Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Review: Toyota Aygo Platinum

Jonathan Crouch checks out Toyota’s plushest little Aygo, the Platinum model

Toyota Aygo Platinum

Colour is crucial when choosing your car, especially a funky city car like the Toyota Aygo that’s as much a style statement as a mode of transport for getting you about town.

Unsurprisingly, the Aygo Platinum special edition model we’re looking at here has its own unique metallic shade of Crystal Silver.

The Platinum intends to emphasise the car’s design flare with a range of cosmetic enhancements. This is supposed to be an Aygo you buy with your heart. The metallic Crystal Silver paint and 14" multi-spoke alloy wheels combine to striking effect outside while the interior is given a new dynamic dimension by the sports leather steering wheel and leather gearknob. The highlight though is the Alcantara trim. This high end material is normally the preserve of performance hatchbacks and sports cars and combined with leather in the Aygo Platinum, it looks outstanding.

Three and five-door versions are available, powered by Toyota’s 1.0-litre VVT-I petrol engine with Toyota Optimal Drive – winner of the sub-one-litre class of the International Engine of the Year awards for the past three years. Five-speed manual transmission is fitted as standard, with the option of Toyota’s Multimode system. There’s also a 6-speaker stereo as standard.

The Aygo Xtra Protected pack is available as an option for Aygo Platinum. Priced at £380, it adds rear parking sensors and additional side and rear protection mouldings to help guard against the rough and tumble of urban driving. Vehicle Stability Control can also be specified as an option, at £340.

Naturally, in terms of performance, you need to remember that the Aygo is a citycar first and foremost, something reflected in a sprint to 60mph that takes 14 seconds. The good news is the fact that the 1.0-litre petrol engine is predictably excellent in terms of fuel economy and emissions. The combined economy figure is 62.8mpg and emissions are pegged at a laudable 106g/km.

"The Aygo is a fascinating car, made more appealing in this guise with the Platinum trimmings. ."

These figures are helped by the fact that the 1.0-litre is billed as the world’s lightest production engine. Effort is further removed by the fitment of electrically assisted power steering, making light work of turning the Aygo about face in just 9.46 metres. The front and rear overhangs have been kept short so as to maximise interior space and make parking simple. The tale of the tape shows a 3.4 metre overall length, which is almost 23cm shorter than a modern MINI. The interior features a two-tone dashboard with a textured effect, while the door trims feature body coloured detailing.

One of the more eye-catching features is the design of the ventilation controls on the centre console. Two large wheels bookend the console with a translucent panel sitting between them. Coupled with the funky, minimalist instrument panel, they give the Aygo’s fascia a very modern appearance.

The steering column is adjustable for both reach and rake, the speedometer binnacle moving with the wheel. Coupled with plenty of driver’s seat travel and ample headroom, there shouldn’t be a problem getting comfortable behind the wheel of the Aygo. Sitting behind a tall driver is another issue altogether and rear space is a little pinched with the front seat at the back of its travel. That’s perhaps forgivable, as there is only so much that can be done within the strictures of a 2.34 metre wheelbase.

The Aygo overall is a fascinating car, made more appealing in this guise with the Platinum trimmings. Although some cynics have suggested that Toyota needed a low emission car in order to continue selling hugely profitable Landcruisers due to global CO2 weighting regulations, it’s a worthy part of the Toyota line up. This design was developed alongside the Citroen C1 and Peugeot 107 models but, marriage of convenience or otherwise, there’s little doubt that compared to its French rivals, the Aygo looks a more polished, mature product.

In Platinum form, it has that extra dash of class that its Gallic rivals lack. Which could make all the difference.

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