Driving

Skoda Citigo review

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Skoda Citigo
Review continues below...
29 Jun 2017 12:28 | Last updated: 21 Aug 2018 10:03

In this review

Driving

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Skoda Citigo hatchback performance

The choice of engines is a simple one. There are only two and both are 1.0-litre petrols, so you just need to decide if you want 59bhp or 74bhp (badged 60 and 75 respectively).

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The lower-powered version is up to the job if you mostly drive in built-up areas and, ultimately, it's our favoured engine because of the value for money it offers. It doesn't feel quick, but the acceleration is smooth and, around town, it easily keeps up with traffic. However, if you regularly venture onto motorways and A-roads, it's worth considering the 74bhp engine. It’s expensive because it’s only available in pricey SE L trim, but it brings noticeably stronger acceleration. That said, you have to work the more powerful engine hard to deliver the extra thrust.

You can have an automatic (ASG) gearbox with both engines, but it's best avoided. Gearchanges are decidedly sluggish, so you tend to lurch forward and backwards in your seat like a nodding dog whenever you accelerate. It’s also particularly painful if you’re trying to manoeuvre on a hill as it doesn't have a creep function like a regular automatic.

Skoda Citigo hatchback ride

For such a small car, the Citigo does a remarkable job of smoothing out all manner of lumps and bumps in the road. The ride is supple over speed bumps at low speeds, and broken surfaces and potholes are dealt with effectively.

Things even remain comfortable at higher speeds on A-roads and motorways, where the Citigo feels exceptionally composed for such a small car.

We’d avoid the sports suspension, though – it’s optional on most versions and standard on the range-topping Monte Carlo. It doesn’t make the ride uncomfortably firm, but you do feel more bumps as they pass beneath the car. We would also recommend sticking to 15in wheels, as the 16in items don’t deal with potholes or sharp bumps as well.

Skoda Citigo

Skoda Citigo hatchback handling

The Citigo – along with its Seat Mii and Volkswagen Up sister cars – is the best-handling city car on the market. In fact, many £20,000 hatchbacks could learn a thing or two from the Citigo’s precise, well-weighted steering and its tidy body control that stops the car from swaying about too much through bends. There’s also a decent amount of grip and, unlike many competitors, the Citigo isn’t tossed around too much by crosswinds on the motorway.

Just as crucially, it is effortless to drive around town and easy to slot into tight parking spaces.

Skoda Citigo hatchback refinement

City cars aren't renowned for their peaceful cruising manners, but the Citigo is one of the quietest. True, its three-cylinder petrol engine sounds a bit coarse when revved hard to get to motorway speeds, but it's nothing that will really get on your wick and you don't feel much vibration through the pedals or steering wheel.

A bit of road noise creeps into the interior at higher speeds – a Hyundai i10 is better in this respect – but the Citigo’s five-speed manual gearbox is light and precise, and its clutch and brake pedals have plenty of feel, making it easy to drive smoothly at all speeds. The ASG auto isn’t quite as impressive, lurching between gears and getting confused if you come on and off the accelerator quickly.

 

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There are 5 trims available for the Citigo hatchback. Click to see details.See all versions
SE L
This is the only trim offered with the more powerful 74bhp engine that we’d recommend if you regularly venture onto the motorway. It gets air-conditioning, heated front seats, 15in alloy wheels and...View trim
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Colour Edition
This style-led trim gets a few unique metallic paint colours as standard, smoked 15in alloys (you can have silver wheels if you'd rather), a four speaker stereo and front fog lights. You’ll have to...View trim
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£10,343
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Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo trim comes with lots of bespoke styling cues, 15in alloy wheels, a sports steering wheel and tinted windows. However, given the relatively high price and standard sports suspension, whi...View trim
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£10,991
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S
This entry-level Citigo misses out on some important equipment – steel wheels, a radio, CD player are included, but air-con isn’t on the list. You don’t get split-folding rear seats or a height-adj...View trim
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SE
This is our favourite trim because it's the cheapest way to get air-conditioning, electric front windows and remote central locking. You also get split-folding rear seats and a height-adjustable dr...View trim
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