Skoda Citigo hatchback
Price £8,210 - £11,045
- 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 is the brand's small city car and is based on the same components as the Volkswagen up! and SEAT Mii. It also competes with our 2014 Car of the Year – the Hyundai i10. The Skoda is cheaper to buy than the Volkswagen up!, while the brand has one of the best customer-service records of any car manufacturer.
The Citigo's small size means it's easy to park and manoeuvre in tight city streets, where it was designed to excel, but the Citigo (like the up! and Mii) is also surprisingly quiet at motorway speeds – something many other small cars aren’t.
The car comes with a choice of two 1.0-litre petrol engines. The more powerful 74bhp Elegance GreenTech can return fuel economy of 67.3mpg and is exempt from road tax, making it our pick of the range.
To keep costs down, the basic Skoda Citigo S has limited equipment, so we'd advise going for the SE model. It comes with useful equipment such as air-conditioning, electric front windows and remote central locking. Buyers can also choose the range-topping Elegance and Monte Carlo specifications.
MPG, running costs & CO2
Economical and eco-friendly regardless of engine choice
A choice of two small petrol engines means whichever Citigo you choose will be cheap to run. The basic model comes with a 59bhp 1.0-litre engine that can return fuel economy of 64.2mpg and CO2 emissions of 105g/km for road tax of £20 a year. Combine the same engine with Skoda’s GreenTech technology, which makes the car more aerodynamic and adds special low-resistance tyres, and fuel economy improves to 68.8mpg while CO2 emissions drop to 95g/km for free road tax.
In its more basic form, the 74bhp 1.0-litre petrol is capable of 62.8mpg and costs £30 a year to tax. It can also be fitted with GreenTech technology, which increases fuel economy to 67.3 mpg and qualifies the car for free road tax.
The Skoda is one of the cheapest cars in the UK to insure, with the 59bhp sitting in group one and 74bhp version sitting in group two. Maintenance costs are also cheap and start from £139 for a minor service – £10 cheaper than you’ll pay on a Volkswagen up!. The Skoda comes with a three-year/60,000 mile warranty.
Engines, drive & performance
Grown-up feel from a little car and great around town
With 59bhp on tap and 0-62mph taking 14.4 seconds, you'd expect the basic Skoda Citigo to feel slow, but the engine sounds good even when worked hard, and this makes the Citigo seem quicker than it actually is. It combines well with the car’s direct steering, excellent grip and resistance to body roll in hard cornering. Go for the more powerful 74bhp 1.0-litre petrol engine and the 0-62mph time drops to 13.2 seconds, while top speed rises from 99mph to 106mph. The lower-powered engine barely feels any slower, though, because it has just as much power at low speed as the more expensive version, so we’d suggest saving money both in the showroom and the petrol pump and get the entry-level engine.
Most Citigos are likely to spend the majority of their time in town, and the small Skoda is the perfect companion for the urban environment. Parking is simple and the car easily negotiates tight city streets that would cause larger models serious problems.
Interior & comfort
Space for four plus soft luggage means it's surprisingly practical
The Volkswagen Group influence really shows when you sit inside the Citigo. The dashboard looks plain, but it feels very well built. Go for the Elegance model and you also get a detachable sat-nav unit that adds a hi-tech touch.
The basic S model comes with a height-adjustable steering wheel, but if you want a height-adjustable driver's seat, you’ll have to pay £350 for the Comfort pack, which also includes electric windows and central locking. Whichever model you go for, the Citigo’s easy-to-judge dimensions should make it easy to squeeze into tight parking spaces.
Out on the open road, the Citigo feels like a bigger car from the class above. Its suspension provides a comfortable ride at most speeds, while the interior is surprisingly quiet on the motorway.
Practicality & boot space
More boot space and interior room than you’d expect in a car this size
Looking at the Citigo from outside, you could be forgiven for thinking it's cramped inside, but it's actually quite spacious. Even tall passengers can get comfortable in the front seats, while also leaving space for two more adults behind them, and there's more rear legroom than you’ll get in a Kia Picanto. If you plan to regularly use the back seats, we'd recommend the five-door version, with wide-opening rear doors that give excellent access.
Pop open the boot and you’ll also find more space than you might have expected. The Citigo’s 251-litre boot is very nearly class-leading – only the Hyundai i10’s 252-litre boot beats it – and the big opening gives plenty of space to load larger items. Fold down the rear seats and space increases to 959 litres, while for an extra £60 the variable boot floor means you can get the load area completely flat.
Skoda has given the Citigo plenty of smaller storage areas for items such as smartphones and bottles of water, including a large glovebox, a cubbyhole in front of the gearlever and deep door pockets.
Reliability & safety
Lives up to Skoda's reputation for high quality and decent reliability
Considering it was one of the cheapest cars to feature in our 2014 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, the Skoda Citigo’s second-place finish (out of 150 cars) is extremely impressive – and means it finished 20 places ahead of the mechanically identical Volkswagen up!. The car came first for running costs and was also praised for its handling, ease of driving and build quality.
The Citigo scores well for safety, too: the car was awarded five stars when it was crash-tested by Euro NCAP. It comes with a wide range of features including airbags, electronic stability control, a seatbelt reminder buzzer and tyre-pressure monitor.
Price, value for money & options
Cheaper than a VW up! and with similar standard equipment
The Skoda Citigo undercuts the Volkswagen up! by around £200, making it the car to go for if you're not bothered about the more fashionable Volkswagen badge. The entry-level model is fairly basic, but for £350 the Comfort pack adds air-conditioning, electric front windows and central locking – all of which should make it easier to live with every day. SE models add a height-adjustable driver’s seat, folding rear seats that split 60:40, plus body-coloured door mirrors and handles.
Elegance models offer sat nav, heated front seats, 14-inch alloy wheels, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, front fog lights, plus leather trim for the gearstick and steering wheel.
The Citigo Monte Carlo is based on the SE, but adds sat nav, a Bluetooth phone connection and a speaker upgrade. On the outside, you get racing stripes and an aerodynamic bodykit, which makes the Monte Carlo the real looker of the bunch. However, at £1,530 more than the SE, it’s not the best-value model overall.
Skoda offers a wide range of reasonably priced options, including cruise control (£150) and extended warranties of four years/80,000 miles (£150) or five-years/100,000 miles (£260). You can expect the Citigo to retain up to 45 per cent of its original value (in basic trim) after three years and 36,000 miles, which is slightly better then the Volkswagen up! will manage.