Matt Saunders
17 May 2012

What is it?

The most interesting version of the Volkswagen Group’s trio of new city cars, potentially - mainly because it’s the best value. The bottom-rung Skoda Citigo undercuts the equivalent VW Up by £365 and Seat Mii by £215. So with equipment levels being broadly similar across the three entry point models, is there any reason that bargain hunters shouldn’t plump for the Skoda?

What is it like?

Skoda didn’t have ‘S’ trim Citigos on its UK press launch, but our ‘SE’ spec 59bhp test car was close enough to answer the question. The former comes without air conditioning, central locking, electric windows, ESP, split-folding rear seats – much of which you’ll find on slightly pricier basic versions the car’s rivals. ‘SE’ trim adds all of the above, but bumps up the Citigo’s price to level with the cheapest Fiat Pandas and Hyundai i10s.

During our test drive in a Citigo SE, the Skoda impressed in a broad sense. Compared to the ‘A’ segment class standard it’s well built, well appointed, spacious and very usable. The 59bhp engine is a little rougher than the higher-powered engine, but it’s easy to get on with, and delivers enough performance for all but extended motorway use.

The car handles tidily and accurately, and with strong grip and precision for one so small and high-sided. The Citigo’s steering is light and a little uncommunicative, and doesn’t inspire the kind of agility you’ll find in a Hyundai i10 or Fiat Panda, making the Citigo a little dull and uninvolving to drive at times. There’s also a choppiness to the Citigo’s low-speed ride that disappoints in comparison to the outstanding rolling comfort of the VW Up, and a slightly lower-rent, workmanlike feel to some of the Skoda’s cabin fittings relative to the Volkswagen. As with the VW, you don’t get reach adjustment on the steering column of the Skoda, either.

Should I buy one?

Perhaps it’s because the Citigo is more conventional than we’ve come to expect from Skoda’s cars over the last decade, but in a class in the midst of a new metal explosion, it seems to lack a little originality and an outstanding selling point. And while it’s good value, it’s also not cheap enough to be considered the class-leader on price, either.

Bottom line? For an extra four-hundred quid, you’d have the VW.

Skoda Citigo 1.0 MPI 60 SE

Price: £8530; 0-62mph: 14.4sec; 
Top speed: 99mph; 
Economy: 62.8mpg; 
Co2: 105g/km; 
Kerbweight: 854kg; 
Engine type, cc: 3cyl, 999cc, petrol; 
Power: 59bhp at 5000-6000rpm; 
Torque: 70lb ft at 3000-4300rpm; 
Gearbox: 5-spd manual

Join the debate



2 years 19 weeks ago

I like the mechanical simplicity and lightness of this car, but it's more expensive than I would like. My money would go on a 107/Aygo/C1. They're cheaper, more characterful, more efficient, have lower running costs, and just generally do what a small car should do much better than this, despite their age.

Why is the ride inferior to that of a VW Up?

2 years 19 weeks ago

I was surprised to read the comment about the Skoda's ride being inferior to that of the VW Up. Is there a reason for this - springs, dampers, tyres etc - or is this just a case of Autocar's testers being swung by the premium VW badge?

Either way, the car is way too expensive for what it offers - and I think I too would go for one of the Toyota PSA triplets.  

Baaaa - if you are that way inclined

2 years 19 weeks ago

Saw one (well, an UP) in a car park for the first time at the weekend and was decidedly underwhelmed.

If you are a VW group sheep then I am sure this or it's ssiblingswill be fine for your requirements but for the money I the Panda is plainly a better car. 



It's all about the twisties........

I would have a SEAt Mii S

2 years 19 weeks ago

I would have a SEAt Mii S because its got very cool looking steel wheels, proper old school.



The VW looks very good, full

2 years 19 weeks ago

The VW looks very good, full of charm and character. Lovely inside too, a real jewel-like quality to the controls.

The Skoda, though, looks like a bland korean econobox, and too similar to the Seat.

I'd happily stump up the extra for the VW.

Skoda Citigo SE

2 years 19 weeks ago

Personally I'd keep the 400 quid!  For what it's worth, the VW Takeup  I had a run out in had a very ordinary dashboard surface, and none the worse for that.  I think the emphasis on fancy dashboards is overdone.  Cars in this price bracket are consumer durables, not jewellery.  The design of the "Upigo" trio is very good and the driving position a dead ringer for my very comforable Fabia.  But the Panda TwinAir has Soul!


Only Skoda with the auto box?

2 years 19 weeks ago

Is it me but looking at the Up, Mii and Citygo, is it only the Citygo offering the auto box?


2 years 19 weeks ago

That has to be one of the blandest dashboards this decade.  I'd pay the £400 just for the painted dash on the VW which livens things up a bit.



2 years 19 weeks ago

Panda all the way for me.




It's not easy being green

2 years 19 weeks ago

FIAT Qubo-esque colour! I'd take one over the VW as I assume depreciation will be steeper.

  • Let depreciation be your friend...
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Our Verdict

The Skoda Citigo is the third member of the Volkswagen Up/Seat Mii triumvirate. It shares the Up's decent driving manners and good build quality

  • First Drive

    Skoda Citigo 1.0 five-door

    The Skoda Citigo is a well-packaged, capable and stylish city car. It's great around town and fun to drive
  • First Drive

    Skoda Citigo

    Skoda’s take on the VW Up is neat, economical and practical, but offers plenty of fun, too

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