Review: Skoda Citigo

A fun car to nip around the city streets

26 Feb 16 Tim Barnes-Clay

Pros

  • Low running costs

  • Relatively roomy

  • Reliable

Cons

  • Rivals will hold it's value better

  • Feels sluggish

  • Dull looking

Our expert rating

Skoda’s city car is the eponymous Citigo and, along with the SEAT Mii, it’s a version of Volkswagen’s Up model.

The car comes with either three or five doors and has been built in Slovakia since 2011.

Performance

The Citigo is a fun car to nip around the city streets in and its zesty power contradicts its tiny frame. It’s an absolute cinch to park and it’s easy to chuck a U-turn in. The Citigo is not held prisoner by the urban environment it was designed for, though.

 

skoda citigo side view

It can handle the open road in short bursts, although overtaking is best avoided unless you enjoy planning your motoring manoeuvres well in advance.

The miniscule motor is easy on the pocket to run, achieving up to 68.9mpg. It’s also cheap to tax - £20 a year at the most expensive end of the scale.

Ride and handling

The Skoda handles really well for what, plainly, isn’t the sportiest of cars. The Citigo doesn’t lean on meandering routes and therefore it cuts through corners cleanly. All this adds up to unexpected bursts of fun.

Who would have thought a city car could actually equal entertainment? This doesn’t mean there are no negative areas. The steering is probably the car’s Achilles heel. It’s far too light when it’s away from town, bringing about a rather detached feeling when behind the wheel.

Rear of Skoda Citigo in white

Of course, this is an advantage in town as light steering is perfect for non-demanding routes. The cabin isn’t the quietest, either, with the rushing sound of wind and tyre noise intruding quite noticeably when the car gets up to speed.

Should you be unfortunate enough to have an accident in a Citigo, then you are in safe hands. It’s one of the best small cars for safety – earning five-stars when crash tested by Euro NCAP.

Interior space

The five door Citigo is the one to go for – especially if the back seat is going to be used. Up front, the Skoda’s seats offer good support while the rear can take two adults – at a push.

You can therefore say this is a four-up car, but that is really only the case for short journeys. In the real-world, two small children will be comfortable in the rear for any length of time, while adults will soon start spitting feathers after the first fifty miles or so.

There is not a lot of storage in the cabin, but the Skoda’s load area makes a good fist of balancing the books. Boot space is 251 litres, but collapse the seats and this surges to 951 litres. Three key trims are available on the Citigo - Active, Ambition and Elegance.

Hunt down the “Elegance” trim, if possible, as this really does turn this small car into a motor with big car toys. Luxuries include electric door mirrors, a sat-nav and even heated front seats.

Interior wheel area of Skoda Citigo

What to know before you buy

The Skoda runs on tried and test mechanicals, so the Citigo makes a good used car choice. The main things to look out for when perusing a secondhand example are parking knocks, wing mirror scuffs and wheel scrapes.

This is a city car after all, and busy car parks tend to attract dings and dents. From the technology end of the spectrum, the sat-nav can play up. It tends to lag quite a bit, so you can imagine how annoying it’s when you get to that crossroads and you don’t know which way to turn for a few seconds.

Alternative cars

Sophisticated looks and a top-notch build quality make the Citigo shine when you compare it like for like with its key rivals. VW Up and SEAT Mii cousins aside, the Skoda is awesome value for money.

If you want a little more space, then the Hyundai i10 is the one to look at. It’s wider, therefore allowing two or more adults far more comfort in the back. This is borne out by three seatbelts in the rear, whereas the Citigo is only fitted with two.

Load space is similarly sized on the i10 and the Skoda, and both cars are just as inexpensive to keep on the road. By and large, the Citigo is a little bit more of a laugh to drive than the Hyundai and it looks funkier, too. Another competitor is the Fiat 500.

Alternative car to Skoda Citigo - Hyundai i10

This isn’t a particularly quiet car and, like the Citigo, it’s not comfortable on long trips. However, it’s seen as a fashion icon so it holds its price, making it quite costly. Its boot is not as good as the Skoda’s, either. In fact, it’s rather miserly at just 185 litres.

Overall verdict

For the most part, the Citigo is a remarkable little city car with the ability to bring a smile to the most stressed out of faces. It’s small enough to be an easy first car to handle and it works as a school-run car, too.

Due to its lack of long range comfort it’s not ideal as the family’s only car, but it does the trick if you’re a city slicker who only ventures out of town from time to time.

Expert Rating

Performance

Reliability

Space & comfort

Running costs

Value for money

Overall