Citigo Elegance 1.0 GreenTech 3-dr
VW has the Up, does that make
Skodas version Down? It certainly
does in terms of price
Citigo costs £365 less than the VW
Up. But will the baby Skoda also be
with city car buyers?
LET'S BE HONEST: given the choice most buyers will buy a VW rather than a
Skoda. Since the VW Up is almost exactly the same car as the new Citigo, the
Skoda's main appeal to buyers comes down to this price. With the
base 59bhp S model starting at £7,630, the Citigo is certainly great value
indeed, it's one of the cheapest new cars on the market and, crucially, is £365
cheaper than the Up.
The comparison with the VW (and indeed SEAT's forthcoming Mii) is inevitable.
There are a few differences, but they might be decisive. Mechanically they're
all but identical. The Skoda has different (and rather less funky) styling both
front and rear. The cabin has the same layout, too, with only a few differences
in trim and materials. Overall, it must be said, the effect is slightly more
dowdy and down-market than the Up.
boasts that the Citigo has the longest wheelbase in the city car sector. Should
you care? Well, it does make for an exceptionally comfortable ride, coping superbly
with speed humps and potholes. It also makes the Citigo very stable in a straight
With the base 59bhp S
model starting at £7,630,
the Citigo is certainly
great value indeed, its
one of the cheapest new
cars on the market...
The steering is precise and very light in feel ideal for a city car,
if not the last word in sportiness. Speaking of sporty behaviour, the Citigo
corners well enough, though understeer always threatens to scrub off excess
Another benefit of the Citigo's long wheelbase is generous cabin space. The
doors are massive for such a small car, which could prove awkward in tight parking
spots, but they do open up on to a surprisingly capacious amount of space for
a car that measures a measly 3.5m from stem to stern. Four adults (this is a
strict four-seater car) should find things fairly comfortable; even six-footers
should have enough headroom and shoulder room in the back seats, although legroom
is a bit tighter.
Open the Toyota Aygo-style glass tailgate and you're greeted by one of the biggest
boots in the city car class. There's a movable boot floor, which when you drop
it down opens up 251 litres of space. Fold the rear seats and that grows to
a remarkable 951 litres (959 on the 5-dr models), with a two-metre-long load
The steering wheel adjusts for height (though not for reach) and the pedals
and gear lever are well positioned. Visibility is pretty good all round, with
the exception of thick front screen pillars.
So what about engines? You can pick from either a 59bhp or a 73bhp 1.0-litre
three-cylinder petrol unit. Neither is what you'd call quick (0-62mph in 13.2
seconds in the quickest version) but for city use they're fine. If you ever
need to venture out of town, the 73bhp version is definitely preferable.
are they particularly refined. Any throttle pressure at all produces a lazy
rasp from the engine bay; however, at cruising speeds and a light throttle,
it's not too bad. A five-speed manual transmission is standard but ASG automatic
transmission (something that VW doesn't offer on the Up at present) is optional
at £565. A five-door Citigo arrives later this year and, despite a £350 premium
over the three-door, it's expected to take 60% of sales.
One of the most
appealing things about
the Citigo is its Portable
a five-inch detachable
combines SatNav with
phone connection, car
info and a media player.
Its a brilliant device
and its standard on the
top model, optional on
base-model S version will only account for one in ten Citigo sales. UK buyers
have always preferred higher-spec models, and there will be a pretty even split
between plusher SE and top-spec Elegance versions.
The SE adds electric front windows, body-colour mirrors and door handles, remote
locking and air conditioning. The Elegance has electric heated mirrors, alloy
wheels, heated front seats, a leather steering wheel and front foglamps.
One of the most appealing things about the Citigo is its PID (that's portable
infotainment device) a five-inch detachable touchscreen which combines
SatNav with phone connection, car info and a media player. It's a brilliant
device that's bound to have huge showroom appeal and it's standard on the top
model, optional on the others.
Running costs should be ultra-low. Insurance groups are either 1 or 2, depending
on model, and depreciation is predicted to be excellent after three years
and 30,000 miles, the Citigo should be worth around 50% of its purchase price.
Fuel economy is also thrifty the official figure is 62.8mpg for the manual-gearbox
59bhp model. You can get even better than that with GreenTech, which is available
on SE and Elegance models. For an extra £360, it adds stop-start, battery regeneration
and low rolling resistance tyres to improve fuel consumption to as much as 68.9mpg,
while CO2 emissions plunge as low as 96g/km, meaning you have free car tax,
So, is the Citigo the best city car you can buy? Very probably, although I strongly
suspect that buyers are more likely to choose that alluringly Volkswagen-badged
alternative. Chris Rees
Citigo Elegance 1.0 GreenTech 3-dr | £9,860
Maximum speed: 107mph | 0-62mph: 13.2 seconds | Overall MPG: 67.3mpg
Power: 73bhp | Torque: 70lb ft | CO2 98g/km