New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Toyota goes crazy with new Aygo

2011-04-08 11:05

Sergio Davids

AYGO EVERYWHERE?: Toyota's tiny hatchback is sure to make a big impression in the small hatchback market.

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer TOYOTA
Model AYGO
Engine Three cyclinder 1.0l VVT-i
Power 50kW at 6000 rpm
Torque 93Nm at 6000 rpm
Transmission Five-speed manual
Zero To Hundred 14.2 secs
Top Speed 157km/h
Fuel Consumption 4.6l per 100km
Steering Power steering
Airbags Fresh - dual passenger; Wild - dual passenger and side
Front Suspension McPhearson Strut
Rear Suspension Torsion Beam
Service Intervals 15 000km
Service Plan 60 000 km / 4 year service plan
Price Fresh - R109 900; Wild - R120 100
Compact cars are all the rage. With the recession affecting budgets, more and more buyers are prepared to sacrifice cabin space for reliability and affordability.

So, it comes as no surprise that automakers are eager to grab a slice of the growing sub-compact market. With this in mind, Toyota has looked at its current global model range and decided South Africa is finally ready to receive it’s Aygo mini-hatchback.

Certainly it’s an all-new car for SA but the Aygo has been around globally for six years, with a facelifted version launched in 2010. Why the wait? Toyota says it was a business decision; five years ago people simply weren’t buying as many small cars as they are in today’s almost-post-recession market.

Toyota’s Baby Yaris has been launched in two model derivatives -  same engine, two spec levels. The Fresh variant is the entry model, the Wild on top. There are, of course, others: the Citroen C1 and the Peugeot 107 are essentially the same car... your call, since they are more or less in the same price range.

Design wise it’s a cute, funky little car that definitely stands out of its Yaris and Auris sibling’s shadow. From the rear, the rear light clusters look very appealing and the alloy wheels seen on the Wild derivative makes the Aygo stand out. Colour coded front and rear bumpers are a nice touch and are standard across the range, though the Wild version sports colour-coded side-mirrors and door handles as well.

CITY CAR: The Aygo is at home within the urban jungle and will suit any young driver's needs.

The Aygo is powered by Toyota’s one-litre, 50kW (at 6000rpm) VVT-i  Optimal Drive engine with its torque peak of 93Nm at 3600. The engine is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox.

Driving the Aygo is as basic as a vehicle can get and first-time drivers will love the ease of use. You’re not exactly going to be cruising along the highway but that’s not what this littlest Toyota is made for. It’s a city car and as such makes easy work of robot-to-robot runs and parking’s a breeze

Out on the road it’s pleasant enough... just don’t plan on blasting up inclines.

The Aygo is quite frugal on fuel with a 4.6 litres/100km consumption figure and sporting the lowest CO2 emission figure (105g/km) in its class; that means no "green tax".

The interior is interesting and makes a fresh change the usual black-on-grey colour schemes of other models in the Japanese marquee range. The centre console may seem a trifle childish in its design with its Fisher Price-like controls (especially the aircon options), but the surprising amount of interior space as well as the ease of use more than makes up for that. 


Pricing at launch is R109 900 for the Fresh and R120 100 for the Wild. Standard features across the range are aircon, ABS, crash bags and power windows.  What sets the Wild apart are its alloy rims, side crash-bags and audio system.

As I mentioned before, many automakers have already staked their claim on the small-car market, so the Aygo faces stiff competition from the likes of Chevrolet's Spark, Hyundai’s i10 and Suzuki’s Alto. Toyota hopes to grab more car buyers interested in reliability by giving a four-year or 60 000km service plan as standard across the range.

QUIRKY: Interior sets the Aygo apart from other Toyota's with an interesting centre console layout.

Toyota plans to launch a three-door version later in 2011. The Japanese automaker hopes to sell at least 300 units a month, though buyers should be aware that Toyota SA is due for a “mini-shutdown” as of the April 21-May 4 2011 chain of public holidays.

The disaster in Japan has left many plants reeling and struggling to continue production, as a result imports will take a knock but we’ve been assured parts supply should remain constant.


It’s a fun albeit basic car to drive. The Aygo makes for the perfect “first car” choice with parents breathing a little easier courtesy of the dual airbags and four-star Euro NCAP rating, and with pricing under just under R121 000 it won’t hurt your wallet... at least not too much.

Of course you could splash out on the equivalent of 15 of these tiny cars and opt for the Aygo Crazy, which is every bit as fun and as ludicrously quick as its name suggests. While we’re on the topic of crazy, be sure to check out Toyota’s Aygo commercials featuring comedic (albeit creepy) clips of 20-somethings still attached to their umbilical cords... we couldn’t make that up if we tried.


Aygo Fresh - R109 900
Aygo Wild - R120 100

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.