Safety equipment includes a head-thorax side airbag – a first in any Skoda, let alone the smallest one – and the ‘City Safe Drive’ brake assist system. At speeds up to 19mph, CSD uses a laser sensor to automatically slow the car if it senses there is a danger of a collision.
The three-door Citigo we tested will launch next June, with the five-door version following about two months later.
What’s it like?
The Citigo is brilliant fun to drive, well engineered and ticks all of the ‘car about town’ boxes that it should.
In 74bhp form, the three-pot, 999cc engine is remarkably refined and as well as its urban prowess, feels capable of handling motorway cruises without any fuss.
The light-but-precise steering reinforces the sensation that this is an agile car that is in its element when nipping in and out of traffic. The ride was on the firm side on some country roads around Prague, and that’s something that will probably hold true on the UK’s largely uneven asphalt too.
Autocar also drove the less-powerful 59bhp Citigo. In that car, the powerplant sounds harsher and doesn’t cruise along with the same willingness as the 74bhp version. Still, both cars have decent fuel economy, with the 60bhp car returning 62.8mpg and 105g/km of carbon dioxide emissions and the 74bhp version offering 60.1mpg and 108g/km Co2.
Although the styling differences between the Citigo and Up are relatively minor, to our eyes the conventional front-end treatment of the Skoda is more attractive than the more adventurous nose of the VW.
In terms of layout, the cabin is sensibly thought-out, with all the key controls in logical positions and easy-to-use switchgear.
Taking centre-stage on the dashboard is a removable 5-inch multi-media device that can be use for navigation, as a hands-free phone and on-board computer and is integrated into the car’s audio system.
The front seats feature integrated headrests that don’t really offer any comfort advantage over conventional ones and some hard plastics on the dashboard provided a reminder that this is a low-cost machine.
Despite those minor drawbacks the cabin is a pleasant place to be, with more width than you’d consider possible when you survey the Citigo’s svelte dimensions from the outside.
There’s enough rear legroom for adults of medium height to sit line astern, but a pair of six-footers might struggle for space, particularly on longer trips.
Boot space is 251 litres – good by small car standards and enough to accommodate the weekly grocery shop – and grows by an extra 700 litres when the rear seats are lowered.
The Citigo shows its town car credentials with the amount of practical and clever storage ideas in the cabin. The boot gets two stowing nets, the dashboard’s glovebox handle features a bag hook (perfect for a handbag, which gives you a hint that Skoda hopes the car will particularly appeal to a female market) and there’s even a clip on the centre console to hold a photograph of your nearest and dearest.
Should I buy one?
If you’re in the market for a small-but-brilliantly-formed city car, it is worthy of your consideration, but by extrapolation so are the Up and Mii.