Spiced up with the Aygo X in Barcelona
This will be a slightly different blog compared to our standard iterations of us telling stories about a specific car. We'll be talking about a short trip where we had the privilege to drive the all-new Toyota Aygo X (the X stands for cross). The event itself was organized and coordinated together with the folks over at Toyota Switzerland and hosted by Toyota Europe. Destination? Barcelona, Spain!
We were delighted to hear that we were chosen to head out to Barcelona to drive Toyota's latest new A-segment Crossover; the Aygo X. The first day was shaped more to be an introduction to the atmosphere that Toyota had established for the European launch and test drives of the Toyota Aygo X. This event was labeled as a "Dynamic Press Launch" which meant that the whole event would be dynamic with several beautiful locations, good food, and excellent Spanish hospitality. Toyota Europe didn't want another press conference with everyone sitting in a classroom-style hall with a serious-looking girl or guy talking about how amazing this new car will be. This time it was going to be different and casual.
After arriving in Barcelona we were shuttled to the Sofia Hotel, which would be the venue for the Dynamic Press Launch on the first day. The presentation of the Aygo X was done with several panels scattered around the top floor of the hotel with amazing views of the city. The journalists and myself were encouraged to walk around the room to learn more about the car that we were driving the following day.
The car in question is aimed largely at the younger generation, as it is an excellent city car that is sure to get some attention because of its funky looks. It is Toyota's smallest crossover yet and promises superb driving capabilities in the city. Since this car is aimed at younger people, it has several trim levels to suit the customers' needs and budget. The main benefits of such a small car are that it's going to be easy to maneuver, economical and compact. So it's basically perfect for European cities, where it can get very tight at times. Funnily enough, Toyota has chosen to differentiate the Aygo X's colors by spices! For instance, the car we drove first was finished in "sparkling chilly red" but you can also option a limited edition in "cardamom green". This shows the Aygo X's "ready to go anywhere" attitude, and you can certainly see that on the outside. You can also get a canvas roof, which is basically a retractable cloth roof so you can enjoy an open-top experience, a first in an A-segment crossover. On the inside, you get a JBL sound system and Apple CarPlay, which is very welcome! Toyota is very serious about safety, that is why on higher trim levels, all the safety systems come as standard, which includes a backup camera, cruise control, and automatic braking systems. But it seems that they have forgotten a blind-spot sensor. The Aygo X gets a N/A 1.0l 3 cylinder making not a lot of horses, but it sure is economical. Toyota claims 4.7l/100km and you can choose between a manual and a CVT.
Let's tell you a bit more about driving the Aygo X. The first car we drove was a chilly red car that was fitted with a manual transmission. The in-built satellite navigation toured us through the busy streets of Barcelona and onto some stunning country roads. In town, the Aygo X shines, as intended but it could have more punch on some twisty roads because the chassis and steering don't feel that uncomfortable when driving dynamically. Even though the Aygo X was intended for the urban streets of Europa, we just had to get it offroad for a couple of meters. Why not take a crossover offroad? The Aygo X is only front-wheel-drive but the raised ride height and plastic cladding do come in handy offroad. In the afternoon we opted for a "ginger" car that had the CVT gearbox and canvas roof. The canvas roof is a delight on a sunny day and it even closes normally at 120km/h. We're not sure about the CVT gearbox though; because the Aygo X has a little 3 cylinder, it has to rev to get some power out of it. So most of the time you'll be hearing a screaming 3 cylinder engine because the CVT prioritizes high revs. The main rivals of the Aygo X are the Renault Twingo, Smart ForTwo, Fiat 500, and VW's Up. All of these cars have an EV option, why not the Aygo X? An EV option would sound logical but it seems that A-segment EVs aren't that sought after. People would much rather buy a larger EV. Toyota also thinks that the Aygo X will prevail with the current engines and trims because it will be largely sold in cheaper markets such as Spain, where an EV option would make no sense. EVs are a whole lot more expensive to build and thus buy. The cheapest Twingo electric costs 23'000 CHF, the Aygo X starts at 17'000 CHF. That contrast will show itself as well in other markets. But we would personally like the idea of an electric Aygo X.
We would like to thank Toyota Switzerland for inviting us out to Barcelona and giving us this amazing opportunity. When we started our channels, we never thought we'd be sipping a cocktail on a rooftop bar in Barcelona one day. In 2022, we'll be driving the Aygo X Limited Edition for a longer period and we'll be giving our verdicts there.