Driven: Toyota Aygo

Toyota has built a reputation for reliability, creating dependable products that users could rely upon to get from point A to point B economically. Their designs were made to appeal to everyone, not just a small percentage of buyers.

Such was the case with the first generation Aygo, which went on sale nine years ago. As the first collaboration between Toyota and PSA Peugeot-Citroen, the Aygo was created as a tool — a functional vehicle for which design wasn’t seen as a top priority.

Times have changed however. When the Aygo first went on sale there were only nine competitors in the segment, now there are 20. And with platform and component sharing becoming increasingly prevalent amongst mainstream brands, the only true differentiator is design.

Keenly aware of this fact, Akio Toyoda, the Japanese automaker’s president and CEO, reevaluated the company’s priorities in recent years. He vowed to make “no more boring cars” and began to push through more emotional – and even polarizing — designs across the Toyota and Lexus range.

The second generation Aygo is a clear indication of Toyota’s newfound emphasis on design. With a bold front face that utilizes an X graphic as a visual identifier, the compact city car’s DRG is nothing if not bold. The Aygo’s front end is symbolic of current graphical trends in vehicle design, and was the design Chris Bangle specified to illustrate this point when the car made its debut at this year’s Geneva motor show.

The new Aygo’s profile also differs from its French counterparts, with a sweeping beltline that rises to meet the C-pillar at the rear, visually connecting the upper line of the backlight. The head- and taillamps feature a chrome element within, giving an aura of quality, and the glass liftgate is flanked by upright taillamps, which are pushed out to the corners to visually augment the car’s width. Though its chassis, windshield and doors are identical to those on the Citroen C1 and Peugeot 108 models, the Aygo is a far more flamboyant proposal.

Powered by a three-cylinder engine, the Aygo is offered in three- and five-door form with three standard trim levels (X; X-Play and X-Pression) as well as two special edition models (X-Cite and X-Clusiv). The Aygo comes well equipped with a number of standard comfort and convenience features, but the design really comes alive through a seemingly endless range of personalization options.

Customers can opt for either a silver or black color for the X pattern at the front, four different wheel options and a number of decals to accentuate the front spoiler, rear spoiler and side sills. These are made available through two exterior customization packs on the X-Play and X-Pression models, but can also be individually fitted by the dealer.

Most of the Aygo models also ride on 15-inch alloy wheels (the X-Play model has steel wheels and the base X model makes do with steel 14-inchers), but with minimal overhangs the new car’s proportions are more dynamic than its predecessor’s.


Founded in 2012, Form Trends tirelessly covers the automotive design industry in all corners of the globe to bring you exclusive content about cars, design, and the people behind the products.