First Drive

2015 Skoda Citigo 1.0 60 Black Edition review

The city car sector is filled with talented cars, so can the new Black Edition compete at less than Β£10,000?

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Since their introduction in 2012, the Volkswagen Group city car trio of VW Up, Seat Mii and Skoda Citigo have established themselves as class leaders in the city car segment. The combination of pert styling, grown-up dynamics and high-quality interiors have ensured all three have remained competitive despite strong competition from the new Renault Twingo, revised Hyundai i10 and Vauxhall Viva.

Here the Skoda Citigo is tested in 1.0-litre 59bhp Black Edition trim. It costs Β£9990 as a three-door, a premium of Β£1715 over the 59bhp Citigo S. For that additional outlay, the Black Edition comes equipped with 15in black alloy wheels, body-coloured door mirrors, air conditioning and electric front windows.

Skoda's Portable Infotainment Device is also standard, as is a Citigo Entertainment pack with four additional speakers to complete comprehensive kit list. The five-door version costs Β£10,340 and both are available in either Deep Black or Candy White.

What is the Skoda Citigo 1.0 Black Edition like to drive?

Unsurprisingly given the minor modifications over standard, the Black Edition is much like the regular Citigo to drive. That's no bad thing however, given the adept road manners that characterise the car. Around town it feels nimble, with light and direct steering ensuring that the car can be placed accurately.

At higher speeds the Skoda has the composure of a larger car, remaining refined and controlled at all times. When pushed the Citigo predictably leans towards understeer, with the traction control quelling any over-enthusiasm early on.

While smooth for a three-cylinder, the entry-level 1.0-litre engine can be left wanting for performance at times. When pulling away, insufficient revs will see it grumble and the car shudder, which can become tiresome in stop-start traffic.

When up and running around town it’s sprightly enough, but predictably can feel slighlty pedestrian when on more open roads. Fortunately the engine is willing at higher revs, although its enthusiasm is rather let down by a slightly baggy gearshift.

What is the Skoda Citigo 1.0 Black Edition like inside?

While the Citigo Black Edition’s cabin lacks the flair of a VW Up or the modernity of a Renault Twingo, its layout is logical and feels of very high quality. The instruments are clear and the driving environment uncluttered.

The Portable Infotainment Device is a welcome addition inside, providing hassle-free Bluetooth phone connection and an intuitive sat-nav system. However, the touchscreen icons can be fiddly on the move and the car would benefit from a USB port for smartphone connection.

While the seat is height-adjustable, it can leave taller drivers feeling a little perched on the seat. This does benefit visibility though, with the Citigo offering an unobstructed view of its extremities. It makes the Skoda a cinch to park.

Should I buy one?

While the Black Edition's upgrades create a more stylish and desirable Citigo, it's hard not to feel that the money would be better invested in the more powerful engine. The 74bhp Citigo range begins at Β£10,465 for the SE L, which comes as standard with 14in alloys and the Portable Infotainment Device.

Among the 59bhp cars, however, the Black Edition compares well, offering some desirable extras for a price very similar to the Β£9495 SE. More luxurious Citigo models are also available, the Β£10,670 Monte Carlo being the most expensive three-door car with 59bhp.

Overall, the Black Edition is a welcome addition to a competent Citigo range. As always though, the related VW Up is a hard car to ignore. A 59bhp Move Up is a similar price to the Skoda at Β£9925 and offers a slightly more stylish interior plus the cachet of the VW badge.

To have an Up with the infotainment device requires an upgrade to the Β£11,500 High Up though, making the case for the Citigo a lot stronger as connectivity becomes an increasing priority for buyers.

What Car? says

The rivals

Seat Mii

Volkswagen Up

Skoda Citigo 1.0 60 Black Edition 3dr

Engine size 1.0-litre petrol

Price from Β£9900

Power 59bhp

Torque 70lb ft

0-62mph 14.4 seconds

Top speed 99mph

Fuel economy 62.8mpg

CO2 105g/km