Tag Archives: Toyota

Aston Martin Cygnet: Good Bye and Good Riddance


Aston-Martin-Cygnet-LE-Black2After three miserable years, the Aston Martin Cygnet is officially dead. Aston Martin claim it is because Toyota will be ending production of the IQ in 2014, however I think it has more to do with the fact that nobody actually wanted or could justify buying it.

Lets face it, Aston Martin was stupid to even try to claim that this is an Aston Martin. Its a Toyota IQ which has driven through an Aston Martin souvenir shop. Its atrocious.It is vile. It is terrible. The worst part is Aston thought they could get away with it.

Lets face it, despite what Aston fans will say, their latest crop of cars are well below par. I don’t even know which segment of the market they are supposed to be competing in. This Cygnet is another example of Aston Martin creating a car, that struggles to fit into any category. At first, it was meant to be a city runabout for current Aston Martin owners. When this plan went belly up, they started to sell it to anyone who would buy it. That still didn’t improve the situation for Aston Martin, and I think I understand why.

In the UK, drivers who take their car into London must pay what is known as a Congestion Charge, where they are paying for a permit to drive through the streets of London. However, if you own a car with less than 100g/km of CO2, you are exempt from this charge. This sort of situation happens around other big cities too, so it makes sense to have a small car that one can use to drive into the city with, and avoiding this charge. Aston Martin clearly saw this opportunity and decided to enter that segment of the market, by offering a luxurious city runabout. A brilliant idea, in theory.

What they actually did was take a Toyota IQ, and stick in the bigger 1.3l petrol engine, which produces over 100g/km of CO2, basically shooting themselves in the foot. Also, because the Toyota IQ’s design cannot be changed without causing complications to the engineering, Aston Martin had no space to be creative. So, the one place where Aston Martin should excel,  they couldn’t. So what we ended up with was literally a glorified IQ.

However, despite all this, there is one silver lining. If you are looking to buy a Toyota IQ, don’t. Instead go for a second hand Cygnet. Presently, they cost about £15,000, which is about the same price as a base IQ, but what you are actually getting is a top spec IQ and then some. In a Cygnet, you have got some of the best leather available, with beautiful stitching and a feeling that it has been handcrafted to perfection. Not even the most expensive IQ can offer that! For that price you could also get one with exceptionally low mileage. Plus you are getting an Aston Martin badge without all the Aston Martin expenses. Something worth considering.

Toyota’s New Yaris Now Available In Malta

The new Toyota Yaris, a car which sold very well here in Malta, is now available from €15,000.

Now , I would like to say from the start that I have never been a fan of the Yaris. I found the car to be quite a bore, and felt that it was only created to add more profits to Toyota. I always felt that it had a body over the mechanics because if it didn’t, it wouldn’t have sold. It just never stood out in the roads,and frankly I always believeed that there were better cars on the market that have more character than the Yaris and are much better looking.

It seems however, that Toyota is taking notice of the consumer’s needs, and realised that if they wants to compete in Europe, design is very important. To my eyes, it seems as though that the designers have spent to much time looking at the Peugeot 207 and the Renault Clio. From the back, it is unmistakably similar to the 207, whilst the C-pillar seems to be directly lifted from the Renault Clio.

The interior is very well designed, with easy to reach controls. The touchscreen interface is very responsive, but the UI is not very user friendly, and takes time to get used to. Materials on the main centre console is good enough, although other parts of the interior seem to be made of very cheap plastics, especially the whole bottom bit between the two front seats where the handbrake and gear lever are found. Let a nine year old loose into that car and he would be able to take apart the entire interior in a matter of seconds. Not something I expect from Toyota.

There are three engines on offer the base 1.0l petrol with 69bhp costs €15,000 with lots of standard equipment, including air conditioning, alloy wheels, Cd player with mp3 connectivity, a multimedia touchscreen, 6 speakers, a reversing camera, Bluetooth connectivity, power steering, steering audio controls, front electric windows, ABS, airbags and a host of other things.  For €15,600, one can upgrade to the 1.3l petrol engine with 99bhp with the same array of standard equipment. There will also be a 1.4l diesel version producing 90bhp. Prices for the diesel version have yet to be verified.

Whilst the standard equipment is impressive, I am not fully convinced with this car.I think that European manufacturers are better looking, and in areas, better built than this Toyota. Also, and this is a personal thing, I do not think I could bring myself to buy a Toyota, after the brake problems they had very recently.