ROAD TEST REPORT AND REVIEW: Skoda Citigo
Skoda Citigo review proves little car is capable of big miles. KEITH WARD reports.
SKODA’s take on the VW group’s triple-badged city car vies with VW’s own up! and SEAT’s Mii versions. The Skoda Citigo comes in, as you would expect, keenly priced. It also carries Skoda’s superior standing among the three in terms of brand reliability and customer approval.
The neat and compact hatchback body at just over three and a half metres contains four seats with just about enough legroom for four average-height adults. Behind them is a short boot, more of a deep trough really, into which you must lift your luggage over a high rear sill – 780 mm or a good 30 inches above ground.
The stiff boot lid hinges vertically to allow access. The rear seat backs can be dropped forward onto the fixed cushions to take extra cargo, so no flat through-floor. There’s a cupholder for each passenger in an otherwise modestly furnished cabin showing lots of painted metal.
The 16-strong Citigo range offers three or five doors, three levels of trim and a little 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine tuned to either 60 or 75 PS, with five-speed manual or automatic gearboxes. Versions badged Greentech employ stop-start and low-resistance tyres to increase mpg and lower CO2 emissions.
Prices start at £7,630 for the 60PS three-door S and rise to £10,415 for the 75PS five-door automatic Elegance. There’s a variety of extra-cost add-on packages tagged sport, safety, style, comfort and so on.
Of the three trim levels, basic S includes side airbags, height-adjustable steering wheel, CD player with aux input and 14-inch steel wheels. It may be worth a step up to SE, as on our test car, to add what have become commonplace comforts such as electric front windows, seat height adjust, remote central locking, manual air con and split-fold 60:40 rear seatbacks.
Also cosmetic items like daytime running lights and body-coloured door mirrors and handles. As well as safety in the form of ESP electronic stability. The Citigo does carry a top five-star rating in crash protection.
Fitted to our sample as a useful £275 option was Skoda’s so-called Portable Infotainment Device (PID) – a detachable pod atop the dash with five-inch touch-screen, neatly combining sat-nav, media player, Bluetooth phone connection and trip data.
The three-door we tried has an oddly- kinked waistline trim. While the front seats fold and slide to give access to the rear, they do not return to their original position, so you have to re-set them all over again. While the front doors open to 80 degrees, they are so wide, at 1,300 mm or about 51 inches, as to give problems in tight parking spaces.
Even with the less powerful 60 PS engine the Citigo proved nimble and agile enough around town. On the open road it can soon run out of steam on hills but will bowl along a motorway at 70 mph in fifth gear, pulling its optimum 3,000 rpm, without fuss or undue noise.
The big bonus is at the pumps. In a series of brisk cross-country runs on a variety of roads, mixed with city and traffic driving, the Citigo recorded an average 62.9 mpg – even slightly up on the official combined figure, which is a rarity.
THE VITAL STATISTICS:
Model: Skoda Citigo SE 1.0 3-door
Engine: Petrol; 999 cc; 3-cyl; 60 PS; torque 70 lb ft; 5-speed manual
Pace: 99 mph; 0-62 in 14.4 secs
MPG: On test 63.1; official combined 62.8 mpg; tank 35 litres
CO2: 105 g/km; tax band B; nil VED first year then £20
Insurance: Group 1
Service: Every 12 mths/10,000 miles
Warranty: 36 mths/60,000 miles; 36 mths paint; 12 yrs anti-rust; 36 mths RAC
PRICE: £8,530; as tested with options £9,185