There is no mistaking the popularity of the Toyota Aygo – there are a lot about and they are increasingly hard to miss on the road.

Particularly since the arrival of the second generation model with its instantly recognisable ‘X’ design front and dazzling choice of colours.

Aimed at people who are buying a car for its style as much as purely sensible reasons, the Aygo has proved a consistent little winner.

Good looking, smartly turned out, nippy and zippy around town, it is little surprise that the Aygo is one of Toyota’s best-performing models for attracting new people to the brand.

It first appeared 14 years ago as a result of a joint venture with Groupe PSA producing cars specifically for Europe, with the Aygo, Citroën C1 and Peugeot 107 all coming off the same production line in Kolin, in the Czech Republic.

The aim for the latest version, apart from changing the exterior design, was to make the car quieter and more fun to drive, while lowering ownership costs by making it even cheaper to run.

With a rock-bottom insurance grouping, low exhaust emissions and the potential to achieve almost 70mpg when driven carefully, the engineers have certainly ticked plenty of economy boxes.

Power still comes from a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engine which has been revised to meet Euro 6.2 emissions standards. The changes balance power and fuel consumption with better torque at lower engine revs to make driving easier around town.

In a nutshell, the car accelerates away more easily in first and second gear, vital for a car that is likely to spend a lot of its time negotiating urban traffic.

But the Aygo has plenty more to offer than a simple town runabout.

Though it is primarily a city car, I took the test model well out of its comfort zone on a 300-mile trip that served up a double dose of a jam-packed M5 and punishing hills in Devon and Dorset.

That certainly made for plenty of shifting around the five-speed manual gearbox to make the most of the 69 horsepower on offer, but the little car coped easily with the not only the distance and undulating terrain, but the desire to pack in a ludicrous number of bags for a simple weekend trip.

The onboard computer said we managed the round trip at an impressive 61.8mpg.

Equally impressive is the standard equipment fitted, with all Aygo models coming with air-conditioning, steering wheel-mounted audio switches, a height-adjustable driver's seat, an adjustable speed limiter, LED rear lights, DAB radio and Bluetooth.

The x-trend model driven here, which was introduced this year, has 15-inch machined alloy wheels, front fog lights, automatic air conditioning, automatic headlights, rear privacy glass and a reversing camera.

It also came with an optional power-retracting canvas sunroof, known in Aygo-speak as the Funroof.

And it is that sense of fun that is clear both inside and out. The use of LED lighting front and back and new wheel designs have freshened the exterior, while inside a range of upgraded materials and a new multimedia unit with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for smartphone integration give a more modern feel.

Toyota says it sold 22,621 Aygos in the UK last year, with more than a quarter of a million taking to the roads in the UK since the car was launched in 2005.

If you want to stand out from the crowd without breaking the bank, the Aygo could be just the thing for you.

Auto facts

Model: Toyota Aygo x-trend

Price: £12,715

Insurance group: 3E (1-50)

Fuel consumption (combined): 68.9mpg

Top speed: 99mph

Length: 345.5cm/135.6in

Width: 161.5cm/63.4in

Luggage capacity: 168 litres/5.9 cu ft

Fuel tank capacity: 7.7 gallons/35 litres

CO2 emissions: 95 g/km

Warranty: Five years/ 100,000 miles