Cute, pert and cheap on the upkeep, the dinky Skoda Citigo (subcutaneously the same as the hugely impressive Volkswagen Up and Seat Mii) is a fun and surprisingly grownup city car that was a huge success from its launch in 2012 to its death in 2021 and is now a bargain used buy.
For the first seven years of its life, it was a pretty conventional petrol-engined car, with a naturally aspirated 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit making either 59bhp (the 60) or 74bhp (the 75). They came with a five-speed manual gearbox or, for a little extra, an automated manual (ASG).
A Greentech version with a stop-start system and eco tyres even pushed CO2 emissions below the magic 100g/km marker.
S trim gets you a CD player but not a great deal else – not even electric windows or remote central locking. SE adds these, along with air-con and a height-adjustable driver’s seat, while Elegance (later renamed SE L) features alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, heated seats and sat-nav. Beyond those are Sport and the later Monte Carlo, but both have firmer suspension that unsettles the ride.
If you rarely venture out of town, the lower-powered engine is decent enough, but for those who often use motorways, the extra power of the 75 is definitely worth it. Just bear in mind that you will need to look for at least Elegance trim if you want this engine.
Indeed, it’s when you get moving that the Citigo really impresses, largely on account of its supple, quiet and well-controlled ride, which puts many larger cars to shame. Combined with light controls, good visibility and excellent manoeuvrability, this smallest Skoda is a delight to drive in towns and cities.
And for a car so small externally, it’s spacious in the front and offers plenty of storage. There are only two back seats and admittedly leg room is tight if both the driver and passenger behind are tall, but if one or both are shorter, there’s ample space, including generous head and elbow room.