A SMALL car with almost all features and specs you find in bigger models will be welcomed as a breath of fresh air by Mzansi drivers.

People often say if you want good things, you must be ready to face the costs that come with it.

But the new Toyota Agya is changing that.

Even though quite small for my liking, the fact that its got a press start button and remote central lock system is something to write home about.

Toyota South Africa Motors said Agya is a result of a partnerships with automotive brands including Daihatsu Motor Company for the highly competitive and price-sensitive A-segment for compact city cars.

Agya shares its platform with the Daihatsu Ayla – a five-door urban hatchback with generous interior space complemented by compact exterior dimensions which were first introduced in 2013.

The name Ayla is Sanskrit (a sacred language of Hinduism) for “light”, while “Agya” translates to “fast.”

Toyota Agya is fast and affordable. Photo: Njabulo
Toyota Agya is fast and affordable. Photo: Njabulo Ngcobo.

Agya comes handy during the time when budgeting is on the table for Mzansi people, especially those looking to buy cars for the first time. But in an era where it is good to have big and small cars, Agya will also appeal to those parents who want to have a small car in their garage to do a few, around-the-city errands.

It proved quite useful as a get-around easily car during the weekend when Toyota lent it us to test.

As a direct replacement for the Aygo, the Agya drives and handles very well compared to many or its competitors, actually you get a good performance from it.

It’a very solid and balanced. It actually reminded me of the Kia Picanto and the Grand i10, which also have a good grip.

Toyota Agya is fast and affordable. Photo: Njabulo
Toyota Agya is fast and affordable. Photo: Njabulo Ngcobo.

A bonus in the Agya is a host of standard features including anti-lock brakes (ABS) enhanced by electronic brake force distribution (EBD), 14-inch alloy wheels, driver and front passenger airbags and the option of an automatic transmission.

The front bumper is sculpted with a three-dimensional design for an assertive, sporty look and a wide stance.

The cabin features a mixed use of silver and black plastics and attractive, hard-wearing fabric for the seats with a touch of polyurethane for the gear lever and steering wheel.

All Agya models stand on anthracite-coloured 14-inch alloy wheels shod with 175-65-R14 tyres, along with a similar-sized steel spare wheel, serving as backup, something set to make it quite a unique offering.

The Agya’s engine is a nippy but thrifty three-cylinder, fuel-injected petrol designed for light work of urban commutes.

Powering the front wheels and developing maximum power of 49kW at 6000 rpm and peak torque of 89Nm at 4400 rpm, mated to either a slick-shifting five-speed manual transmission for ultimate driver control or a self-shifting four-speed automatic transmission for complete driving comfort.

The manual version, which we drove, drinks an average of just 4.8 l per100 km and emits a corresponding 112g CO2/km; while completing the 0-100km/h sprint in 14,6 seconds and runs to a top speed of 165km/h.

Its automatic variant consumes 4.9 l/100 km which is a big selling point as everyone looks to save on fuel.

“The new Agya is a no-nonsense value proposition that’s laser-focused on delivering the best value to budget-conscious buyers under the umbrella of Toyota’s legendary quality, durability and reliability,” said Glenn Crompton, Toyota’s vice president of marketing.

In line with its simplicity, the Agya range comprises two transmission options – manual and automatic – along with the choice of an audio system or without.

Interior comfort is taken care of by power steering and automatic air conditioning (climate control), key trip information is conveyed to the driver via a Multi-Information Display, while all passengers enjoy the luxury of electrically operated windows; and an auxiliary 12-volt socket is on hand for charging additional mobile devices. Combined with all modern features like double-DIN touchscreen multimedia unit features CD, Bluetooth, auxiliary and USB connectivity, makes any modern driver smile.

An optional touchscreen audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality will be available as a dealer-fitted option. .

Model line-up & Pricing

Agya MT – R178 600

Agya AT – R192 500

Agya MT (with audio) – R182 400

Agya AT (with audio) – R196 300 Agya models are sold with a 2-services/20 000 km service plan. A 3-year/100 000 km warranty is also provided and buyers can order additional service plan and warranty options via the extensive dealer network of 220.