their 108 and C1 models coming from the same factory. This time, the Aygo X is Toyota's own project - a bold move when the rest of the industry is tilting so heavily towards joint productions and expensive-to-develop electric vehicles.

It's bigger than before - by 24cm in length, and a beefy 13cm wider. The old model was tiny though, so this still counts as a small car. The bigger bodywork allows a more useful boot, measuring 231 litres.

With an eye on the Aygo's traditionally youthful clientele, Toyota is offering many 'personalisation' options, which means two-tone paint schemes and a palette inspired by spices, including chilli, ginger and juniper. The bold paintwork is echoed in the interior treatment.

You can get wheels measuring up to 18-inches and on-board tech includes LED headlamps, a large touchscreen on the dashboard and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Aygo X is due to reach Northern Ireland showrooms next year.

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