Škoda’s all new city car, the Citigo is released in the UK on June 1st, prices start from just £7,630 on the road.
The Citigo enters a busy marketplace, and the likes of the Toyota Aygo, the Peugeot 107, the Kia Picanto and Hyundai i10 are all battling for the same customers. There is also strong competition from several other new VW Group vehicles, the VW UP, and Seat Mii, and the Citigo is pretty much mechanically identical to both cars.
My first impressions were really good, the Citigo has a fresh look that will appeal to young drivers, and a 5 star NCAP safety rating and low insurance premiums that will certainly appeal to their parents.
What it lacks in raw power the Citigo makes up for with an excellent all-round driving experience. On the road, the strong chassis copes with quick cornering surprisingly well, and despite the small engine the car will travel smoothly and quietly at speed on the motorway.
When you do put your foot down, the engine doesn’t sound in trouble even at the top end of the rev counter. In fact, on the 1.0 MPI GreenTech 75PS Manual it has quite a nice throaty growl.
The interior while basic on the cheapest models doesn’t feel ‘budget’ and is tough and hard-wearing. There is space to carry four adults in reasonable comfort, and the boot is bigger than any in its class. To keep with the times it also comes with an easy to use PID (Personal Infotainment Device), with built in Sat Nav, Bluetooth, Media Player, and SD Card slot.
It’s green too, the 1.0 MPI 60PS model has CO2 emissions of just 99g/km, and a combined figure of 68.9MPG. That means no road tax, and if you are in London, no congestion charge either.
A new safety system introduced for the first time (as an optional extra), on the Citigo is City Safe Drive. If you happen to be travelling under 19mph and the sensors in the front bumper decide you are going to hit something, (as long as you don’t have your foot on the clutch or brake) City Safe Drive will take over and apply the brakes automatically to avoid a collision.
I successfully tested City Safe Drive using polystyrene blocks on the road and the system could work best in slow moving traffic jams, (especially in the summer) when a driver becomes suddenly ‘distracted’ by pedestrians.
With a range of trim levels, S, SE or Elegance, two or four door, and two 1.0 litre petrol engines (60PS/44 kW and and a modified 75 PS/55 kW) the range offers a good balance between performance, price, practicality and choice.
A new hatchback, MPV and a large SUV are on the way from Škoda over the next couple of years, and the Citigo is a confident statement of their future plans.
Against the current crop of ‘City Cars’, the Citigo could, and should do well. Whether its lack of true individual flair, or its closeness in price to the VW UP, (just £400 less) is a potential stumbling block, only time will tell.
Škoda Citigo:SE 1.0 MPI GreenTech 60PS Manual
Combined MPG: 69.9 mpg
C02 Emissions 96g/km
Max Speed: 100 mph
0-62 mph 14.4 seconds
£8,890 OTR Available from June 1st.
For more info visit www.skoda.co.uk