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- Good to drive in cities
- Relatively practical
- Cheaper than similar rivals
- Not the best looking
- Some refinement issues
- There are cheaper small cars
All the road testers seem to be very impressed with the overall package, with praise being given to the surprisingly thorough attention to detail on what is meant to be a ‘back to basics’ sort of car, along with the impressive levels of practicality and refinement for something in this class. It’s not perfect, but it’s certainly one of the better superminis currently on sale.
It’s not quite as funky to look at as the VW up!’s – there’s no option for a body coloured fascia, for instance – but the Citigo’s cabin is still quite a nice place to be in for a car of this type. There aren’t any soft-touch materials here, but everything feels strong and robust, and the controls are well laid out and easy to use.
Practicality is also good for a car of this size. Taller rear passengers may find legroom is a bit tight if an equally lofty person is sitting in front, but overall there’s sufficient space inside for people, and there the smattering of storage spaces and cup holders are all very welcome. The boot is also, at 251 litres in size, one of the largest you’ll find in this class, and the rear seats can be folded down to increase the luggage space even further.
It’s a compact car that’s designed to excel in the urban environment, so it shouldn’t be too much of a shocker to here that all the experts reckon it’s ace to drive about in towns and cities. Visibility all-round is very good, the controls are light and easy to use (though a few weren’t too satisfied with the six-speed manual gearbox that comes as standard) and, as you’d expect from such a short car, the turning circle is also pretty good, so tight turns shouldn’t be an issue.
However, don’t go thinking the Citigo is out of it’s comfort zone once you take it on open roads. Most of the critics thought it was exceptionally capable on more open roads such as dual carriageways (which is something you don’t hear a lot of about superminies), and was quite good fun to chuck about on A and B-roads.
That said, there are a few downsides. The ride, though quite good for the class standard, can still get a bit bumpy on the roughest surfaces, and high-speed refinement isn’t exceptional either, with the engine being a tad noisy when you’re cruising along the motorway.
There’s a rumour that a diesel model will arrive soon, but for now you can only specify a 1.0 three cylinder petrol engine in the Citigo. Fortunately, all of the reports state that it’s a lively little motor with plenty of positive credentials, and suits the car very well indeed.
Depending on which one you opt for, there are two power outputs on offer: the 60 horsepower model and the 75. Though not exactly priming with performance – quite a few testers reported on the fact steep hills and overtaking at higher speeds can be a bit of a struggle – but they’re good fun to thrash (one tester, for instance, even compared the engine note to the Porsche 911’s!), and both feel much faster than you’d expect them to be.
The engine is also quite a frugal one as well – even the most potent example can return 60 mpg. However, it’s the ‘60’ model that steals the show when it comes to efficiency, as it can achieve a claimed 68 mpg and costs nothing to tax, thanks to the incredibly low CO2 output.
Value for money
The Skoda Citigo is, on face value at least, quite good value for money. Despite the low pricetag, it does feel fairly upmarket for the class standard (some rivals which have inferior cabin quality, such as the Toyota Aygo, are actually more expensive to buy), and even the most basic ‘S’ trim comes with power steering, a CD/MP3 player and an impressive array of airbags (though can’t be specified with electric windows or air-con). It even undercuts its VW and Seat sisters as well!
However, the Volkswagen and Seat variants are still quite affordable, and the Volkswagen in particular comes with a more desirable badge, which may also help out with residual levels. It’s also worth pointing out that the top-of-the-range Citigo models with quite a few options added on do end up being quite pricey for something in this class.
Quite a few of the critics reckon the five-door model is the one to go for. It may be a bit more expensive than the three-door, but it aids practicality and doesn’t alter the looks too much. It’s also cheaper to buy than even the most basic up! currently on sale.
Overall, the Skoda Citigo is an incredibly well-sorted supermini that’s right up there with the class best. Not only is it practical and spacious, but it’s also a hoot to drive around in, is easy to use in towns and on the motorway, and feels more upmarket than you’d expect from something in this price range.
The looks may be a bit sober for some, and it’s not that much cheaper to buy than the Skoda’s German and Spanish stepsisters. However, the Citigo is a very competent car with a broad range of talents, and is comfortably one of the best cars you’ll find in this segment. If you’re in the market for a supermini of some sorts, then we recommend you take a thorough look at the Skoda Citigo.
- Price range:
- £7,720 - £10,665
- 62 - 68
- Safety rating (NCAP):
- Date released:
- Model history:
- Skoda launched the Citigo Sport in early 2013. It isn't actually any faster, it just looks it!