By Mike Torpey on 2018-01-13 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Skoda Citigo 1.0
THE design gurus at Skoda are convinced that buyers splashing out on the latest Citigo model are making a clever move.
After all, the smallest offering in the Czech manufacturer's expanding line-up has been given a fresh new eye-catching makeover.
It's more than mere styling that gives this car its appeal though. Skoda has set out its stall to pack all its cars with features to make travelling easier, more stress-free and more convenient.
The philosophy is called Simply Clever and the Citigo has no less than 16 of them - ranging from a brolley under the passenger seat and bag hook on the glovebox handle to a ticket holder on the windscreen and a removable rubbish bin.
These are the little touches - and there are others like a variable boot floor and multimedia holder in the centre console - that can make all the difference when it comes to picking one city car over another.
Stylish yet sensible, the Citigo works on both visual and practical levels in that it looks bigger than other city cars and while its dimensions are small - 3.56 metres long and 1.64 metres wide - the interior space is amazing.
You can fit a pair of six-footers in the back, provided the front seats aren't slid fully back, and even then the front seat-backs are scooped out for better knee room.
A pair of lightweight 1.0-litre petrol engines with a choice of 60 or 75bhp are up for grabs and come with a GreenTech package incorporating start-stop and brake energy recuperation for better fuel economy and lower emissions.
Nippy and manoeuvrable through busy streets and precise on faster roads, the tested model with the smaller engine performs appreciably better than figures of 0-62mph in 14.4 seconds would suggest.
The five-speed manual transmission is light and easy while a fuel figure of an average 64.2 miles per gallon plus CO2 emissions of 101g/km underlines the car's efficiency.
Five trim grades - S, SE, Colour Edition, SE L and Monte Carlo - comprise the model line-up and there's also a lightweight automated manual ASG transmission.
Safety is also a priority with head-thorax side airbags for driver and front passenger plus the option of City Safe, a brake assistance system based on a laser sensor that is activated automatically at low speed when there's danger of a collision.
And traction control, automatic activation of the hazard lights in the event of emergency braking, Hill-Hold Control and tyre pressure monitoring are on every car.
Add equipment like heated front seats, air-con, parking sensors, cruise control and panoramic sunroof as standard or optional kit, plus the Colour Edition's 15-inch alloys in either black or white, tinted windows and metallic paint and the Citigo has bags of appeal.
Skoda Citigo 1.0 Colour Edition
Mechanical: 60ps, 999cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox
Max Speed: 100mph
0-62mph: 14.4 seconds
Combined MPG: 64.2
Insurance Group: 2
C02 emissions: 101g/km
Bik rating: 19%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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