What's the used Skoda Citigo hatchback like?
That’s because all three cars shared the same basic structure, engines, gearboxes and so on. Park them side by side, remove the badges and you really would struggle to know which is which.
That’s actually rather good news for the Citigo, though, because it means it feels nearly as polished as its posher VW sibling in almost every way, and yet it is a little cheaper to buy on the used market. Better still, the Citigo, Up and Mii triumvirate all offer a surprisingly 'big car' feel despite their diminutive dimensions. And they are, in fact, the perfect dimensions for a city car.
The engine line-up was initially limited to a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder unit with either 59bhp or 74bhp. If you rarely venture out of town, the lower-powered engine is more than up to the job. For those who plan to use their Citigo for motorway commuting, the extra power of the 74bhp is worth it. True, it still doesn’t turn the Citigo into a rocketship, but it’s quick enough to keep up with most traffic.
Entry-level S trim cars get a CD player but not a great deal else – even electric windows and remote central locking were left off the specification sheet. SE gets both of these, along with air conditioning and a height-adjustable driver’s seat, and Elegance (later renamed SE L) gives you alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, heated seats and sat-nav.
Beyond those, there are Sport and the later Monte Carlo models, but be warned that both come with a firmer suspension that can unsettle the ride.
In 2019 it was all change. The Skoda Citigo e iV was announced, and rather than just tinkering with the Citigo’s petrol engines they were ripped out and stuck straight in the bin.
In their place was an 82bhp electric motor that was powered by a 36.8kWh battery pack. In English, that’s enough juice for 162 miles of range in official tests. That’s some way behind the likes of the Renault Zoe, but way more than the paltry range offered by the Smart Forfour EQ, and even the more upmarket – and considerably more expensive – Mini Electric.
While the Citigo e iV's power might not sound particularly mighty, you can still be pretty sure of embarrassing most cars off the line at the traffic lights. Beyond city speed limits, though, the Renault Zoe has a definite speed advantage. The Citigo e iV will manage motorway journeys (its top speed is limited to 81mph), but its acceleration at those higher speeds isn’t as swift as it is at lower speeds; while it only takes a gentle squeeze of the right foot to nip into a different lane of traffic around town, it’s harder to extract an equivalent burst of speed when overtaking on the motorway.
It’s when you get moving that all versions, including the earlier petrol cars, of the Citigo really impress, though, on account of the car's supple, quiet and well-controlled ride that puts to shame many larger cars.
Combined with light controls, good visibility and excellent manoeuvrability, all versions of the smallest Skoda are a delight to drive in towns and cities, while also feeling planted on the motorway and not nearly as bothered by crosswinds as other small cars. We would advise looking for a car with the smaller 15in wheels and avoiding the (optional-from-new) sports suspension that some cars come with for the best ride comfort.
The Citigo is spacious in the front with plenty of storage. The stereo looks a little basic but you can clip a separate sat-nav unit to the top of the dash that also includes Bluetooth hands-free phone connection and can be used to display the car’s trip computer.
You only get two seats in the back and leg room is tight if both driver and passenger behind are tall. However, with a shorter driver or rear occupant, there’s plenty of space, including generous head and elbow room.
The boot is deep enough to carry a weekly shop and you can get a false boot floor for all models to raise the load height. If you need more space, you can fold the rear seats almost flat. It’s worth noting that on entry-level S models the seatback is in one piece, whereas from SE onwards they are split in a 60/40 configuration.
The Citigo’s safety record is good, having scored a maximum five stars when crash-tested by Euro NCAP way back on its launch in 2011. However, it should be pointed out safety testing has grown a lot tougher since then. One feature worth seeking out is autonomous emergency braking, which is optional on all but entry-level S models and might just prevent a costly bump in the future.
The Citigo was given the mildest of midlife facelifts in early 2017. However, so slight were the changes that you’d be hard-pressed to tell. In 2019, as mentioned, all petrol-engined versions of the Citigo were dropped, leaving only the all-electric version on sale. In 2022 this went off sale too.
Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Skoda Citigo hatchback?
First and foremost, check the portable sat-nav unit is there if it should be. Being removable, it’s one of those items that might well have been misplaced.
You’ll also need to look for the kind of dents and scratches that are often inflicted on cars that spend their time in mainly urban environments. Also, ensure the clutch hasn’t suffered from too much stop-and-start driving. Feel for a clear bite point and try accelerating from a low speed in a high gear to make sure it doesn’t slip.
The Skoda Citigo has been recalled five times, but only for cars built within very small timeframes. Check with your local dealer that all the remedial work has been carried out.
Models produced between January and March 2013 were recalled to address a possible fault with the airbag warning sensor. Cars built in March 2016 and fitted with a panoramic sunroof were checked for poor bonding of a panel that can result in rattling. Five-door Citigos built from November 2015 to April 2016 were requested back into Skoda dealers to stop a fault that could cause the rear child locks from disengaging without warning.
On cars from 2017, the welding of the towing eye in the vehicle tool kit may not be to specification. As a result the weld on the eye may fail during use causing loss of propulsion and the towrope with the attached eye can potentially cause property damage and personal injury.
What are the most common problems with a used Skoda Citigo hatchback?
If you’re looking for a tiny car with an automatic gearbox, the Citigo isn’t the best option. That’s because the AGR gearbox it uses is a crude automated manual that results in glacially slow gearchanges and jerky progress. A Hyundai i10 automatic, with its torque converter gearbox, is a much better option.
On manual cars, quite a few Citigo and Volkswagen Up owners have also reported excessive clutch and gearbox wear, so make sure the car you’re looking at slots cleanly into first and reverse gears, and listen out for a clicking sound from the clutch.
Is a used Skoda Citigo hatchback reliable?
According to the last What Car? used car reliability survey, the Citigo is a pretty safe bet. The 2023 survey saw it finish in 10th place out of 28 cars in the small and city car class.
Skoda just made it into the top third of our most reliable used car brands survey, with 13th place out of 32 manufacturers.
If you would like to see the full reliability list, head to the What Car? Used Car Reliability Survey pages for more information.
What used Skoda Citigo hatchback will I get for my budget?
A budget of £3000 will get you an early Skoda Citigo with a medium to high mileage for the year. At this price, you’re looking at an entry-level S trim three-door with the lower-powered engine. For five doors, you’ll need to add around £500 to that budget.
Better-equipped SE Citigos start from £3500, again with an average mileage for the year. If you want a more powerful 74bhp Citigo, expect to pay upwards of £4000, for which you’ll also get more equipment.
Later cars from 2016 to 2017 will cost between £4000 and £6000, cars from 2017 and 2018 between £6000 and £8000 and the last petrol-engined 2019 models around £9000 to £11,000. You'll need at least £12,000 for the all-electric version from 2019 onwards.
Check the value of a used Skoda Citigo with What Car? Valuations
Find a used Skoda Citigo for sale here
How much does it cost to run a Skoda Citigo hatchback?
Small, light cars should be very cheap to run, and so it proves with the Citigo. All versions will achieve 50-60mpg in normal driving, according to our real-world tests.
Earlier Greentech models qualify for exemption from road tax, thanks to the inclusion of a stop-start system pushing the cars to less than 100g/km of CO2 output. You won’t pay more than £20 per year in road tax either for the earlier cars. Later, post-April 2017 cars will be charged road tax at a flat rate, which currently stands at £180 per year.
Servicing and insurance
Servicing is also cheap (Skoda’s fixed-price menu starts from £159 for a minor service), although you do need to factor in £389 for a cambelt change every three years or 30,000 miles. There are also plenty of independent dealers and garages who will service your car for you, often at reduced rates. Parts, shared with the other cars in the VW group, are plentiful.
Being rated in a low insurance group also makes the Citigo a good choice for young drivers. Groups range from 1 to 9, depending on engine or trim.
Which used Skoda Citigo hatchback should I buy?
Entry-level S trim cars get a CD player but not a great deal else – even electric windows and remote central locking are left off the specification sheet. It’s worth upgrading to SE to get both of these, along with air conditioning and a height-adjustable driver’s seat, or to Elegance (later renamed SE L) for alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, heated seats and sat-nav.
Beyond those, there are Sport and the later Monte Carlo models, but be warned that both come with firmer suspension that unsettle the ride.
You’ll also need to opt for at least Elegance trim if you want the higher-powered engine.
Our favourite Skoda Citigo 1.0-litre 59bhp SE manual
What alternatives should I consider to a used Skoda Citigo hatchback?
The most obvious alternatives to the Skoda Citigo are the Volkswagen Up and Seat Mii. Which one you choose will depend largely on how much you value the VW’s slightly glossier finish over the Skoda’s slightly lower prices. Bear in mind, too, that the VW is the only one of the trio to be available, in its earlier form, with a more powerful turbocharged engine.
The second-generation Hyundai i10 is also remarkably good for a tiny car. True, you won’t have as much fun as you can in a Citigo and it only scored four stars in Euro NCAP’s crash tests, but it’s roomier, equally as comfortable and comes with a five-year warranty.
Speaking of warranty, the Kia Picanto comes with seven years and 100,000 miles worth of cover, making it a good choice for those who want peace of mind above all else.