Posted on 26 Aug 2011 at 15:42, by Nick Gibbs
In the Aygo, Toyota has pulled off that rare thing: a budget conscious car into which plenty of thought has gone to make it fun, roomy, safe, economical and stylish.
Available with either three doors or five, this simple-to-use city car is the result of a lot of hard work and clever technology to create the biggest cabin possible into a car that’ll still squeeze into the smallest car park space going.
The key is lightness. The Aygo weighs an almost impossible 890kg, a figure that recalls a time when cars didn’t have the array of safety equipment and super-tough construction methods applied by today’s carmakers.
For a start Toyota engineers used high-strength steel for 50 per cent of the body. That means it could be used thinner, not only freeing up space but also cutting the weight.
So with less kilos to pull, the engine could be smaller too without being at all sluggish. The three-cylinder one-litre petrol unit might have just 67bhp, but this soon proves more than adequate to shift the flyweight car at a respectable lick.
It also brings very impressive economy too, recording an official combined consumption of 61mpg. That also means low CO2 figures of 105g/km, enough to drop the Agyo into the one-from-bottom VED band, attracting tax of just £20 a year. With so little fuel being used, Toyota could also shrink the petrol tank without effecting range. Filled to its 35-litre capacity, the Aygo will theoretically travel 473 miles.
A small engine and small tank means more room in the cabin, which will seat four six-footers much more comfortably that you might imagine looking at its exterior dimensions. The boot is decent too for a city car. Accessed via its glass hatch (another weight-saving measure – no heavy steel frame), the 139-litre space can be expanded to a massive 751 litres with the rear seats folded down.
In all but the base model, the seat back is split 50/50 to give extra flexibility when loading. And if you need more space, if you add up the room available in all the cubbies and cupholders around the cabin, there’s another 25 litres of stowage.
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