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Fun Aygo’s got X factor 

IT was back in 2005 that Toyota launched its first compact city car and the model’s had a couple of major updates since then.

With more than 760,000 sold across Europe, the Aygo has been a popular choice.

The demand and competition in this market has increased massively since its arrival though and the Japanese car manufacturer launched a second-generation model earlier this year in a bid to continue its success.

The new funky Aygo is easily recognisable with its X-shape front, and buyers get a huge choice of features to customise their car.

There’s a choice of three trims – x, x-play and x-pression – plus two special edition models, x-cite and x-clusiv.

And with 10 interchangeable exterior and cabin features, you can give your car its own distinctive look with different colours and finishes.

Younger drivers are being targeted and the exciting five colour options are White Flash, Silver Splash, Electro Grey, Deep Blue Buzz and Red Pop.

X-cite models come in Orange Twist only while the x-clusiv test car is only offered in Bold Black.

The customisation packs are fitted at Toyota’s Burnaston factory in Derbyshire and include the £395 Outstand pack, changing the front X, A-pillar x-tension and rear bumper insert in a choice of three colours.

Other packs are OUTburst (£245), front bumper decal, side sills and rear diffuser decal to red or chrome, Inspire (£165), matching surrounds for air vents and gear shift to exterior colours, and Intense (£165), body colour-matched instru-ment panel, centre console and gear surround.

You can also up the fun factor by having the double-bubble roof covered in a contrasting coloured decal (£195) and add five-spoke alloy wheels in silver (£499).

Prices for the three or five-door models start at £8,595 and I sampled the five-door x-clusiv which costs £11,695.

The new Aygo gets a higher spec level and the top-of-the-range test model came with features you would normally get on higher-quality and bigger cars.

These included an excellent new x-touch multimedia system with Bluetooth, rear-view camera, auto air conditioning, electric front windows and door mirrors, tilt-adjustable steering wheel and height-adjustable driver’s seat.

I enjoyed the driving position in the Aygo which is pretty roomy up front but two adults would find it a bit cramped in the rear seats.

The popular three-cylinder 1-litre VVT-i petrol engine has been tweaked to give better fuel economy – 68.9mpg combined – and CO2 emissions – 95g/km.

It proved nippy enough in and round town, going up and down the manual five-speed gearbox – auto is available – and the engine noise is more characterful than obtrusive when pushing up the revs.

The Aygo has a top speed of 99mpg and cruised along smoothly at motorway speeds where there wasn’t a lot of wind or road noise.

Steering is light and accurate and handling was also impressive on some winding roads, offering good grip on bends.

Overall, this new funky Aygo is a super little city car with plenty of X factor to build on Toyota’s success in this sector.