THIS is what happens when Google Translate goes wrong.
We Brits think the word “undercover” means working in secret, not known or seen by others.
But the Japanese think it’s the complete opposite.
Like a spy with a gigantic nose and a fake moustache.
Dressed up in a kipper tie and clown shoes. It must be why this Toyota Aygo X Undercover edition is so badly undercover it might as well be painted hi-viz yellow.
It’s got red lipstick on the wheels, bumpers, side sills and the words “CHAOS” and “BALANCE” printed in big white letters on the roof.
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It also has “UNDERCOVER JUN TAKAHASHI” logos on the tailgate, front seats and carpet mats, after the Japanese fashion designer who curated this £20k motor.
OK, I’ll admit it. Daft name aside, I like what Takahashi has done to add a dash of style to Toyota’s baby crossover — and particularly on the inside.
The cherry-red seats look really expensive. The matching touch-screen surround looks smart.
He has even sprinkled a bit of love in the back, though I just can’t see those geometric squares on the floor mats surviving muddy shoes and paws in winter.
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Like every other Aygo X, this limited-edition range-topper is powered by a single 1-litre three-cylinder petrol engine — 72hp, no turbo, no hybrid — with a choice of five-speed manual or automatic.
You won’t be getting anywhere in a hurry in this motor.
But you will get excellent economy — we averaged 52mpg — calm road manners, even on a motorway, and a black-belt ninja for slicing through town traffic and parking in the tiniest of gaps.
Plus, it’s a Toyota. So you know it won’t let you down.
Toyota’s warranty protection lasts for up to ten years.
Grumbles? The boot is cramped at 231 litres — Kia’s Picanto and others are bigger — but flip down the rear seats and you’ve got enough space (829 litres) to swallow a golf bag and trolley.
Other than that, Aygo X is a gem of a car and Toyota should be applauded for sticking with small affordable cars for all.
Not everyone can switch to a plug-in hybrid or electric car because the technology is expensive.
The cheapest Aygo X Pure at £15,990 has everything you need:
Adaptive cruise control, reversing camera, automatic headlights, Apple CarPlay and lots of safety kit, all as standard.
Finance from £199 a month.
The £18,910 Aygo X Exclusive unlocks a bigger 9in touchscreen, wireless phone charging, remote air conditioning, LED headlights, 18in alloys, two-tone paint job and the option of a power-folding full-length canvas roof.
That’d be my choice.
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Then there’s Aygo X Undercover from £257 a month.
Heated front seats. Lots of designer touches. Lots to admire about it.
But as undercover as an umbrella with holes in it.
Key facts: Toyota Aygo X Undercover
Engine: 1-litre 3cyl petrol
0-62mph: 14.9 secs
Top speed: 98mph
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