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Used test: Fiat 500 vs Skoda Citigo

The Fiat 500 is a firm city car favourite, but how does it stack up against the practical Skoda Citigo?

Words By What Car? team

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What are they like inside?

Style is intrinsic to the 500, both outside and inside. The bright and airy interior imparts a greater sense of fun than the more functional interior of the Citigo. However, despite the differences, both cars are ergonomically sound, with all the major controls right where you need them.

You won’t find many luxurious soft-touch plastics in either model, but when you spend time playing with the knobs and switches, particularly items such as the indicator and wiper stalks, the Citigo conveys the greater sense of solidity. However, Fiat has made small steps to improve the quality of the 500’s interior, and it shows.

Both cars are roomy enough in the front, although there’s more head, leg and shoulder room in the Citigo. That car's footwell is also more spacious.

As well as being more comfortable, the Citigo’s driver’s seat is more supportive than the 500’s, too; this is especially useful in corners. By comparison, you perch on top of the 500’s seat and there’s no height adjustment.

Both cars have steering wheels that can be adjusted up and down but not in and out so, if you’re tall, this can leave your arms at full stretch. The Citigo has another, more annoying issue, though; many drivers will find the steering wheel obscures the speedometer, forcing you to have the wheel set uncomfortably high.

Slim pillars and large glass areas give good visibility in both cars, although the Citigo’s boxier shape and larger rear side windows make seeing out easier in all directions.

If you often carry more than one passenger, they’ll be happier for longer in the Citigo. That’s because it’ll seat two adults in the back in relative comfort, whereas the rear of the 500 is considerably more cramped, so is more suitable for children or occasional use.

Skoda's city car also has the bigger boot. After an extensive shop at the supermarket, you’ll squeeze one more bag-for-life into the back of the Citigo, while that bag may have to be put on the 500’s back seat. For larger loads, both cars offer standard split-folding rear seats.

The Citigo Monte Carlo has a standard touchscreen infotainment system, which includes sat-nav. However, it’s a portable device that clips onto the dashboard and is quite clunky to use. The equivalent system in the 500 was an optional extra, but it’s a built-in 5.0in touchscreen and has better graphics, more features and a DAB radio (the latter was a cost option in the Citigo).

Both cars come with air-con, electric front windows and 15in alloy wheels as standard. The Citigo adds Bluetooth (an option on the 500), while Fiat's city car gives you a USB port and electric mirrors. Rear parking sensors are optional on both.

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