First drive: Skoda Citigo five-door

Time 10:00 pm, February 20, 2012

CAR Dealer got an early drive of the new Skoda Citigo five-door on Friday – three weeks before its Geneva Motor Show debut.

You won’t be surprised to hear it’s Skoda’s version of the VW Up and completes the Volkswagen Group’s assault on the A-segment market.

And when it hits dealers on June 1, customers will be offered just one engine – VW’s all new 1.0-litre MPI unit in two flavours of 58bhp and 74bhp.

We also managed to try a GreenTec version which has stop-start and regenerative braking allowing this particular Citigo to sneak under the 100g/km CO2 emissions barrier.

As with most of its competitiors, the five-door version is no longer than its three-door equivalent. The front doors are a little shorter thereby making space for the extra pair of rear doors, and also makes rear access much easier. In fact, we felt the five-door looks better than the three door; it makes an already attractive-looking car look far more in proportion.

In contrast to the Up and Seat Mii launches, Skoda let UK journalists loose on a variety of different environments. From the tightly-packed streets of Lisbon to the arduous hills in the countryside, the Citigo proved to be an excellent little car.

Well-weighted steering and good visibility were its key strengths in cities and towns, while a grippy chassis that resisted understeer was the Citigo’s party trick in the hills.

Skoda is providing no pricing yet, but it was revealed the five-door will hold a £350 premium on its three-door sister. And with prices estimated at £7500 for the three-door, we can presume five-door prices will be at the £7850 mark.

Skoda UK’s brand director, Robert Hazelwood, also revealed to Car Dealer that he expects 60-70 per cent of the 4,000 predicted sales this year will be of the five-door. In a full year of sales, Skoda UK expects to shift 7,000 units.

For the full low-down on the Citigo, including a interview with Robert Hazelwood, look out for the April issue of Car Dealer – out March 14. Subscribe here


James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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