On the Road
Get going and the variable assistance electric power steering is very light, yet still transmits reasonable 'feel'. The gearshift seems a bit sloppy at first, but I never mis-shifted so it's precise enough. Handling is cheeky and cheerful, like a Panda's. No nasty surprises there, with more grip as you press on rather than less. Ride quality is very good on the standard 155/65 R14 tyres.
The engine isn't exactly a fire-breather but with maximum torque at 3,600 rpm and very sensible gear ratios you can overtake safely. 2nd is good for more than 50 and 3rd for more than 70. From 3rd you can pop it straight into 5th in normal driving. In fact it changes very neatly from 3rd to 5th, almost as if it was designed to. On the motorway it cruises happily at far greater speeds than are currently allowed, with minimal wind, engine and tyre noise, and doesn't get blown about.
A week later I got to drive it on famous Millbrook proving ground hill route, which shows up the finer points or weaknesses of any car's handling better than any other track in the world. To the Aygo's immense credit, it really shone here with no nasty traits at all. So there are definitley going to be a lot of people driving Aygos with smiles on their faces.
You can have any colour you like as long as it's solid Chilli red, or, on the Aygo + and Sport, optional extra-cost Ice Blue or Carbon Quartz black metallic.
Other options include air conditioning, a Travel Pack, which is a Samsonite glovebox bag with CD pocket, a trolley bag and a rucksack. And a Navigation Pack consisting of a Tom Tom Go touch screen portable satnav system covered by 3 years of warranty and mapping updates.
Toyota asks buyers to think total running costs rather than low list prices, which is fair enough. The Yaris has shown how well small Toyotas can hold their value. And the fact that Citroen and Peugeot will offer their own slightly different versions adds to the attraction and makes the cars easier to service.
The factory is capable of building 300,000 a year. So you can expect to see a lot more of this cute little car.
I had a chance to drive this 9 months later. MMT is an electronically controlled electric clutch manual posing as an automatic. The shift pattern is very simple. You just move it across the gate for standard auto. Then to change manually push forward for downchanges and back for upchanges.
Left in auto the change from 1st to 2nd comes with a lurch until you learn to lift the accelerator to help it. Other changes are generally smoother. It works best changing manually. I found myself naturally leaving it in Drive when I wanted to be lazy and changing manually when I needed to get a move on. Though not as smooth as a full automatic or Honda's excellent CVT it is at least acceptable for people who need an automatic but don't want to go to the expense of one. It's also more economical on fuel than a full automatic. Over 300 miles or so, mostly motorway, I averaged just under 50mpg.