Toyota Aygo I, the spiritual successor of the VW Lupo, is knocking at the door of AlmostCars. I’m curious instead if the order is correct and if the kebabs are still warm. It arrived instead at exactly the right time in an troubled automotive world.

In the automotive world, there is a very special corner, where the Toyota Aygo I is king. Yes, there are cars made for commuting (VW Polo 9n), there are cars for the business class (Mercedes E Class), for affordable performance (Seat Leon Cupra), for glaring over the rest of the traffic from above with that signature look of superiority (BMW X3), learner cars (Opel Corsa C), IT programmers (Opel Insignia A), for those who watch all the live performances of Sam Smith (Toyota Avensis T25 1.6 petrol), for those who watch the Food Network 24/7 (Toyota Yaris I), for those who watch Life of Boris (BMW 5 Series) and so on…


Then there is the world of late night food delivery chariots for those people who are too drunk to cook and too hungry to survive until next morning. Or maybe for people who want to have something to eat before they start a session of heavy drinking. Or for girls who want to eat a salad before drinking 5 bottles of wine, because they want to stay fit. And this food is usually delivered by small cars (the smallest), with petrol engines the size of a milk bottle, with minimal equipment and as cheap as possible. Essentially, what Renault Twingo was doing in ’95 and what the VW Lupo was doing in the 2000s. By the way, the VW Lupo still delivers food today from food places that are as strapped for cash as a college student. Anyways, VW wanted to continue the Lupo tradition by launching the VW Fox, but that was a failure that people quickly forgot about. Chiefly because in 2005 the Toyota Aygo I / Citroen C1 / Peugeot 107 triplet was birthed. With a 1 litre petrol engine, reliability, simplicity and cheapness, it’s easy to see why they were immediately adopted by every kebab place and restaurant that delivers food.


Why buy the Aygo and not the others?

Even though the cars are largely identical, the Toyota Aygo I stands out with a different bootlid from the Citroen C1 and Peugeot 107, some differences on the options list and it obviously has the Toyota logo. Basically, the Toyota Aygo I is for those who want cheapness and some sort of status. Yes, we’re doing the cost-efficiency part, but we also want the badge.



Toyota Aygo I Engines


1.0 1KR-FE of 68 horsepower – The standard engine in the brochure and standard on all delivery cars. Serious issues with the oil pump and clutch forced Toyota to bring in a facelift in 2009 to fix the issues. Apparently, they only fixed the oil pump issue, the clutch still has issues and more recently comes with an oil consumption worthy of VW’s 1.8 TFSI or BMW’s famous 2.2 M54 petrols.


1.4 DV-4TD of 54 horsepower – Are there people who have bought the Toyota Aygo I diesel? Why would you go on a long drive with one? Anyway, the engine has issues with the timing belt rollers, clutch and oil pump. You didn’t expect a Citroen diesel to be any good, did you? And yet, if you don’t make pizza deliveries up to 30 miles away from your location, I don’t see why you would get a diesel Aygo.


Toyota Aygo I General Issues

  • It rains in the car, specifically in the boot. No biggie tho, as the delivery guy will place your pizza or kebab in the back seat.
  • The tailgate window can be opened separately, like on the Range Rover. So you can get the kebab out of the boot without opening the tailgate. However, don’t do this when the wind is blowing because the window can do a 180-triple-sommersault, pop out and go to a better world.
  • Semi-automatic gearboxes are as good as any automatic gearbox made by the French. Has anyone bought their Toyota Aygo I with a semi-automatic gearbox though? Do such people even exist?
  • The doorlocks (and the tailgate one included) tend to break down after long life of use and abuse. Still not a relevant issue in a pizza delivery car.
  • The glass…the plastic posing as glass on the huge tailgate can fall off because it was glued on with products bought from the bottom shelf of a supermarket. Seriously, this car is so basic it’s like comparing Idris Elba’s hairline is Saul Hudson’s.
  • No meal without fish, no car list without Hyundai i30, no beer without another beer, and no Toyota without steering column issues. For the Toyota Aygo I issues are only with the power steering pump, which fails after prolonged abuse. Again, not a concern for food delivery drivers. Power steering won’t stop them.
  • Catalytic converters get hotter than the kebabs they are delivering and give up prematurely. If you’re a real food place owner, you will remove the catalytic converters altogether, you’ve also saved some money by avoiding the expense and you further save some money because the accountant has slightly less work to do. Everybody wins.


Toyota Aygo I Verdict

As a food delivery car, it’s brilliant. Cheap, simple, and sort of reliable. But would I recommend it for the private buyer? Doubt it. The Toyota Aygo I is so basic that the first Logan is envious of it’s cheapness. The rear windows are actually plastic. Even the rev counter was optional. You could say it’s aimed at the people who don’t care about cars, but when you consider the prices you are better off with an Opel Corsa C which is better equipped, just as reliable, and costs as much as a six pack of Tesco beer, a bottle of Nemiroff from duty-free and two packs of Camel cigarettes. And the chances of you buying what’s left of the car because it was trashed by 18 year old, underpaid delivery driver are much, much lower. This reminds me of when a friend came to my village and I said I’d take him to a more rural type of tavern. We get there, all good and well, lots of people dancing on tables like that. At a table there was a guy with his head on the table, sleeping. We have another beer, after 3 minutes we look back again to see if the guy was ok. He was still with his head on the table in the exact same position, but his shirt was off. How? What magic did that vodka do to him?

What engine do I recommend? 1.0 petrol power and godspeed delivering. Remember, if it doesn’t arrive in the time specified by the dispatcher, you can refuse the order or it’s free.