Mini-SUV in the test: Toyota Aygo X - a dwarf with an encore

With the Aygo X, Toyota remains loyal to the small car segment.

Mini-SUV in the test: Toyota Aygo X - a dwarf with an encore

With the Aygo X, Toyota remains loyal to the small car segment. The mini-SUV offers a lot more in terms of looks and equipment than is usual in its class. However, he cannot completely hide his "lowly origins".

As a simple budget company car, the Aygo, which was discontinued at the beginning of 2022, was very popular with fleet operators, among others. In order to get private users more interested in the smallest segment again, Toyota has now upgraded its entry-level model as the Aygo X to the status of a mini-SUV. This goes hand in hand with a good dose of lifestyle, character and comfort, which brings significantly more verve into the otherwise modest everyday life of a small car.

Anyone who knows the Aygo X from pictures and then experiences it in person will be surprised by the still compact dimensions. It may have grown by more than 20 centimetres, but at 3.70 meters it is still one of the successful gap fillers in urban areas where public parking spaces are often in short supply. With large-format wheels, increased ground clearance and a two-tone paint finish, it can also stand out from the crowd a little. The comparison with a normal Aygo, which the X optically degrades to a gray mouse, is impressive.

The standard equipment of the X always includes rear doors, which makes everyday life easier compared to a three-door car, especially with children. Even if not spacious, the interior is still sufficiently dimensioned for four-person operation. In any case, there is room for development for drivers of average height.

The driver's seat is remarkably good, because even after longer trips on the motorway, the back pinching that is otherwise common with small car seats did not occur. The view into the luggage compartment is rather sobering. 231 liters - that's enough for the weekly shop, but not for vacation trips with kith and kin. If the backrest of the rear seat is folded forward, it is also possible to transport bulky objects, because 829 liters now fit into the rear.

Again, the Aygo X can stand out from the small car level with the optionally up to 9-inch touchscreen of the infotainment system. However, the processor responsible for the multimedia functions could do a little more work. The possibilities for networking are state-of-the-art. There is a navigation system with real-time traffic information, and smartphones with Android Auto or Apple Carplay can also be integrated. Advantage of the small car narrowness: As a driver, you don't have to stretch your right arm too far to get to the touchscreen.

The view of the steering wheel is astonishing: there are even buttons for a distance cruise control - in the class of the car dwarfs this is the absolute exception so far. On the other hand, the many plastic parts with a rather brittle appearance are typical of the class. Their partly simple screw connection has a cost-optimized effect, whereby the screw heads are at least covered up by small caps. The door panel on the inside, which the driver often comes into contact with when he wants to rest his left arm on the non-existent door shoulder, remains partially uncoated. Instead of a thick plastic panel, the arm meets the body-colored metal.

The small three-cylinder is started with a push button. The engine sounds pithy, but its power delivery is not very explosive. One liter displacement, no supercharging - that's enough for only 53 kW/72 hp. In any case, if you keep the little engine up to speed, you can swim along in traffic without any problems. On the Autobahn, however, you move significantly down the food chain.

However, you don't have to shy away from expressways with the weak Aygo X. With a correspondingly long run-up, 130 km/h are of course no problem. If homesickness and a tailwind come into play, the speed display can occasionally be pushed to over 170. However, the piston trio struggles to keep up the desired speed uphill. In our case, switching is still done manually. Shift muffles as a warning: The five-speed gearbox often requires gear changes. Alternatively, Toyota offers an automatic for an extra charge of 1100 euros.

The Aygo X should actually be content with around 5 liters of petrol per 100 kilometers, but in practice it was 6.5 liters in our case, which was mainly due to some longer motorway journeys. At the recommended speed, the engine is already working at a higher speed level, which makes the actually frugal three-cylinder engine get a little thirsty.

The chassis comfort of the little one is pleasantly pleasant. Thanks to the longer suspension travel, some bumps are leveled out. Nevertheless, the Aygo X does not stagger through curves with a drunken list, should it be sportier around the corner. If necessary, the brakes, which look a bit puny in the 18-inch alloy wheels, pack a decent grip. Occasionally, they even become active by themselves if the collision avoidance system decides that it has to avert a collision that it believes is imminent.

The many assistants are a big plus for the Aygo X, which is why EuroNCAP gave it the most points in this evaluation section in particular. Still, due to the absence of a central airbag, it was only enough for four stars, which is a good result.

If you disregard the central airbag, the Aygo X already offers a pleasingly extensive range of safety and comfort equipment in the basic model, which costs just under 16,000 euros. With the all-round happy package, which is offered by the Explore top equipment, the Japanese costs a little over 21,000 euros. If the automatic system is still on board, more than 22,000 euros will be due. That may be a lot of money for a small car, but in the case of the Aygo X there are also many details from higher classes on board.

Technical specifications

Five-door micro car, length: 3.70 meters, width: 1.74 meters, height: 1.51 meters, wheelbase: 2.43 meters, trunk volume: 231 to 829 liters

1.0 liter three-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine, 53 kW/72 hp, maximum torque: 93 Nm at 4,500 rpm, five-speed manual transmission, front-wheel drive, 0-100 km/h: 15.6 sec., Vmax: 158 km /h, average consumption: 4.8 to 5.0 l, test consumption: 6.5 l/100 km, CO2 emissions: 108 to 114 g/km (WLTP), emission standard: Euro 6 AP, prices: from 15,890 euros

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