Island Life Magazine Ltd February/March 2007 - Page 92

life - MOTORING A work of art Streetwise Come rain or shine the Toyota’s Aygo makes a splash when it comes to parking, price and performance. Probably not the best day to test drive Toyota’s Aygo, it was that particularly awful day in mid January when 99mph winds were recorded on the Isle of Wight hammering the coast line and the rain was coming down like needles. However the day was booked and things went swimmingly if you excuse the pun! The Aygo comes in two forms, 3 doors or 5 doors all with a 1.0 VVT-i engine or with a 1.4L diesel. The petrol version delivers 68 DIN hp and makes this little car dance in the streets, the 5 speed manual is decisive creating an uplifting agile performance despite its size. Without doubt Toyota’s spin is on a clever small car designed for city living, it is excellent at nipping through gaps and parking in tight spaces, which also make it perfect for an Island way of life. The car managed to win Top Gear’s car of the year for 2005 and after driving it I can see why. Wight Motors gave me the once 92 over and soon I was experiencing the benefits of a spacious feel to the forward interior and the responsive pull of the one litre. I didn’t travel too far as roofs were lifting and the odd tree coming down, although the agility and tight turning circle did inspire a degree of confidence. Personally I really like the aero dynamic shape it conforms to practical demands and it is organic. When considering the environment, low fuel consumption, easy parking and a top speed of 98 mph topped with the reliability of Toyota the Aygo is a streetwise decision. The entry model comes with 3 doors and is on the road for £6,730. There are plenty of optional extras and a sport model that comes complete with fog lamps, a sporty dash mounted rev counter and 14 inch alloy wheels. Whatever the weather the Aygo makes a worthy consideration. Contact: Wight Motors College Close, Sandown, IW. Tel: 01983 405551. Citroen’s C4 Piasso has an artistic licence on technology. The quay arts centre in Newport did seem the most appropriate place to contemplate my findings over the Citroen Picasso C4 Visiospace. The test drive took me west through Porchfield and onto Newtown allowing an opportunity to exploit the beautiful winter countryside and outstanding view through the panoramic overhead windscreen. The glass just goes on forever! And not far off meeting the full sized sunroof. If you have a passion for light and airy then you will love this. Wind tunnel designs have moulded the exterior into a pleasing form and the technology inside is a work of art. In true mould breaking MPV style the Picasso has seven seats, but no fussy compromises, access to the rear two seats is a one touch, one handed movement with a forward and fold motion. All rear seat fold flat allowing maximum load space, which again is a well thought out, one pull operation. The canvas has well and truly been worked on in meticulous detail, like the boot space interior courtesy light, this is removable doubling as a rechargeable hand held torch and the flexibility of lowering the tail gate at the press on an air button to ease unloading and loading. The perky diesel 2.0 litre OHDi returned a 138hp and accelerated well, with a six speed EGS gearbox the drive was crafted around giving generous assistance to the driver. There is manual option playing with the paddle shift gear change on the steering wheel which brings touch and control back into the driver’s senses. The C4 Picasso EGS. Exclusive which escorted me to fine art at Newport Quay is priced at £21,695 on the road; however the range starts at a palatable £14,995. There is an endless and interesting list of available options from 18 inch alloys to MP3 players and a colour palette that would be the envy of any artist. For further details: Central Garage, Riverway, Newport, IW. Tel: Sales 01983 526541 Island Life - www.isleofwight.net