What is it?
The Citigo is Skoda’s rebadged and restyled version of the Volkswagen Up – and now it’s been further restyled. That said, the differences from the previous edition are subtle, which is understandable given how much of a sales success it’s been for the Czech firm.
The front of the car has been refreshed, with the bonnet growing a muscular bulge and a new front bumper, which also makes the car marginally longer than before. There are also LED daytime running lights on certain trim levels and the rear lights have been tweaked slightly.
Things have changed a bit more inside, with a revamped Swing radio system, complete with smartphone dock and a handful of design tweaks.
What hasn’t changed are the Citigo’s mechanical underpinnings. Having previously driven the entry-level 1.0L engine in the Czech Republic, we’ve now had our first drive on UK roads in the more powerful 73bhp 1.0L engine.
What's it like?
If you’re a fan of the old Citigo, you’ll find the new one reassuringly familiar – as you will if you’ve driven any of the VW Group’s city cars. The boxy shape makes the most of the interior space, with decent room in the front cabin, complete with comfortable heated seats and a rear big enough to cope with adult passengers – for a short time, at least.
Our test car came in the top SE-L trim, which includes interior touches such as chrome interior door handles and a leather gearshift handle. There’s also rear parking sensors and electric mirrors. Driver assistance systems that come as standard include a city-based autonomous emergency braking system and a hydraulic brake assist function.
The top trim level also includes the highest-spec version of the Swing radio system, which has a colour display, Bluetooth and a USB port. There’s no touchscreen, but the system is designed to work alongside a smartphone placed in a dash-mounted dock.
The driving position is quite upright and, while not entirely conducive to long journeys, is perfect for the all-round visibility and convenience needed to drive around tight city streets.
The three-cylinder, 73bhp engine can prove a little whiny when revved at low speeds but, once going, it’s rarely out of its depth and cruises comfortably at motorway speeds. The Greentech-spec engine has a strong official economy of 68.9mpg.
It’s a similar story with the car’s ride. SE-L trim comes with 15in wheels and, while it can occasionally struggle with larger bumps and lumps, the Citigo has a strong poise and ride.
As you’d expect from a small car with a wheel at each corner, the Citigo drives with a pleasing verve, although it’s not the most engaged handling for a car in this class and doesn’t offer much in the way of feedback. But it’s direct, controlled and easy to manoeuvre in tight spaces around town – qualities that are likely of more importance to city car buyers that out-and-out handling on flowing country lanes.