Better watch out, Volkswagen and Hyundai

It’s not the fanciest or most powerful car in the world, but the Toyota Aygo is present and accounted for at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. Toyota’s little munchkin of a hatchback is packing serious visual and technical updates, fitting for a car that was in need of a mid-life refresh. The updates range from the prominent to the obscure. All told, they make for an impressive-looking hatchback that should help the Aygo gain ground on models like the Volkswagen Up! and Hyundai i10.

New Toyota Aygo Can Overtake the VW Up! and Hyundai i10 in Europe but Has Little Chance Against Fiat Exterior
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The most prominent of these upgrades is the large X on the nose of the car.

So, what’s new with the updated Toyota Aygo? There’s a lot to unpack here so let’s start with the visual upgrades. The most prominent of these upgrades is the large X on the nose of the car. It’s been there before, sure, but the updated model features a more prominent version with an integrated three-dimensional design. The headlights are also new, specifically the addition of daytime running lights. The rear section also gets new LEDs. There are also plenty of new colors and new alloy wheel designs to choose from. In keeping with the three-dimensional theme of the X design on the front, the Aygo’s interior also boasts an upgraded combi-meter with graphics that have a more three-dimensional look to them. New seat fabrics are also on the table, as are premium color schemes like Quartz Grey and Piano Black.

Don’t look now, but even the Aygo’s minuscule 998-cc three-cylinder engine also gets a slight bump in power, thanks in part to a new dual fuel injector system, a higher compression ratio, new low-friction components, a cooled exhaust gas recirculation system, and an improved balancer shaft. The result is an output of 71 horsepower — an increase of two ponies! — and 69 pound-feet of torque. Trust those numbers, and you’ll see yourselves accelerating from a resting position to 62 mph in 13.8 seconds on your way to a top speed of 100 mph.

New Toyota Aygo Can Overtake the VW Up! and Hyundai i10 in Europe but Has Little Chance Against Fiat Interior
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The Aygo’s interior also boasts an upgraded combi-meter with graphics that have a more three-dimensional look to them

As it is, the updated Aygo isn’t so much about any significant upgrades. It’s about refining the model to lengths that will allow it to better compete against a market that’s becoming more and more crowded by the day. The Toyota minicar has so far done well, finishing sixth in total sales in Europe in 2017 with 84,588 sold units. As impressive as that figure is, there’s also plenty of room for improvement, specifically in terms of catching up to the Volkswagen Up! and Hyundai i10, the two minicars that sit directly above the Aygo in the “sold units” ranking in Europe. The Up! is a little harder to catch after selling 100,715 units in 2017, but catching up to the i10 is attainable since the Hyundai hatch outsold its Toyota rival by just a little over 6,000 units (90,603 units sold in 2017). For the record, the Fiat 500 and the Fiat Panda rank as the top two best-selling minicars in the Old Continent, and they’re sales numbers are unassailable with 189,360 and 187,049 sold units, respectively.

New Toyota Aygo Can Overtake the VW Up! and Hyundai i10 in Europe but Has Little Chance Against Fiat Exterior
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Trust those numbers, and you’ll see yourselves accelerating from a resting position to 62 mph in 13.8 seconds on your way to a top speed of 100 mph.

So, can the updated Toyota Aygo unseat the Hyundai i10 in 4th place? Even better, can it catch up to the Volkswagen Up! and become the best-selling, non-Fiat minicar in Europe? Judging from these updates, I’d say the Aygo now has a realistic chance against the i10 and a puncher’s chance against the Up!. As for the two Fiats? Yeah, that’s still not happening.

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Press release

The new Toyota Aygo makes its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show on 6 March. Changes to the successful city car strengthen its stand-out character in a highly competitive market segment, both in terms of a youthful and distinctive design and improved performance and handling for a fun-to-drive experience.

The current Aygo has been a notable success for Toyota since its launch in 2014, becoming an instantly recognisable model with its trademark frontal “X” design and wide range of customisation options.

Appealing to a more style-conscious audience than those who buy their cars for purely rational reasons, Aygo has become one of Toyota’s most successful models in terms of conquest sales and attracting buyers new to the brand. In Europe, Aygo was one of the top sellers in the A-segment for city cars, with more than 85,000 sales and a 6.6 per cent market share.

DESIGN

The frontal “X” on the new Aygo has been transformed from a two-dimensional graphic into a more powerful, three-dimensional architectural element. The distinctive new look includes redesigned headlight units with integral daytime running lights, giving the car an even more striking appearance.

The lower section of the X frames the front grille, communicating a stable stance and agile performance. Black, gloss black or silver ornamentation beneath the lights accentuates the car’s width.

When viewed in profile, there is a strong visual connection between the front and rear of the car thanks to the more pronounced frontal form and the introduction of new outer lenses for the tail lamp clusters, generating a sense of forward movement.

New LED light guides at the rear give the new Aygo a sophisticated look and help make the car instantly recognisable. The lighting signature creates the perception of a compact cabin above a wider, lower bumper area, emphasising vehicle width and stability.

New colours and new wheel designs – each dedicated to a specific model grade – add to the impact of the exterior styling.

In the cabin, the combimeter has been upgraded with graphics that have a more three-dimensional look and a new illumination colour. Most grades have new seat fabrics and a more premium colour scheme in Quartz Grey and Piano Black has been introduced (UK colours to be confirmed).

DRIVING DYNAMICS

Performance and driving dynamics have been improved for more agile performance around town, while maintaining Aygo’s class-leading fuel economy. Measures have also been taken to achieve a marked reduction in noise and vibration levels experienced in the cabin.

Toyota’s award-winning 998cc three-cylinder, 12-valve DOHC engine now meets Euro 6.2 emissions standards. Revisions have achieved an ideal balance of power and fuel efficiency, with better torque delivery at lower engine speed, giving an even better driving experience in urban traffic.

The changes include a new dual fuel injector system, a higher compression ratio, new low-friction components, a cooled exhaust gas recirculation system and an improved balancer shaft for less vibration at idling speed.

Output is slightly higher (+2bhp/2kW) 71bhp (53kW) at 6,000rpm, with 93Nm of torque at 4,400rpm. Acceleration from rest to 62mph can be accomplished in 13.8 seconds, and top speed is 100mph. Fuel consumption has improved from 68.9 to 72.4mpg (combined cycle, pre-homologation figures), which delivers a commensurate reduction in CO2 emissions.

Improvements to engine performance have been complemented by changes to the suspension settings and steering software, allowing the Aygo to react quickly and precisely to driver inputs.

Finally, sealing and sound absorption materials have been added to the dashboard, front pillars, doors and rear deck, bringing a marked reduction in noise and vibration in the cabin, at all engine speeds.

Aygo model grades and equipment features for the UK market will be announced nearer the car’s on-sale date later this year.

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