Skoda that's big in

the city

Skoda Citigo, front, action
Skoda Citigo, side
Skoda Citigo, rear
Skoda Citigo, rear
Skoda Citigo, side
Skoda Citigo, interior
Skoda Citigo, boot

LITTLE boxes with a tiny wheel in each corner, squared off body panels with sharp edges and a high stance that gave the impression it would topple if hit broadside by a strong gust of wind.

That was really all you could expect from early city car offerings that started to appear a few years back. But how things have changed.

Ok, the wheels are still positioned to the extreme limits to take advantage of every millimetre of space that's available, but designers now show great flair in penning city cars that have just as much appeal and charisma as their larger family-sized big brothers.

A prime example is the Skoda Citigo, the Czech company's first foray into the expanding supermini sector, and it came with its own distinct, fresh approach which lit up the whole marketplace.

With clean and simple lines, crisp contours and large areas of glass, the Citigo was distinctive and attractive as it was modern.

At its 2012 launch, it came with a choice of three and five-doors, three trim levels and was powered by a one-litre 59bhp three-cylinder petrol engine or a similar-sized unit tuned to produce 74bhp.

Fuel consumption varied little throughout the 16-model line-up, with combined cycle figures of between 62.8mpg on the entry-level manual S trim model rising to 68.9mpg on its GreenTech sibling, which featured stop/start technology, low rolling resistance tyres and brake energy recuperation.

Out on the road the little Skoda drove and rode nicely, especially on smoother surfaces. Quick on the hoof and nippy through busy urban streets, it also handled with great precision.

If only for the extra power, my used-car preference would be the 74bhp GreenTech model with its CO2 rating of 98g/km, a top speed of 107mph and combined fuel economy of 67.3mph.

The higher-powered cars were available only in top Elegance trim, so they're well specced up. Alloy wheels, electric/heated door mirrors, fog lamps, leather steering wheel, front electric windows, air conditioning and heated front seats were all fitted as standard.

Another great feature was Skoda's innovative Portable Infotainment Device which acted as a Bluetooth device, satellite navigation system, media player and trip computer.

From a safety aspect, this model featured electronic stability programme, while head and thorax airbags were also fitted throughout the Citigo range.

With more and more owners downsizing and more demand for second or third cars, the supermini market is still growing strong so there whould be plenty choice when it comes to seeking out a used Citigo model.

Price-wise, you should be looking at paying from around the £5,225 mark up to £6,835 for a 2012 12-plate three-door example with 30,000 miles on the clock. A more practical five-door model will come with a £300 to £500 premium.

However, for those who can survive with the lesser-powered 59bhp model and can make do with a lower specification list, then look out for an entry-level S trim model which should come with a price tag of between £4,125 and £5,400 in three-door guise rising to between £4,505 and £5,895 for the five-door model.

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