Škoda Citigo

A small fry worth cashing your chips in for

Price: from £7,630
As tested: GreenTech 75 PS Elegance (£10,630)
Engine capacity: 1.0
Top speed (mph): 107
0-62 mph (seconds): 13.2
Fuel economy (mpg): 67.30
CO2 emissions (g/km): 98

Bear with me because this is complicated. This is the Citigo, a new city car from Škoda. It is very green, well-built, affordable and great fun to zip around town in.

It is also the Up from VW and if you head to a Seat dealership you'll see it again as the Mii. Confused? All three firms are owned by Volkswagen Group – one of the great behemoths of the car industry – and the trio of tiny city cars are part of its attempt to knock aside General Motors and Toyota and become the world's biggest car company by 2018.

The Citigo from Škoda is the cheapest of the triumvirate (the VW Up came first and the Seat Mii sits in the middle) but all three are built in the same massive factory in Bratislava and aside from some minor tweaks are pretty much identical. I could drone on about how hard Škoda has worked to stop, being the butt of motoring humour ('Why does a Škoda have a rear window heater? To keep everyone's hands warm when they are pushing it," etc), but that wouldn't be fair. Long gone is the Czech company's dodgy reputation for cheapness and poor quality – the Fabia hatchback is excellent (and World Rally Championship winning) and the Superb saloon has a bulging trophy cabinet of car magazine awards.

That's enough about ownership structures and global brand ambitions though, what is the Citigo like? My test car came with a distinctive black sports decal, presumably to distract from its dreary appearance because to look at the Citigo is rather dull, which is a shame as its city car rivals include the funky Fiat 500 and Toyota Aygo. That's its only major downside, though.

The interior is crisp, clean and screams of VW-inspired quality, while the engine is a peach. It doesn't have buckets of power (or any, really) and you need to rev it quite hard to get around, but no matter how hard you drive it, you'll still come away with impressive fuel economy – I managed more than 55mpg most of the time but did better on several cross-country runs.

In town it's smooth, easy to handle and very easy to park, plus there's just enough grunt in the engine to get into a space first. On the motorway it's less refined and road noise is high, but it's not totally out of its depth unless you have hundreds and hundreds of miles to cover – the seats are far from the last word in long-distance comfort.

I tested the Elegance model, which comes with a nifty detachable infotainment system (media player, satellite navigation, Bluetooth and a trip computer), heated seats, those naff sports decals and reversing sensors, but forget all that and go for the base model with the smaller engine-power rating. It starts at £7,630, has just enough power and is seriously cheap for a city car that will do everything you ask of it.

So it's not really that complicated, then – just let your wallet decide.

The Competition

Aside from the Seat Mii and VW Up the Citigo has a host of rivals including the Hyundai i10, Kia Picanto, Nissan Pixo, Citroen C1, Fiat Panda and Peugeot 107. Some offer more space (i10) or value for money (Picanto) and the Panda is excellent to drive in its TwinAir form, but none is quite as accomplished as the Citigo.

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

    £35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

    Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

    Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

    £35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

    Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

    £45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

    'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

    In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
    VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

    How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

    Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
    They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

    Typefaces still matter in the digital age

    A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
    Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

    'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

    New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
    The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

    Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

    Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

    Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
    Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

    Crisp sales are in decline

    As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
    Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

    Ronald McDonald the muse

    A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
    13 best picnic blankets

    13 best picnic blankets

    Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
    Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

    Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

    Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
    Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'