Road Tests

Handbook: Skoda Citigo

Time 9:30 am, May 11, 2012

This may be a VW Up with a different badge, but it’s also Skoda’s first full-production three-door car. James Batchelor reports.

WHAT IS IT?

This is the car that makes up the final part of the Volkswagen Group’s onslaught on the A-segment – and could well be the best all-rounder. That’s because it sits between the bold VW Up and the more masculine Seat Mii, while it is rumoured to have prices comparable with the Spanish- badged sister car. Around 4,000 units will be sold this year – and between 60 and 70 per cent of UK sales will be of the five-door. It arrives in June.


WHAT’S UNDER THE BONNET?

There are two 1.0-litre three-cylinder engines; in 58 and 74bhp forms. Both are surprisingly high-geared requiring liberal use of the throttle to get moving, but while the 58bhp version is darty, the higher-powered version is a little more at home on the open road. Greentech technology can also be ordered.

WHAT’S THE SPEC LIKE?

The range kicks off at £7,630 for the S model which comes with daytime driving lights, CD player with aux input and 14-inch steel wheels.


The mid-level Citigo trim line is SE, which boasts electric front windows, body coloured door mirrors and handles, ESP, remote central locking and air-conditiong as standard, and is priced from £8,530.

The range tops out with Elegance at £9,470. The model boasts electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, 14-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, leather steering wheel, front fog lamps, and Skoda’s portable infotainment device (PID). Five-door versions on every trim level cost an extra £350.

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?

You won’t be surprised to hear it drives no differently to the Up and Mii. But that’s good as buyers will be treated to a car that feels grown-up and mature. The Citigo is a composed car in town but can be fun on twisty roads – no doubt helped by a grippy little chassis that resists understeer heroically. Visibility is good; so too is the steering – it’s well-weighted if lacking a little directness. The 74bhp is the best all-rounder.

WHAT DO THE PRESS THINK OF IT?

Autoblog UK said ‘it might be just the pick of the [VW Group] three’, while Auto Express felt ‘it’s not as distinctive as its VW cousin’ but added it will come down to consumers’ preferences towards badges. MSN Cars remarked: ‘The bottom end of Skoda’s range had a city car-shaped hole in it for too long but the Citigo has filled it, and then some.’

WHAT DO WE THINK OF IT?

The Citigo is proof that manufacturers are taking the A-segment as seriously as ever, realising it’s the sector where consumers are spending their money. The Citigo may well be just a VW Up with a Skoda badge, but it works well. We can believe Skoda UK’s prediction that it will bring a new customer to the Czech marque’s dealerships.

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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