Skoda Citigo SE L

Greentech 1.0 MPI

Skoda Citigo, side, action
Skoda Citigo, front, action
Skoda Citigo, front
Skoda Citigo, side
Skoda Citigo, front, static
Skoda Citigo, interior

WHEN it was launched in 2012, the Skoda Citigo was immediately named Best City Car of the Year by Auto Express magazine.

It's held that title ever since and it's not hard to see why.

Alongside the Volkswagen up! and the Seat Mii, with which it shares the same underpinnings, it is one of three near-identical city cars, each cheap to buy with low running costs.

With a starting price of £8,495, the Skoda is the cheapest of the lot. Cheap, however, does not mean poor.

It comes with a 1.0-litre three-cylinder light and compact aluminium petrol engine with outputs of either 59bhp or 74bhp. Surprisingly quiet and comfortable, it's brilliant for nipping around city streets but equally comfortable on long stretches too.

Both engines can be specified in ‘GreenTech' mode which uses things like a start-stop system, brake energy recuperation technology and low rolling resistance tyres to achieve CO2 emissions of 96g/km and official fuel consumption of 68.9mpg.

With a top speed of 107mph it's not going to set any new land speed records but with a smooth shifting five-speed manual, it an eager little beast, fun for nipping about in with agile handling, lovely precise steering and good grip. It's really quite fun to drive.

The cabin is also a nice place to be. Despite its exterior proportions - the Citigo is just 3,563mm long - the interior is surprisingly spacious, refined and comfortable. It will certainly cope with four adults with ease.

There's five trim levels to choose from - S, SE, Colour, sport-inspired Monte Carlo and SE L.

In flagship SE L trim, there's loads of kit including heated seats, electrically adjustable heated door mirrors, Bluetooth, air conditioning, rear parking sensors and a neat removable sat nav unit - a Personal Infotainment Device or PID - which connects and charges on a dash-top mount. It's a smart, cost-friendly solution to complex built-in systems.

Adding some Rolls-Royce panache, there's also an umbrella, cleverly installed in the door.

Five-door versions have pop-out rear window openings, which is either quaint and old-fashioned or just cheap, depending on how you feel.

There's loads of nifty little storage spots and the boot has 251-litres of luggage space which can be extended to 959 by folding the rear seats. Extra practicality comes from the four bag hooks built into the boot.

Despite its compact dimensions, the Citigo is also among the safest cars on the road today, awarded the top score of five stars in the independent Euro NCAP crash test ratings. Assessors praised the overall package including occupant and pedestrian protection, child safety and other assistance systems.

FAST FACTS

Skoda Citigo SE L Greentech 1.0 MPI

Price: £11,085

Mechanical: 74bhp, 999cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 107mph

0-62mph: 13.5 seconds

Combined MPG: 68.9

Insurance Group: 4

C02 emissions: 96g/km

Bik rating:16%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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