Skoda Citigo hatchback

£8,275 - £11,120

The Skoda Citigo is almost identical to the Volkswagen up! and SEAT Mii under the skin, but it's arguably the best of the three, not least because it's cheaper to buy than the Volkswagen up! and does everything just as well. Skoda also has one of the best customer-service records of any car manufacturer. The Citigo looks a little boxy from the outside, but the shape is very practical for such a small car and Skoda has carved out a lot more space than you’d think inside.

In addition to its sister models, the Citigo also competes with the Hyundai i10 and the Toyota Aygo (which has its own pair of near-identical sister models in the form of the Citroen C1 and Peugeot 108), plus the Kia Picanto.

The Citigo's small size means it's great around town, where it was designed to excel, but unlike many other small cars, it's also quiet and easy to drive on the motorway. The car comes with a choice of two 1.0-litre petrol engines. The 59bhp version is available either with or without GreenTech fuel-saving technology, while the 74bhp comes with GreenTech as standard. Both GreenTech versions are exempt from road tax, making them our pick of the engine range.

To keep costs down, the entry-level Skoda Citigo S has limited equipment, which is fine if you're on a strict budget and can live with a basic car, but we'd advise going for the SE model, as it's the best all-rounder. It comes with air-conditioning, electric front windows and remote central locking as standard, although you can only specify the less powerful 59bhp engine in this trim.

Buyers can also choose the range-topping Elegance (which adds a portable satellite navigation system and is available with the 59 or 74bhp GreenTech engines) or the stylish Monte Carlo spec (which gets black alloy wheels and exterior styling enhancements). However, the price creeps up with these versions and they can make the cheap and cheerful Citigo look expensive.