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Aston Martin Cygnet

Aston Martin Cygnet Published: 22nd Mar 2019 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Aston Martin Cygnet
Aston Martin Cygnet
Aston Martin Cygnet
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What’s the appeal of a Toyota city slicker wearing the Aston Martin emblem? Quite a lot it seems and the ‘IQ’ Cygnet is a smart buy

If you thought that the ‘Jag in Drag’ DB7 wasn’t a real Aston, what on earth do you make of the Cygnet?

This baby Aston Martin is little more than a Toyota IQ wearing an Aston corporate face and badges and geared at wealthy owners who possibly thought that a Fiat 500 was too downmarket (perish the thought of a common Fiesta) and a MINI to big as a trendy town dash about.

Actually, Cygnet was born not primarily to add an addition to the Aston family but a what’s regarded as a cunning way to get around what’s called the EU’s manufacturer’s overall ‘fleet emissions’ figure for 2012.

Naturally, big-engined Aston Martins wouldn’t fare too well on their own but by adding this eco friendly Toyota into the mix it massaged the figures quite nicely. AM claims that by coincidence such a ‘mini DB’ had been on the cards…

Whatever, the Cygnet has become a curious classic despite never getting off the ground. Although wearing the right badges it’s little more than a tiny Toyota with some Aston touches. Whether it demands to be judged alongside DBs of the same era is a matter of personal choice, but this baby Swan is certainly attracting a cult following.

Dates to remember

2010 Introduced for 2011 as a new entry level Aston Martin. Essentially, it’s a Toyota IQ that’s specially tailored by the Gaydon works who claim that, apart from the AM nose (which entailed new hand crafted wings, bonnet, grille and bumper), almost every body panel was also altered to some degree – the rear lights are special to Cygnet – and the paintwork is to the same quality of other Aston Martins.

The biggest change was saved for the interior that’s DB almost through and through plus boasted a choice of exclusive custom touches just like its bigger brothers.

Power comes from a 1.4-litre petrol unit rated at 97bhp via either a six-speed manual ’box or a CVT auto to the front sitting on special Aston alloys.

2013 Dismal sales figures of just 789 (less than 150 for the UK), way short of the planned 4000 per year production run meant that by September the Cygnet was culled.

Buying advice

Being a Toyota, it’s almost a given that reliability comes with that badge. As most cars are city goers mileages should be nominal and with the majority of owners being Aston devotees, skipped servicing should be unlikely. Actually, normal Toyota agents can service one – cheaper – but the proper Aston stamp is not only for vanity purposes but should also protect future resales.

As it’s town dweller, check for bumper scuffs, mauled diamond cut wheels and that pricey grille – some paint shades are specific to Aston and make certain that if any accident repairs have been carried out that only Aston not Toyota parts have been used. A tired interior will also cost Aston budgets to revive.
Common IQ faults: Wipers, defective keyless and iffy entry systems. The engine is solid but the CVT auto less so.

Duff front anti-roll bushes shouldn’t be dismissed as they are very pricey to replace due to their poor accessibility.

Best buys & prices

Cheap by Aston standards when brand new (£30,995), the Cygnet was still three times the price of the donor Toyota IQ – now it’s swollen to almost ten times. After plummeting in price, Cygnets now sell for what they cost back in 2011 and a lot more if expensive Aston options are fitted. Two-thirds of models are CVT autos, as befitting their townie intention. The car was originally only sold to Aston owners and the bulk are still their custodians – far from being an outcast, AM drivers have taken them to their hearts, reluctant to sell their pet on.

What makes this classic so special to drive and own?

The IQ was liked greatly for what it was, a nippy, compact urban get about for three people and the Aston is no less accomplished. Performance is ample for town use and feels pretty brisk in CVT form plus cruises ok when on faster roads. Handling is crisp and the steering lock is better than any other city car. Naturally, that special Aston cabin makes it a nice place to be. Apart from personalisation touches, the ‘works’ did offer a sportier suspension package that can be retrofitted while Toyota did market a turbo as did some US specialists among other tweaks.


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