Our motoring correspondent Brian McDaid is smitten with the cheap and cheerful Toyota Aygo, and here’s why…
‘Woooo, wooo, woo’ – that was the call from the not so amused attendant at Tobin’s Filling station as I pulled in for fuel in this week’s test drive. It only took the smallest drive in Toyota’s smallest car to be smitten with the “fun factor” of driving the Aygo. Everything was in control, I could clearly see the petrol pump in my reversing camera that the attendant thought I was going to back over the top of. “What are you at sir?”, to which I replied “put twenty in her please!”
We all enjoy that cup of coffee, then try to make it perfect by getting a coffee machine for the house. We buy very expensive coffee beans and a coffee grinder complete with a set of coffee branded cups and saucers and even go to the bother of getting them lovely biscuits to go on the side. By the way, I feel very special when I am asked if I would like a cup of coffee and the above experience is what was really meant. The reality is, not everyone else will appreciate the moment you are trying to create. Some will have eaten all the bloody biscuits or will give out about the mess you left behind grinding your beans!
These are the reasons that a coffee moment is as much about the location and the interaction as it is about the coffee. Therefore it will never make any sense why some people drive in search of that special coffee moment.
The “in place” for coffee for me in Letterkenny at the moment is outside the town, in the back of a vintage caravan along the roadside, with a backdrop of Muckish and Glenveagh for a view.
Of course their friends thought they were mad when the McCormack Sisters decided to take on the midges and make fine coffee and fresh pancakes in the middle of nowhere. Now that its a flying success, their customers line up for their coffee pancakes and a picture for Facebook to say they were there.
Like good coffee and interaction , Toyota “get it” with the Aygo, They have listened to what car owners want, something more that getting from A to B.
Some cars are designed and then built on the cheap – the difference with the new Aygo. It was designed to be built cheap. And there is a difference, things like one single front wiper, high back front seats incorporating a head rest, pop out windows on the two rear doors.
A single piece of molded glass for a tailgate, stripped back door cards with the exterior colour coded inside all are to make the Aygo so classy and retro in its design but also are an overall plan to reduce material used to make it.
So if you are one of those people that are more worried about what others think of you than you think of yourself, it might be time to look at your watch and conveniently remember you had somewhere else to be. The wee Aygo is way out of your league. How could you possibly listen to ones chatting about the statement you would make to dare to be different and drive an Aygo.
Toyota are on their second generation Aygo which can be yours on the road new for as little as €26.83 per week.
Toyota Flex is the way to buy your new Toyota. Everything about the financing of your new car is included in this plan. Your deposit which more than likely will be the car you hope to trade in, How many miles you are likely to cover per year and over how long you want to spread the payments over.
Options to up grade mid term are also available and at the end of the term. You then have the option to buy the car outright in a final payment or trade in and get a new car.
In theory this will work but it will depend on your attitude to the contract.
Look after the car including leaving it in for service and do only the miles you said you would, and the change over to a new car at the end of the contract term will be painless,
I never really imagined this car would be as enjoyable to drive . The first big bonus for me was they amount of leg room. According to my BMI, I should be 7 foot 3 inches. But at 6 foot tall “on a good day” I had no bother for room behind the wheel, . And judging by the amount of slack left on the seat belt, Toyota are well prepared for bigger bums than me.
Our youngest is 6 foot 3 inches big and he had to moved the fully extended passenger seat forward when he got in for a lift. He wasn’t happy until he checked if he could fit in the back and then if he could fit in the middle of the back, ‘yeh’ he said, ‘you could get five in here’. I thought to myself it didn’t take that long for the fun factor of the Aygo to have him smitten as well.
The off beat sound of this three cylinder turbo charged one litre petrol engine is like music to the ear. It sounds a bit like and old flat 6 cylinder boxer engine from the Porsche 911. Maybe I have been driving diesel powered cars too long with lower rev ranges but its class the rasp of this small petrol engine which is like no other. Second gear on the Aygo seems to be a lot higher ratio than first so it ends up the best results hold the car that bit longer in both 1st and 2nd gear. This is when this petrol power plant sounds so sweet.
A hint of petrol
The car was “on the nail” when she left Kelly’s on the morning of the test drive, Brendan Kelly gave me €20 for fuel which half filled the fuel tank, and after a days driving listening to that off beat little engine that car arrived back in the evening and the hand on the fuel gauge hadn’t moved one bit. Toyota say they can get 69 miles to a gallon of petrol from the Aygo. We might not have reached their figure, but enjoyed trying. I think my lawnmower is heavier on fuel than the Aygo, If you drove the Aygo right which I didn’t you could be hitting the 60mpg no bother.
Power to the people
Is it just me or does everyone need a pile of wires to become wireless, the lead for the phone charger one for the quick phone charge, the lead to charge up the remote battery charger, the lead for the computer, the lead for the inverter to plug in to the cigarette lighter to convert car battery power in to house power.
Power supply is one requirement that all new age travellers seek out , the other part of their stable diet is network connection . Our Aygo is ahead of the competition here, its radio doubles up as a hot spot or hub, five applications can link into it at the one time. The simple downloading of an application, “APP in Car” connects everything or everyone with out the use of a single lead or wire of any type. But for the disorganised like myself there is plug in for 12v USB and an iPhone jack.
Do I like the car?
The fact that Toyota have dared to be different in the design of this car gives it a great personality, this Toyota is very well made, and the driver is made feel very special with small details like leather type stitched steering wheel, a classic looking massive round clock straight in front of the driver, all of which move with the steering adjustment.
Cruise Control as standard on the model we drove or as Toyota would rather point out that its also a speed restrictor which I used and thought it was great, the smallest of design tweaks like little intrusions beside the wing mirrors and at the rear behind the two back doors disrupt the flow of air that passes over the car. One of my pet hates it that cars are so aerodynamic now as long as humans are not let near them. On a good day I love to drive with the window down, this has become impossible because of the buffeting that happens, On the Aygo two of the smallest pieces of moulding changes this both for the driver and the back seat passenger with their retro looking pop out windows.
A simple black strip is the signature on the Aygo. Add some really mad colour and some safe colours for the not so brave.
Finally on the safety side of things, it’s worth noting the the Aygo is the 1st A class Vehicle in Ireland to feature such advanced safety equipment at no extra cost as they Lane Departure Alert (LDA) which monitors lane markings and helps prevent accidents and collisions. All in all I had one small problem with the Aygo and that was leaving the Aygo back in Kelly’s that evening.
Happy motoring folks!Tags: