Skoda Citigo

Excellent value for a practical, charming city car

8.2
wowscore
This is the average score given by leading car publications from 9 reviews
  • Good to drive in cities
  • Relatively practical
  • Cheaper than similar rivals
  • A little sombre looking
  • Some refinement issues
  • There are cheaper small cars
 

£8,495 - £11,390 Price range

 

4 Seats

 

64 - 68 MPG

Review

Sharing its mechanical parts with the Volkswagen Up and SEAT Mii, the Skoda Citigo is a small city car that rivals models such as the Hyundai i10 and Renault Twingo.

The Citigo is a cheap car, but it never feel like it. The exterior’s chunky looks are complemented by an interior that feels robust and high quality for the price. There also a surprising amount of space with room for six-footers in the back and one of the biggest boots in class. Buyer can also choose between three or five-door bodies.

Scurrying through city traffic is where the Citigo’s at its best, its zippy engines might not be very powerful, but they feel willing and aren’t a pain to get the best from. They’re even surprisingly quiet on the motorway, so you won’t hate the Citigo on longer runs. Most important of all, though, is that they are exceptionally cheap to run.

In terms of equipment, the basic Citigo gets the bare essentials – a CD player, four airbags and stability control, but little else. Mid-range Monte Carlo models are popular thanks to their sporty exterior and interior styling. Add a little extra appeal to your model with the Skoda Citigo Colour Edition which gets a little extra kit and special black alloy wheels.

Buy your Skoda Citigo from one of carwow’s trusted dealers and you stand to make an average saving of £760.

Cheapest to buy: 1.0-litre 60 S petrol

Cheapest to run: 1.0-litre 670 SE Greentech petrol

Fastest: 1.0-litre 75 SE-L Greentech petrol

Most popular model: 1.0-litre 60 SE petrol

The interior of the Citigo isn’t 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. There are some neat personalisation options too.

Taking centre-stage on the dashboard is an optional five-inch multimedia device that’s removable and can be used for navigation or hands-free calls and is integrated into the car’s audio system

Skoda Citigo passenger space

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.

Skoda Citigo boot space

The boot is also one of the largest you’ll find in this class, at 251 litres in size, and the rear seats can be folded down to increase luggage space to 959 litres. The Hyundai i10 beats the Skoda, but only by one litre with the rear seats up. Its maximum capacity sits at 1,046 litres.

With its excellent refinement, agile handling and eager performance, the Citigo has the feel of models from a class above

It’s designed to excel in the urban environment, so it shouldn’t be too much of a shocker to hear 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 and the turning circle is also pretty good. The manual gearbox did come in for some criticism, though.

Don’t go thinking the Citigo is out of its comfort zone once you take it on open roads. Most critics thought it was more than capable cruising on the motorway and even proved fun on twisting A and B-roads, where its suffers from little body lean.

The ride, though quite good for the class standard, can still get a bit bumpy on the roughest surfaces. High-speed refinement isn’t exceptional either, with the engine being a tad noisy when you’re cruising along the motorway. But for the class it’s not bad at all.

The 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine has two power outputs on offer – 59hp and 75hp.

Neither is exactly bristling with performance and quite a few testers reported steep hills and overtaking at higher speeds can be a bit of a struggle, but both engines are good fun to thrash. They feel much faster than you’d expect them to and have a distinctive note that sounds sporty. With 0-62mph taking 13.2 seconds, the 74hp model is more than a second quicker than the basic model and is the better choice if you’re going to spend a lot of time on the motorway.

It’s the GreenTech version of the 59hp model, with start/stop and brake energy recovery, that steals the show when it comes to efficiency. It can achieve a claimed 68.9mpg and costs nothing to tax, thanks to its 95g/km CO2 output. That said, road tax for all models costs no more than £30 a year.

The Citigo ‘1.0 60’ is the cheapest model in Skoda’s badge-engineered urban runabout range, and the few that have driven the car so far have plenty of good things to say about it.

Much like its Mii and Up siblings, the tiny engine is peppy enough for most people’s requirements, and even this ‘bargain basement’ version has a surprisingly grown-up and mature feel to it. That said, some may be better off with the more powerful version.

With 60hp on tap, the Citigo isn’t a quick car, and the weedy power output means that it’ll always be a bit tricky to deal with steeper inclines. However, the grunt on offer is sufficient enough for when you’re bumbling around town, and it’s surprisingly well suited to motorway cruises. The motor is also a joy to wring out, and all the critics state that it feels much faster than the 14.4 second sprint to 60mph suggests.

Fuel economy is also quite impressive, especially if you specify the car in ‘Green tec’ trim. With that option, the stop/start system and low resistance tyres allow the car to return up to 68mpg on the combined cycle, and the low CO2 output means it’s exempt from road tax.

If you’re interested in the Skoda Citigo, or indeed the VW and Seat equivalents, then we reckon you should consider this model. Those wanting a bit more power or a more ‘premium’ and ‘desirable’ car may want to look at the 75hp version or its sister cars, but as it’s the cheapest out of all of them to buy, it’s worth having a closer look at this dinky little Skoda.

The reviews of the Citigo 1.0 75 are generally really positive. If you’ve looked at the Volkswagen up! summaries before the Citigo’s, you may experience a bit of déjà vu, as the Skoda and the VW share the exact same engine.

Thankfully, that’s a good thing, as the critics agree that it’s a peppy and enthusiastic, if slightly weedy at lower revs, and promises incredibly low running costs. However, there is an alternative if you want something that’s a bit cheaper to buy and a smidge more frugal.

Unless you’re going up steep hills or are overtaking on dual carriageways or motorways, it’s likely that you’ll be more than happy with the 75hp power output of the 1.0 petrol motor – there’s a decent slug of grunt across the rev range, so getting up to speed in congested areas isn’t too much hassle, and most of the critics reckon it feels much faster than you’d expect something this ‘weedy’ to be, though you do need to work it fairly hard on longer stretches of road with higher speed limits in order to keep up with the traffic.

Efficiency is also quite commendable – all ‘75’ models come with fuel saving gizmos such as stop/start, which help contribute to the claimed 60mpg, whilst the low CO2 emissions of 108g/km means that the Skoda only costs £20 a year to tax. However, it’s worth pointing out that the less expensive ‘60’ model costs even less money to run.

Overall, this spec of Skoda Citigo is very appealing, especially as it undercuts the Seat and Volkswagen variants by a few bob. If it’s all-out efficiency you’re after, you may want to opt for the ‘lesser’ engine choice or wait for a super-frugal ‘Greenline’ version to be released, though this top-of-the-range Skoda supermini is still worthy of a closer inspection.

The Skoda hasn’t been specifically tested for safety, but an assessment by Euro NCAP determined that the car could inherit the result of the Volkswagen Up, tested in 2011. That means a five-star rating. All models come with stability control and four airbags.

If you order the city emergency brake (or City Safe Drive as Skoda calls it) the Citigo will stop automatically at speeds of 19mph or less when it detects you’re about to hit something. 

The most basic S trim comes with power steering, a CD/MP3 player and four airbags, though can’t be specified with electric windows or air-con. It is however cheaper than mechanically identical basic versions of the VW Up of SEAT Mii.

Skoda Citigo SE

SE specs looks to be the way to go, then. It costs more, but the addition of air-conditioning makes it worth the extra outlay and you also get remote central locking, electric front windows and 60:40 split rear seats, that mean you can extend the load bay without putting the entire back seat out of action.

Skoda Citigo Black Edition

New for 2015 is the Skoda Citigo Black Edition (pictured). It is only available in Deep Black or Candy White paint with black Auriga alloy wheels – looking striking as a result, if not quite as eye-catching as the more expensive Monto Carlo. Equipment wise it gets electric front windows, air conditioning and a height adjustable driver’s seat. Unlike the Monte Carlo, it also comes with sat-nav as standard.

Skoda Citigo Monte Carlo

Skoda’s Monte Carlo trim proves popular across the range and no more so than in the Citigo. Using the SE model as a base, it effectively makes the Citigo look like a sporty hot hatch, but keeps the same frugal engine as the standard car. The enhanced looks come thanks to lowered suspension, 15-inch alloy wheels, chequered-flag stickers down the car’s flanks and front fog lights. The red and black interior also gets a leather-bound steering wheel for added go-faster appeal.

Skoda Citigo SE L

The SE L offers the most standard equipment of the lot, so you get heated seats, electrically adjustable heated door mirrors and 14-inch alloys. Standard sat-nav is the standout feature, though.

Skoda Citigo Colour Edition

If the standard palette of paint colours wasn’t enough, Skoda now offers the Citigo in ‘Colour Edition’ trim. Buyers can chooser from Tornado Red, Deep Black Pearl, Spring Green and Candy White paint work, all at no extra cost. Black 15-inch alloy wheels are fitted as standard, as are front fog lights, tinted windows and a removable infotainment system.

Conclusion

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 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 twins. However, the Citigo is a very competent car with a broad range of talents – it is comfortably one of the best cars you’ll find in this segment. If you’re in the market for a supermini, then we recommend you take a thorough look at the Skoda.

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