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Skoda Citigo is a small wonder
8:00am Thursday 28th June 2012 in Road Tests
ARRIVING fashionably late at the party is Skoda’s new city car, aptly named the Citigo.
It’s the Czech firm’s interpretation of the new VW up!
and although it shares the same engine, build quality and spacious interior, some small clever touches mainly inside make it appear rather upmarket.
The Citigo – Skoda’s first proper venture into the city car sector – also undercuts the VW on price and boasts outstanding residual values of 47 to 51 per cent.
It may not be as funky looking as some leading rivals but its compact and high-sided shape makes for excellent practicality and it delivers a benchmark in technical sophistication for a car of such small dimensions.
All the models in the range offer combined fuel returns of well over 60mpg.
The Citigo has three and five doors and a smooth 1.0- litre petrol three-cylinder motor which is offered in 60PS or 75PS. Prices go from £7,630 for the 60PS five-speed manual three-door entrylevel version to £10,415 for the top-specification 75PS five-door with ASG fivespeed automatic transmission.
There are three trims – S, SE and Elegance – and included in the line-up is a choice of more economical GreenTech versions.
For a car with such a short wheelbase the ride is certainly good – the well-tuned suspension ensures relaxed travel. In fact, the Citigo does drive like a larger motor.
The electro-mechanical power steering is light yet nicely positive and well suited to the urban environment.
Both 60PS and 75PS motors have similar maximum torque figures – 95Nm at 3,000-4,300rpm – but the generally smoother progress of the more powerful engine makes for a better drive.
The 60PS motor manages 0 to 62mph in 14.4 seconds while the 75PS GreenTech version is a little quicker at 13.2 seconds. These figures may not be all that impressive on paper but the engines feel eager and flexible during urban driving and there is sufficient performance to keep up with the Joneses on the open road or motorway.
The GreenTech versions are impressive and both 1.0-litre power outputs have features which include brake energy recuperation technology and low-rolling resistance tyres.
However, the most important element is the start/stop system which lowers the combined fuel consumption by almost nine per cent. In GreenTech form the 60PS version boasts combined figures of 68.9mpg and 96 g/km and the 75PS version 67.3mpg and 98g/km. This means free road tax and exemption from congestion charges.
You’ll be surprised at the Citigo’s outstanding interior space. There is room for four adults to sit in comfort while the deep boot is the largest in its class. Although the wheelbase is the same on the three and five-door cars, the fivedoor version has a slightly larger boot and with its rear seat-back folded the 251 litres of cargo space increases to 959 litres. Plenty of handy storage compartments are scattered around the car.
Skoda has not skimped on safety, either, and despite its compact size the car is among the safest on the road.
It comes with ESP stability control as standard on SE and Elegance trims and as an option on the S grade. The safety measures earned the top score of five stars during Euro NCAP crash test ratings.
There is no shortage of technology. Available is a dash-mounted information system which is standard on the Elegance specification and includes satellite navigation route mapping and a Bluetooth hands-free telephone connection.