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 ride comfort
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 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 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.
The more eager 74bhp 1.0-litre engine is a better choice if you regularly drive on fast A-roads and motorways. However, it pushes the price up a fair bit (partly because it comes only in high-end SE L trim), which takes away some of the Citigo’s bargain appeal. Like the lower-powered ‘60’ version, this engine is available with either a manual or an automatic gearbox.
The lower-powered of the two 1.0-litre petrol engines is adequate if you do most of your driving around town and, crucially, keeps the price to a minimum. However, it can feel underpowered on faster roads. It’s available with either a manual or automatic gearbox; avoid the auto if possible, though, because its gearchanges are slow and jerky.