Skoda Citigo SE L


Skoda Citigo, side
Skoda Citigo, boot
Skoda Citigo, front
Skoda Citigo, front
Skoda Citigo, rear
Skoda Citigo, rear
Skoda Citigo, detail
Skoda Citigo, interior
Skoda Citigo, interior
Skoda Citigo, interior
Skoda Citigo, engine

THE Skoda Citigo is one of three virtually identical offerings from the Volkswagen Group in the increasingly competitive city car market.

Those who are a bit sniffy about the badge on their bonnet will probably plump for the VW up! while the SEAT Mii may appeal to younger buyers thanks to the Spanish brand's slightly more youthful image.

But for those who like to count the pennies, and that is often a key factor in this market, the Citigo is no-brainer as, model for model, it comes in cheaper than both of its close relatives - some £500 cheaper in the case of the up!

That kind of saving is not to be sniffed at for what is effectively the same car.

Power, as with the VW and SEAT, comes from a single 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine tuned to deliver either 60 or 75ps.

I drove the higher powered version also equipped with Skoda's GreenTech technologies - stop/start system, brake energy recovery, lowered suspension and low rolling resistance tyres - designed to maximise fuel efficiency.

The result is a car which claims up to 67 miles per gallon on average and carbon emissions of just 98g/km which, coupled with very low insurance ratings, means the Citigo is as cheap to run as it is to buy.

With such a modest power output, it's fair to say that this car's not going to set the pulse racing but it is ideal for zipping around the city - which is, after all, what it was designed to do.

A well-balanced chassis, light but accurate steering and good all-round vision, along with the Citigo's compact dimensions, make manoeuvring a doddle and there won't be many parking spaces you won't be able to squeeze into.

The lack of power is more noticeable on hills, the open road and when overtaking, when you will find yourself reaching for the five-speed manual transmission to get an injection of pace.

Even then, though, there is a snappy action to the compact gearbox which offers a satisfying feel of involvement for the driver and helps to make this an enjoyable little car to drive despite its lack of outright pace.

The pay-off for the nimble handling is a slightly firm ride and you will feel some of the larger bumps in the road shudder through the cabin - although this is common with many city cars and probably exacerbated by the lowered suspension on this GreenTech version.

What the Skoda does have in abundance that many of its competitors lack is space and practicality.

To start with you can get it with five doors, which makes access to the rear seats much easier - especially for adults who, thanks to generous head and legroom can actually fit comfortably in the back.

Given that, though, Skoda may have missed a trick by only offering two rear seats. Yes, it would be an impossible squeeze for three adults, but three young kids would fit - and that could be a factor for some potential family buyers.

That apart the cabin is comfortable and well-equipped. There are some harder, scratchy plastic surfaces but they look and feel solid and durable and, at this price, are certainly not a deal breaker.

The boot is one of the biggest in the city car class and, at 251 litres, has plenty of room for the weekly shop.

And while kit is a little sparse on entry-level S models the rest of the range is well-equipped with range-topping SE L cars such as the one I drove benefitting from air conditioning, alloy wheels, heated front seats, electrically adjustable heated wing mirrors and front fog lights.

This model also gets Skoda's Portable Infotainment Device - a halfway house between an off-the shelf sat nav and integrated infotainment system which clips into a port on the dash and includes navigation, Bluetooth and trip computer.


Skoda Citigo SE L GreenTech

Price: £10,815

Mechanical: 75ps, 999cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 107mph

0-62mph:13.2 seconds

Combined MPG: 67.3

Insurance Group: 4

C02 emissions: 98g/km

Bik rating:16%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles


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