"A thoroughly grown-up, well-made city car that still knows how to have fun."
The Skoda Citigo is more than just a rebadged version of the VW up! and Seat Mii. It has the style to compete with the Fiat 500, the quality to rival the Kia Picanto and enough space to match the Hyundai i10. Whichever version of the 1.0-litre petrol engine you choose, you’ll get decent power and reasonable economy. But what impresses us most is how mature the car feels, both in terms of interior quality and how it drives. The Citigo will seat four people in reasonable comfort and the boot is okay, too. It's such a well-rounded package that we've named it the Best City Car for 2013.
The Citigo's strongest feature is how it drives. The characterful three-cylinder engines offer better performance around town than their figures would suggest, while they calm down significantly on a motorway cruise. The steering is light and responsive, while the gearshift is slick yet precise. The best bit is the ride, which, in spite of the car's very short wheelbase, does a great job of smoothing bumps, ruts and ridges to make the Citigo comfortable for anyone sitting in the front or the back.
Given the Citigo's diminutive size, it's amazing how much space there is inside. There's loads of room for a couple of adults and kids to sit in comfort, while it's even possible to sit one six-footer behind another. There are lots of handy cubbies around the cabin, while the boot is bigger than those found in a Ford Ka, Fiat 500, Kia Picanto or Hyundai i10. The Citigo isn’t a car for long distances – while the driving position is fine (in spite of no reach adjustment on the steering), the seats aren’t very supportive.
Check Skoda's ratings for Skoda in our Driver Power surveys over the years and you’ll see that they rarely disappoint their owners. They prove to be reliable, while owners love the no-nonsense quality and safety on offer. The Skoda Citigo will only enhance that reputation – it's well built, with high-quality materials used inside, while plenty of airbags do their bit to ensure a high score in Euro NCAP tests. As city cars go, this should be as safe as you can get.
For once, getting into the back of a city car is easy. The Citigo is available with either three or five doors, and it's easy to get into the back, where the space rivals the likes of the Hyundai i10 and Kia Picanto. The square shape means there's plenty of headroom and a decent boot: at 251 litres, it's more than big enough for a decent amount of shopping or a couple of squashy sports bags. The rear seats fold down easily and there are plenty of storage spaces around the cabin – including a useful slot in the glovebox.
Value for money
Competition is fierce among city cars with Ford, Fiat, Suzuki, Hyundai and Kia fighting with the newcomers from VW, Skoda and Seat. Skoda has always been about value, and the Citigo continues that tradition undercutting the VW up! by around £500. Skoda also promises the Citigo's options will be cheaper than the up!'s. Sat-nav and infotainment only cost around £250 – that's £50 cheaper than VW will charge you.
Whichever version of the Citigo you choose, you’ll get excellent economy figures – Skoda claims an average of over 60mpg for both engine variants. Skoda is also working to ensure the Citigo gets lower insurance groups than city car rivals, while if you buy your car through Skoda Finance (as many people will) you also benefit from free servicing for three years. Not that we’d expect a Skoda to breakdown, but the three-year warranty includes Europe-wide RAC breakdown cover for the whole period, too.