Skoda Citigo hatchback
Price £8,090 - £10,865
- Big car quality
- Space for four people
- Great value
- Not the best for long journeys
- Sparse entry-level
- Not exactly fast
At a glance
"The Skoda Citigo is a thoroughly grown-up, well-made city car that still knows how to have fun."
The Skoda Citigo, the SEAT Mii and Volkswagen up! share the same VW Group underpinnings but the Citigo isn’t just a rebadged version. It's stylish enough to take on the Fiat 500 in the charm stakes and the build quality easily competes with the likes of the Kia Picanto.
Interior space also matches the Hyundai i10 and we think the Citigo is perhaps better-looking than the Mii or the up!. All versions of the 1.0-litre petrol engine give strong performance and offer excellent economy, while four adults can comfortably sit inside. The boot is also much bigger than you’d expect to find in city car of this size.
Perhaps the best thing about the Citigo is its excellent drive. It was because of this and the really great interior quality that we named it CarBuyer's Best City Car for 2013. The Citigo is available in four main specifications – entry-level S, mid-range SE and Elegance, and top-of-the-range Sport.
MPG, running costs & CO2
Economical and eco-friendly regardless of engine choice
The Citigo is dirt cheap to run. The most economical models are the GreenTech versions, fitted with stop-start, and capable of returning 68.9mpg in combined fuel economy with emissions of 95g/km of CO2, making them exempt from annual road tax. However, even the standard cars can return 62.8mpg and emit only 105g/km of CO2, incurring a tiny amount of annual tax. The insurance premiums are also pretty low, thanks to Skoda's hard work, and if you use Skoda Finance to buy (which is a common choice), then servicing is free for the first three years of ownership. You still get a three-year warranty, regardless, which includes Europe-wide breakdown cover with the RAC for the length of the warranty.
Interior & comfort
Space for four plus soft luggage means it's surprisingly practical
All city cars are small, but it's surprising just how much room there is inside the Citigo. You’ll comfortably get a whole family – two adults, two kids – inside its small dimensions, with a six-foot-tall adult even able to sit behind another at a push. There are lots of handy storage compartments and cubbies to make life easy, too, while the boot offers more space than you’ll get in either a Ford Ka, Fiat 500, Kia Picanto or Hyundai i10. The driving position is also pretty good, but is hampered by the lack of any reach adjustment for the steering wheel. All seats are nicely supportive but we’d avoid using the Citigo for long-distance journeys - it's a perfect town runabout but not much else.
Practicality & boot space
More boot space and interior room than you’d expect in a car this size
The five-door model is obviously more practical than the three-door but both are fairly versatile for such a small car. It's also easy to get in and out of the back of both body styles, which is unusual in this class. Overall space is up there with the Hyundai i10 and Kia Picanto, with its boxy dimensions creating a decent amount of headroom and a reasonably sized boot offering 250 litres of space. That's more than in the i10 or Picanto and is easily enough space for a couple of big soft bags or the weekly food shop.
All but the entry level S comes with standard-fit split-fold backseats (and even the S still gets a foldable rear bench), which fold down to expand the boot to an impressive 951 litres. You also get plenty of useful storage solutions inside, with a deep glove compartment, large centre console cubby and deep door bins.
Reliability & safety
Lives up to Skoda's reputation for high quality and decent reliability
The 2013 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey saw Skoda knocked off the top of the manufacturers rankings for the first time in years – but it doesn’t actually reflect any actual drop in performance; Skoda was beaten by an outperforming Lexus, rather than losing its grip at the top and Skoda owners remain some of the happiest car owners in the UK. Buyers respond to the brand's no-nonsense approach, thoughtful accessories, solid build quality and high safety levels.
The Citigo may not feature in the Driver Power list of the top 100 cars, but it feels much more substantial than many of its rivals, including the Suzuki Alto. The Citigo also secured the full five-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash safety tests, coming with a wide range of airbags, including head and thorax airbags for both driver and passengers. It's about as safe as you can expect from a city car, with electronic stability control (ESP) fitted on all but the most basic entry-level S as standard.
Engines, drive & performance
Grown-up feel from a little car and great around town
The Citigo is surprisingly fun to drive for a city car. Its lively three-cylinder engine delivers more performance around town than you’d expect. It won’t break any speed records and is dwarfed by nearly every other vehicle on the motorway, but it's definitely more fun that you would think. The steering is reactive and light, while the gearbox is sharp and smooth. And Skoda has pulled off the rare trick of combining a good drive with a comfortable ride, with the Citigo easily ironing out any bumps, potholes or ruts that you may encounter.
Price, value for money & options
Cheaper than a VW up! and with similar standard equipment
The Citigo is great value. It costs less to buy than its Volkswagen Group siblings, with the VW up! costing approximately £500 more. Skoda also offer cheaper optional extras than many of its main rivals, with the Citigo's sat-nav and infotainment system costing £50 less than in the up! – which at £250 is what you’d expect to pay for a good after-market sat-nav anyway. Skoda resale values in the used car market are getting better all the time as its reputation continues to soar, but don’t expect a massive return on any second-hand deal just yet.
What the others say
"Let's get the sibling thing out of the way first. Yes, the Citigo is pretty much the same car as the VW up! (don’t forget that exclamation mark) and the SEAT Mii (with two 'i's). But with a front grille drafted in from Skoda's sexy Mission L Frankfurt concept car and a price that will likely undercut the VW by at least £500 when it appears in the UK next summer, the Skoda is more than just a VW clone."
"As you might expect, the little city car is all about low costs. The 59bhp engine is claimed to offer 62.8mpg and emit 105g/km of CO2, while the more powerful 74bhp returns 60.1mpg and 108g/km of CO2. This means both cars cost just £20 to tax."
"Another high-tech feature that carries over from the up! is a portable satnav unit with a five-inch touchscreen. This plugs into the car to become the interface for the Bluetooth, parking sensors and trip computer as well."