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fred-france

Aygo 2017: challenging to drive?

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fred-france    2

Hello,

Thank you for clicking my subject and reading. Sorry for this long post and for my English. My name is Fred.

I have been driving a brand-new rental 2017 Aygo 1.0 for three months. After hundreds of miles, I could not get used to the clutch. Shifting up and down while the car moves is absolutely no problem. But when the car is stopped, I find starts in 1st gear rather difficult. Setting the car in motion requires much concentration from me, more than other cars which I have driven, including old ones, used ones or basic ones.

Every time I launch the Aygo, it is funky. I find it hard to adjust the gas and to tell when the clutch and the flywheel are in contact, because the clutch bites very high and the throttle is imprecise. Either I give too much gas, the engine overrevs and the engine roars, or I do not accelerate enough, the car bounces and almost stalls and I floor the gas pedal to compensate. This brings me back to my early years when I had just had my driving licence.

I drive mainly in urban areas, I stop frequently, often on hills. What's more, I am often tired because I go to work very early and come back home late and tired. A car exacting such a precision driving is no easy thing for me.

I have read some reviews and almost all mentioned a lack of consistency in the commands or an unpleasant clutch/gearbox.

I do not understand because I am an experienced driver. I am used to driving tiny cars with small petrol engines that do not have much torque. On these cars, I know that you have to give some gas, unlike on diesel engines which you can maneuver solely with the clutch pedal. Moreover, I am used to the Aygo as my girlfriend and I own and Toyota Aygo 2013 and a Citroën C1 2009 with the same 1.0 engine since almost 10 years. So I know how this car works!!!

Does the Aygo 2017 feel the same for you?
Did you get used to it?
Do you find the clutch hard to handle?

Please do not hesitate to speak frankly, if you think I am a poor driver, tell me.

 

 

Many thanks!!!
Fred

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Agent Orange    61

Hi Fred and welcome to the Forum. :smile:

I do not think that you are a bad driver, I just think that you have rented a bad car.  Maybe the Car Hire company has not serviced it correctly and the adjustments to the clutch have been neglected, either way, you have enough experience of the older Aygo/Citroen C1 to know what you are talking about.

Many people say that the clutch biting point is a little high on the Aygo but it can be adjusted and to be honest, even if it is a little high it is something that you can get used to.  As I say, I think that you have just rented a car that is a bit poor (What is the mileage/how many Kms has it done?) but please, do not think that every Aygo is like the one you are driving, they are not.  As you say, you know the previous model and everybody that has the Mark2, seems to love them.

I hope that helps in some way and reassures you that your driving skills are absolutely fine.

All the best!

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FROSTYBALLS    1,878

I've had second generation Aygos as courtesy cars (for up to four days at a time), and bought a new one last year. Had no trouble moving off from rest with the courtesy cars nor with mine - like any other of the 19 new cars we've owned.

I suspect it is an issue with that particular car, and rental cars, however new they are, tend to have a hard life.

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Pytheas    16

I cannot comment on the specific issue, as I am driving a X-Shift (semi-automatic) 2016 Aygo. However, I am driving about 80 km a day, (more than half of them in heavy traffic and uphill roads), have already made 17.000 km in less than one year and usually already tired when driving (I am out of home for about 12 hours a day, including commuting time to and from the office). 

I have found that the X-Shift version is much more comfortable for such routes compared to the traditional manual transmission, which mostly applies in the heavy traffic part (where I would definitely need to change gears way too often). I have to admit that the X-Shift system is far from perfect (no way of comparing with the fully automatic transmission systems), but it surely does the work without too much hassle under these conditions.

Since you mention that this is a rental car, I was wondering if you could have the chance to drive the X-Shift version and even swap, if you are happy with it.

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fordulike    97

Fred mentions that the car is a 2017 model and he's been driving for 3 months. As we're only in May, I doubt if it's a rental car previous renter abuse issue.

Fred, try moving the seat back a notch or two, to allow your leg to be less bent when releasing the clutch. The clutches on these are high, and appear to have just a small window of disengage to engage, if you get what I mean.

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fred-france    2

Thank you for your replies and your much appreciated help!


@ Agent Orange
Thank you for your kind words. The Aygo I am talking about was truly brand new "ouf of the factory". It was lended to me from a Toyota dealership where it was tested by people who know the model. If there was something wrong, I suppose they would have detected it.

I did not know that the clutch could be adjusted. Factory settings should be fine so that drivers do not have to change them.

The driving comfort is not a problem for me. But I would not want to order this new Aygo and ruin its clutch within months...


@ FROSTYBALLS
I do not think there was something wrong. In addition, I test-drove another new Aygo from the garage which had the same feel.


@ Pytheas
Yes, many reviews encourage to chose the X-Shift version. I imagine that it must be very pleasant to drive. You made the best choice. To be honest, my dream would be a car with full automatic gearbox, for example a hybrid Yaris with a CVT transmission but I need a cheap car, now.

The pedals and the steering wheel feel very very light on the new Aygo. This is confusing to me. I sometimes drive an old commercial vehicle at my work and in the evening, as I get back in my Aygo, it is as if the pedals had no weight at all :D


@ fordulike
You are right. Maybe the driving position has something to do with it. I am very tall and I might be too close to the wheel and pedals.

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Agent Orange    61

Hi again Fred,

I drive a Mark 1 Aygo Fire and I am 6'4" (194 cm) tall.  I have the drivers seat pushed back as far as it will go but I like to drive with the seat back fairly upright, even though I have long arms to go with my long legs.

To be honest, it is a comfortable driving position for a tall driver and I've not had a desire to get a bigger car as I like my little Aygo.

I still think that it is something to do with the car rather than your driving style but if you have found the same problem on two cars, then it could be something else.

I hope that you get to the bottom of it, Fred.

All the best. :smile:

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fred-france    2

Thanks, Agent Orange.

Yes, I am the same size and the Aygo 1 or 2 feel really roomy. Despite what people think, I am far from touching the roof with my head.

I like driving with arms and legs flexed, too. I do not like being too far from the steering wheel.

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Agent Orange    61

I agree with you, Fred....They are very roomy little cars aren't they?

I have no trouble with headroom, the only problem that I have is that I cannot use the sun-visor as I can't see out of the windscreen for it!  To be fair, that is a problem for me in a lot of cars and many of them, some bigger than the Aygo, have less headroom.....A pair of sunglasses sorts that problem out. :cool:

When I bought it, I chose the three door as the front doors are a little longer than on the five door model and make getting in and out a bit easier for us "Big Lads". :wink:

Like I say, I hope that you get to the bottom of your clutch mystery.

Good luck!

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fred-france    2

Thanks for your words.

I just have to be careful not to turn off the engine because my knee touches the ignition kee, but nothing uncomfortable here. This car is perfect for tall people :)

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fordulike    97
7 minutes ago, fred-france said:

Thanks for your words.

I just have to be careful not to turn off the engine because my knee touches the ignition kee, but nothing uncomfortable here. This car is perfect for tall people :)

I definitely think that you're too close to the pedals. I ended up moving the seat back further than in my previous cars, because of the Aygo's high biting point. Shame the steering wheel doesn't have reach adjustment, but I suppose that would just add to the selling price.

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Agent Orange    61

I agree with David (Fordulike) on this one, I am the same size as you, Fred, my legs are long in relation to my body and my knees do not come anywhere close to the ignition key so try to move the seat back as far as it will go and adjust the seat back into a more upright position.....So that it is a bit like a dining chair to sit on, rather than a (more reclined) lounge chair, if you get my meaning. That is how I have it and it is very comfortable.

I hope that helps! :smile:

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Agent Orange    61

Hello Fred,

I've just had another thought on your problem.....You say that your knee is almost touching the ignition key, well this might sound obvious (Sorry if it does) but is your steering column set too low? It sounds like you are a bit cramped around your knees and this might be part of the problem.

David (Fordulike) thought that you were too close to the steering wheel and I agree with him, so try with the seat further back but also check that steering wheel height, the adjuster is a lever on the underside of the steering column, behind the wheel......Pull it, lift the wheel/column up as high as it will go and push the lever back to lock the column in place and try driving the car like that.

To be fair, I think that you know all that as you are used to the Mark 1 Aygo but it was just a thought.

Good luck and all the best. :smile:

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Cyker    336

I don't have much useful advice but I had the same problem when I had one as a courtesy car too, although in my case I do suspect it was partly due to the clutch being shredded by previous lendees...

Stalled that thing sooooo much, esp. tricky situations like moving off on a hill out of a gutter at an angle. Really missed my diesel Yaris there!!

I just resorted to Learner Mode clutch usage - i.e. 2000rpm then engage the clutch instead of the see-saw. The clutch has a huge deadzone of travel so I had to release it with my whole leg to just before the biting point, then plant my ankle and roll back on that carefully over the biting point to get a smoother engagement.


 

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fred-france    2

Hi!

Again, many thanks to all for your help!!! I really appreciate.

You were right. I am bit shameful to say but this had to do with the driving position! I am such a noob ^^

As advised, I pulled the seat back and the car is much more easy to drive, then! I was simply too close to the commands. In the Aygo mk1 as well as in many cars, driving close to the steering wheel is no problem for me. When I borrow my mom/girlfriend's car, I just adjust the rear-view mirror, I do not touch the seat. But in the Aygo mk2, I have to pull the seat backwards. I guess this enables to press the pedals with the right leg angle and the right part of the foot.

In my defence, the clutch pedal is incredibly light and has a huge deadzone, actually. So depending which car you have driven before, the feeling may seem tremendously different!

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fred-france    2
On 16/05/2017 at 9:13 PM, Cyker said:

Stalled that thing sooooo much, esp. tricky situations like moving off on a hill out of a gutter at an angle. Really missed my diesel Yaris there!!

Maybe it had no problem at all, it is just so different to drive from a diesel clutch.

In comparison with other cars, on the Aygo, it is very hard to engage the clutch progressively. 90% of the pedal seems to be in the void, and the last 10% represent 5 mm of the pedal run :D

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Cyker    336

I wasn't saying that it was a problem with the car necessarily, just that I had the same problem driving it as you!

That is indeed a downside with driving a diesel 'tho - all equivalent petrol cars feel painfully gutless by comparison!

The pedal travel is weird in the Agyo tho' - In the Yaris the biting point is slap bang in the middle whereas the Aygo's felt like the horribly abused BSM Corsa I learnt to drive in :laugh:

Apparently it *is* adjustable tho', and if I had one I think that'd be the first thing I'd investigate!
 

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FROSTYBALLS    1,878

Must confess to not having any issue with the Aygo clutch - either with the courtesy cars I've had or with the one I bought last year. Just a case of jump in and go!

All of the new cars we've bought have been petrol (19), and the only one we had a clutch issue with was a Hyundai (the clutch was replaced under warranty at 2 years 10 months). However I have driven Crown vehicles many a time, both on short and long runs (ie up to Edinburgh), and those were diesels.

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Cyker    336

Out of curiosity, where does the clutch bite on yours Frosty? More middle or near the top?

I was thinking maybe this problem was just with Aygos with the original small clutch and that you had the Yaris clutch in yours and that made it better, but the OP says he has a 2017 which should already have the Yaris clutch...?

Hopefully Wiz201 can chime in as IIRC they got a new Aygo recently, and can let us know whether the high biting point is normal on the new ones or not, so fred knows whether he just needs to get used to it or can get it sorted!


 


 

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FROSTYBALLS    1,878

Mine is a 2016 Aygo. Just tried it. Biting point is approx 2 inches from the top limit of travel - so not far from the mid point. To be honest the clutch doesn't feel that different from my previous Auris, aside from being lighter.

Wiz201's is an X-shift, and her previous one was an MMT.

Having said that, the clutch on our i20 1.4 has a noticeably  lower biting point.

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Cyker    336

Cheers Frosty. 2 inches is loads, definitely more than I had on my loaner (That one was more like 2mm :laugh:) so maybe freds one does have an issue. Maybe they set them up differently in france???

Well, might be worth asking if it can be adjusted, but since it is only a 3 month rental might just have to get used to it...


 

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FROSTYBALLS    1,878
18 minutes ago, Cyker said:

Cheers Frosty. 2 inches is loads, definitely more than I had on my loaner (That one was more like 2mm :laugh:) so maybe freds one does have an issue. Maybe they set them up differently in france???

Probably the Czech republic where the Joint Venture plant is.

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zuh    1

Hello!

I am in France, too. I have a 2017 Aygo that is 1 month old and I love it :wub:

I often rent cars for my job, so I have tried many city cars. On the Aygo, the clutch bites high and not very progressively. I do not understand this choice from Toyota, even more on a city car.

Starting the car uphill can be particularly tricky, even with the hill-start assist control, which -to me- is more often annoying than helpful.

You have to bear in mind that the engine is not very powerful. When you change gear, you feel the biting point around the middle of the clutch pedal. But when the car is stopped and you release the clutch, the biting point may seem higher (closer to the top of the pedal) because if you do not accelerate enough, nothing happens, lol. Actually, the clutch does bite but if you do not accelerate frankly enough, the car will not move.

When you are in the downtown and you come across a new Aygo, pay attention. Very often, I hear Aygos starting in the red zone and I think to myself "poor little car" :biggrin:

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Wiz201    41
On 2017-5-19 at 9:16 AM, Cyker said:

Out of curiosity, where does the clutch bite on yours Frosty? More middle or near the top?

I was thinking maybe this problem was just with Aygos with the original small clutch and that you had the Yaris clutch in yours and that made it better, but the OP says he has a 2017 which should already have the Yaris clutch...?

Hopefully Wiz201 can chime in as IIRC they got a new Aygo recently, and can let us know whether the high biting point is normal on the new ones or not, so fred knows whether he just needs to get used to it or can get it sorted!


 


 

 

On 2017-5-19 at 10:58 AM, FROSTYBALLS said:

Mine is a 2016 Aygo. Just tried it. Biting point is approx 2 inches from the top limit of travel - so not far from the mid point. To be honest the clutch doesn't feel that different from my previous Auris, aside from being lighter.

Wiz201's is an X-shift, and her previous one was an MMT.

Having said that, the clutch on our i20 1.4 has a noticeably  lower biting point.

Yeah as Frostyballs said I've got an X shift and have been driving automatics for 10 years. As a general rule though, its a good idea to sit as far back as you can and not too close to the steering wheel and controls as it also affects how the airbag works if you do have an accident.

 

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fred-france    2

Hi,

I read all reviews about the Aygo 2. Almost all mention an unpleasant clutch and gearbox :smile:

Glad to see that I am not crazy and it does not come from me :smile:

Example:

Quote

Vague clutch is a pain in stop-start traffic [...] you have to really concentrate to pull away smoothly because the clutch pedal offers little feedback.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/cars/toyota/toyota-aygo-review/

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