New Toyota Aygo X Air Edition 2023 review
The Air Edition adds a useful convertible option to the Aygo X range
3.5 out of 5
With the Aygo X Air Edition, you’re essentially paying £470 for a canvas roof and when warmer weather rolls around it might seem like a more worthwhile investment. It certainly doesn’t detract from what is a charming, if not a slightly dated city car.
When we first tried the new Aygo X, it was in top of the range ‘Exclusive’ trim but now there’s a new range-topper in the form of the Air Edition.
It’s based on the Exclusive but comes with a folding fabric roof so now Toyota’s smallest car can go toe to toe with the convertible Fiat 500C, and not much else besides.
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It’s no secret that city cars are on the wane here in the UK as manufacturers struggle to conjure profits from the segment. A replacement for the decade-old Volkswagen up! seems unlikely and there’s no replacement for the previous Aygo’s Peugeot 108 and Citroen C1 siblings.
A convertible Aygo isn’t new ground for Toyota, with the old Aygo offering a soft-top X-Wave variant, so obviously the Japanese brand thinks there’s sales to be had in the niche convertible city car segment.
We tested the new Aygo X Air Edition in less-than-ideal conditions, just as an Arctic blast hit the UK, in fact. Still, if you order one now then you can expect delivery from spring 2023 – just as the convertible season hopefully approaches.
Car group tests
The Aygo X (pronounced Aygo Cross) sits a little higher than the typical city car, thanks in part to a new platform shared with the larger Yaris. It’s also a little longer than the old Aygo but still well within the city car remit.
A few design details, like the huge wheelarch trims, a two-tone paint finish designed to make the Aygo X look beefier and that raised ride height all contribute to the new mini-SUV style. When you compare the Aygo X with the older car on the road, the more recent arrival certainly has greater presence.
Every Aygo X gets the same 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engine, with the choice of a five-speed manual or a CVT automatic gearbox. That engine puts out a fairly weedy 71bhp and 93Nm of torque, but when you factor in the Aygo X’s 995kg kerb weight (the Air Edition adds 50kg) it seems a little more suitable.
The powertrain is fairly refined and there’s a usual three-cylinder thrum during normal driving but if you push the Aygo X hard (which is needed if you’re going up hills or joining motorways) then the noise builds to a roar up to peak power at 6,000rpm.
The gearing in the Aygo X is long, 60mph can be reached in second so you end up revving for longer than you initially expect. Once you’re at motorway speeds it does settle down a little, however. The manual gearshift itself is a delight, even if the clutch pedal is quite high; there are genuine performance cars that offer a less engaging shift than the Aygo X’s. Seriously.
Because the Aygo X Air Edition has that canvas roof, there’s more exterior noise transmitted to the cabin. Initially you might wonder if you’re left a window open or a door ajar, but after a while you get used to it. With the roof electronically rolled back (this takes just under 10 seconds) you won’t notice too much buffeting, although the two forward-facing air vents were pretty pointless in trying to keep the cabin warm on a frosty December day.
Based on the Exclusive model, the Air Edition uses 18-inch alloy wheels, which contribute to a few jiggles to the ride, but the Aygo X is never uncomfortable; it’s so light, if anything, that it often skips over imperfections in the road.
The interior doesn’t feel too far removed from the old car’s. There’s still body-coloured plastic on the door cards and dash but the Aygo X seems a little more airy inside. The rear seats are really only suitable for children and small adults, however.
Despite being the lowest-rung model in Toyota’s range, the Aygo X Air Edition still feels well put together; there may be some scratchy plastics and cheap-feeling trim but nothing rattles when you’re on the move.
The Air Edition replaces the Exclusive-based Limited Edition, which also got heated front seats. Unfortunately, we found the Air Edition doesn’t offer that feature, but you still get an eight-inch touchscreen (which is supremely easy to use, if a little dated style-wise), Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a reversing camera, automatic wipers and a USB port.
There’s also a suite of safety systems, including steering assist, adaptive cruise control, lane assist and road-sign assist. The pre-collision warning is a little intrusive, sometimes raising alerts over vehicles parked at the side of the road.
|Model:||Toyota Aygo X Air Edition|
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