The city car market has been shaken up with the launch of the excellent Volkswagen up!, but VWs baby doesnt complete the city car picture.
It has the image of course, but with Seat and Skoda variants waiting in the wings, the VWs strongest competition will come from its closest relations.
Like its VW and Seat cousins, the Skoda CitiGo is a handsome little beast, and still manages to have its own character despite being largely identical to the other two externally. In fact, with the chrome-rimmed grille and the redesigned Skoda badge, it even manages to look the most expensive of the trio, which should appeal to city buyers on a budget. Like the Seat though, the CitiGo lacks the up!s one-piece glass tailgate.
Its available in both three and five-door versions, and higher-spec Elegance models feature 14-inch alloy wheels rather than the standard wheel trims. There are eight exterior colour options, including Candy White, Tornado Red, Deep Black Pearlescent, and Spring Green Metallic, which we think really suits the car.
Its all very similar to the up! and Mii in here, as youd expect. The CitiGo gets a steering wheel familiar to Fabia users though, and the gearlever is also a Skoda design - it really is the little touches that separate these cars.
That does mean it features the same comfortable, spacious and well-built interior as the others too, putting it at the top of the class in these areas. Elegance models gain heated front seats, a leather steering wheel and Skodas Portable Infotainment Device, known as Maps More in the Volkswagen.
Unsurprisingly, engine choices are the same as with its siblings. That means a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrol unit with 59 and 74 horsepower options. Both are surprisingly torquey, incredibly quiet at low revs, characterful, and very economical. GreenTech models get up to 68.9mpg and qualify for free road tax and zero congestion charging in London.
There are two transmission options - a slick five-speed manual, or a five-speed Automated Sequential Gearbox, which is marginally more economical than the manual and saves some left-leg strain.
Skoda is the value choice of the triplets, a fact reinforced by its pricing. Starting from only 7,630, it undercuts the Seat Mii by 215, and the base-spec Volkswagen Take up! by 310.
For that price, you get the S model, with the 59 horsepower engine and a five-speed manual gearbox. Youll pay an extra 350 for a pair of extra doors, and if you want the Automated Sequential Gearbox option, youll pay 565 extra.
SE models start at 8,530, Elegance models at 9,470 and if you want the 74 horsepower model, only available in Elegance trim, youll pay from 9,860.
Available from: 1 June 2012
Choosing between CitiGo, up! and Mii will largely depend on which badge you prefer, though value-orientated buyers would be best served by the Skoda - it loses nothing to the other two in terms of engineering, it looks the most grown-up, but youll still save a few hundred quid in the process.