Friday, 6 July 2012

2012 Skoda Citigo ROAD TEST

When a car company launches it’s “most important model in years” it’s always worth paying extra attention. The city car market is currently booming fuelled by rising petrol prices putting added pressure on drivers to downsize. Skoda have for many years been the forgotten Volkswagen group child when it comes to handing out city cars. Both VW and Seat have both been strong competitors in the market with their Lupo and Arosa not too long ago. 

For Skoda; maker of affordable, dependable cars the introduction of the Citigo is great news. Finally they have a city car competitor. As most will know the Citigo is closely relating to VWs Up! and Seat’s recently launch Mii however the Citigo undercuts both on price. But what is it really like?

In terms of styling the Citigo is more closely related to the Mii than the Up! But this is no bad thing. Its shape is simple and uncluttered with a small front overhang and large glass area. The has cleanly styled headlights and Skoda’s new corporate grill – you will notice that the new logo in now mounted on the bonnet rather than the grill. Around the rear the Citigo misses out on the Up’s distinctive all-glass rear tailgate instead opting for a conventional item with boss-eyed looking taillights. It may lack flair but its neatly proportioned and looks modern.

Inside there’s a deceptively spacious interior with enough room for two adults in the front and rear to stretch out. The boot is also cavernous compared to rivals at 251 litres. The interior design is simple, clearly laid out and constructed of durable materials with plenty of characterful bare metal on show. It’s easy to get comfortable in the nicely shaped front seats and all-round visibility is very good.

Two engines are on offer, both of which are 1.0 litre 3-cylinder units with either 60 or 75bhp. We had a go in the lower powered model in mid-spec SE trim with the addition of the sport pack -adding alloy wheels, lowered suspension and sunset glass - not forgetting some snazzy decals too.

Economy as you would expect is a real strongpoint returning 62.8 mpg combined.  Emissions of 105g/km result in a wallet-friendly tax band B. Performance is leisurely taking 14.4 seconds to 60mph but the broad power band makes darting around town a doddle. The engine note is also particularly fruity which adds to the fun.

Around the challenging hill route at Millbrook the little Citigo performed well. Comfort levels were very good with a forgiving ride that takes a lot to unsettle it. Refinement is a little lacking - more road noise filters into the cabin that we would have liked but the engine note is a good distraction. Show the Citigo a series of bends and it tackled them with real vigour. Turn in is tight and although the steering is slightly lacking in feel its nicely weighted. Bodyroll is well contained and the tiny tyres grip well resulting in a spirited drive.


With starting price of £7,630 the Citigo is a bit of a bargain. Buyers will be getting a thoroughly modern, well designed city car that drives as well – if not better - than the competition. Running costs are very low and residuals are likely to be strong. It may not be the most exciting car for the money or the most refined but the Citigo has what it takes to lead the class. The introduction of a 5 door model will only strengthen this position.

Words by Rob McSorley
Photos by Mathew Brooks / Skoda UK

Technical Data
Price as tested: £9,865
Engine: 1.0 12v 60bhp - 0-62mph: 14.4 secs - Maximum Speed: 99mph -
Economy: 50.4mpg (urban) –72.4mpg (extra-urban), 62.8mpg (combined) - Emissions: 105g/km (Band B) - VED (12 months): £20
Dimensions: Length: 3563mm - Width: 1641mm - Height: 1478mm - Wheelbase: 2420mm
*data from Skoda UK

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