The days when city cars were compared to lowly, unsafe and unreliable tin cans are long gone. The latest breed of tiny hatchbacks mix rock-bottom running costs with style, comfort and quality, while many are just as safe as their bigger siblings. However, in this class, one stands out above the rest when it comes to awarding a single model our best city car crown.
The Skoda Citigo gets a genuine big car feel, offering a great combination of space, value, quality and economy, in a stylish and well-rounded package. The limited engine line-up doesn’t hold it back, and while there's no diesel option, the 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol unit will return more than 60mpg.
Not only is it economical, it's fun to drive too. The characterful engine, sharp steering and slick gearbox mean it's both easy to manoeuvre in town, as well as being a joy to command on longer motorway cruises. It's comfortable and composed over even the roughest roads, making light work of ruts, speed humps and potholes.
It doesn’t fall down in terms of practicality, either. Whether you go for the three or five-door model, space in the back is generous for a car in this class, thanks to its boxy shape and generous dimensions. Boot space is decent and the rear seats fold flat for extended storage.
What's more, Skoda's reliability and customer satisfaction is second to none – ranking first in the 2012 Auto Express Driver Power survey. With the brand growing year on year, Skoda owners seem very impressed with both their car and their dealers – making the Citigo a safe investment for even the biggest badge cynic.
Finally, the low list prices and fixed-price servicing mean not only is the Citigo cheap to buy, it's also affordable to run. It undercuts the Volkswagen up!, on which it's based and will rival the Kia Picanto, Hyundai i10 and Citroen C1 in terms of tax and insurance. Whichever engine and specification you go for, the Skoda Citigo represents incredible value, in a grown-up, well-made package.