A lot of people don’t seem to like the Aston Martin Cygnet, due to the unarguable fact that it’s not really an Aston Martin but a tiny Toyota with a big toothy grin and a herd’s worth of hide thrown at the interior.
All the scorn heaped on Aston’s ugly duckling will come as advantage to a certain group, however – those people looking for a small and extremely luxurious city car for a reasonable price – because second-hand values seem surprisingly weak. If you covet the notion of sumptuous stitched leather combined with Toyota reliability, and don’t have an issue with the incongruous badge on the bonnet, you’re in luck. Nearly-new Cygnets are now popping up well below £20,000.
That might sound like a lot for a second-hand city car, given that the Toyota iQ donor car costs from as little £10,995 brand new. But remember that the standard iQ feels roughly as luxurious as a Bic biro next to the Cygnet’s Mont Blanc. From its Alcantara headlining down to its leather-trimmed mats, a Cygnet clearly offers something substantial for the money.
Around 150 Cygnets have been registered in the UK, and a handful are currently up for sale. A neat metallic-red example with just 1,750 miles on the clock can be had for £18,000 – a worthwhile saving over the £31,000 minimum required to buy a new one.
On 15 January 2013, Aston Martin will celebrate its centenary, and today it released an interesting photograph of the oldest surviving Aston, model A3, alongside one of the newest, the latest top-of-the-range Vanquish. Dating from 1921 and the third Aston Martin ever built, the skinny-wheeled A3 boasts a four-cylinder 1.5-litre engine capable of producing just 11 horsepower. The Vanquish, by contrast, snorts out 564bhp from its 5.9-litre V12.
More than 90 years of progress have changed Astons out of all recognition, and the stark contrast makes one wonder what the future holds for the brand, and for cars in general. I wonder, in another 100 years, will today’s little Cygnet look pathetic or prophetic?