Toyota’s offerings in the United States start with the subcompact Yaris, but in Europe, the lineup has an even smaller vehicle, the Aygo. Toyota made a concerted effort to inject some life into this A-segment car when it introduced the second-generation Aygo at the 2014 Geneva auto show. It was expressively individual with numerous options to help personalize it and made an impact with its X-stamped nose. Now, a refreshed version is coming to the 2018 Geneva auto show, with revised styling along with under-the-skin updates that promise a more refined driving experience.
The design of this generation of Aygo was intended to blend Japanese style with European sensibilities. With an appearance inspired by technology, J-pop music, and manga, the Aygo, at the very least, looked interesting in an unexciting segment. For Toyota, X marked the spot, literally, as the new face of the Aygo.
The refreshed 2019 model retains this fascia but with slightly tweaked lines. Where the outgoing model’s nose was relatively flush, the 2019’s has more texture. The cheeks are more pronounced, the mouth is more aggressive, and the headlights are underlined with black plastic. The X graphic is now body color, and the fog lights have been moved from within the chin to outside it. The headlights and taillamps also feature new designs.
A major focus in refreshing the Aygo was reducing vibrations and noise, two issues that often plague A-segment cars. Toyota incorporated new low-friction components into the 1.0-liter three-cylinder VVT-i engine and improved the balance shaft for smoother idling. The Aygo also gets a new dual fuel-injection system, a higher compression ratio, and a cooled exhaust-gas-recirculation system.
The inline-three engine now makes 71 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 69 lb-ft of torque at 4400 rpm (versus 68 horsepower and 70 lb-ft before). Toyota says that’s good enough to sloth-trot from zero to 62 mph in 13.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 99 mph. Eco-oriented models have taller fourth and fifth gears, low-rolling-resistance tires, and a stop/start system. The Aygo also gets revised suspension settings and updated steering software for better handling.
Further quelling NVH problems, Toyota bolstered the Aygo’s seals and added more sound-absorption materials around the dashboard, A-pillars, doors, and rear deck. The new Aygo will come in X, X-Play, and X-Clusiv trim levels, with X-Cite and X-Trend special-edition versions completing the group. We don’t expect the Aygo to come to play in the U.S. market, but it’s still good to see manufacturers having a little fun with their cheapest cars.