A tale of refining a little gold
In December, I arrived back home from university in my very own three-door 2012 Toyota Aygo. His name is Kirby. He carried me, a friend, and five years of my Grahamstown life on an 860km road trip back to Franschhoek. We used very little fuel. Upon arrival, it was solidified: Toyota Aygo is my car of choice. Economical, efficient, compact and humble. Safe.
So, when I came home to a new red Toyota Aygo 1.0 X-Play 5-door, I jumped to the chance to make it mine for the holidays. With extensive knowledge on my Kirby, we figured that I’d be the best at testing the new, red Kirby junior. Well, jumping from the 2012 to the 2018 was a luxurious transition. While old Kirby was perfectly suited to small, university town zooting and scooting, I felt the 2018 car would be welcomed whole-heartedly in the city.
Already at first glance you will notice the robust sportiness: a meaner looking upswept rear window line and sloping roofline. Showing off an enhanced x-frame design of the front complimented by larger projector headlamps which feature LED daytime running lights.
Looks-wise, the Aygo has the X-Factor. But does it bring the game on the inside and under the bonnet?
The interior is a lot more ship-shape than the previous generations. No longer donning a plastic gimmicky dash with toy-like toggles. Instead we have a leather-trimmed steering wheel, a touch screen infotainment system with auxiliary, USB and Bluetooth connections. The fully automated windows with switches on the driver’s side really did it for me. Plus, the remote central locking and a 12-Volt power socket (which the 2012 version already has).
I took a trip to Riviersonderend for a weekend, where Kirby junior really shined. Despite the gravel roads, we managed to cruise our way through the off-road countryside. This was a real treat for me as Kirby Senior came with a sticker on the visor warning me not to track unpaved courses. Junior’s Vehicle Stability Control had me feeling especially cared for over those winding roads and Hill Assist Control for farm-land descents. There are also front and side airbags, child mounts for baby-seats and proper seat belts with pretensioners.
While gallivanting between missions with the highly impressive sound system crooning our fave tunes through that colourful cool infotainment deck, I also readily noticed that the new Aygo’s tweaked engine offers a 3kW increase on power over Kirby Senior. The old car makes 50kW and 93Nm, but Junior is up to 53kW with the same level of twist.
However, when I think of the Aygo, I am always proud of fuel efficiency. With this new power increase, that gets even better at 4.3L/100km and 97g/km from a similar 1-litre naturally-aspirated 3-cylinder petrol engine, versus my old friend’s 4.5l/100km and 99g/km CO2.
My first recommendation to all my student friends is the Aygo, always.
ROAD TEST: Toyota Aygo 1.0 X-Play
Engine: 53kW 93Nm 998cc petrol I3
Drive: 5-speed manual FWD
0-100km/h: 13.97 sec
400m: 18.9 sec @ 118km/h
80-120km/h: 9.95 sec
Fuel: 4.3 l/100km
CO2: 97 g/km
Warranty/Service 3y 100Kkm/Optional
LIST PRICE: R174K