Skoda Citigo 5-dr

13 Aug, 2012 6:00pm Shane O'Donoghue

We drive the five-door version of our 2012 Car of the Year on British roads for the first time


Few new cars on sale for less than £10,000 hold as much appeal as the new five-door Citigo – other than the equivalent SEAT Mii and VW up! of course. But we think the Citigo is the best of the bunch, especially in Elegance spec. It’s relatively basic inside, but it all works well, plus the car isn’t out of its depth on the motorway.

If the VW up! isn’t your thing, the Skoda Citigo is a cheaper and equally talented alternative. A more practical five-door version of our reigning Car of the Year has also hit the UK, promising big car ability in a city car-sized package.

Clearly, the Skoda isn’t meant to be a family’s main car, but it’s relatively practical – especially in five-door format. So long as the front passengers don’t have particularly long legs, there’s plenty of room behind for two adults. The boot is deep and has a 251-litre capacity, or 959 with the seats down, as on the up!.

For just under £10,000, you can get this top-spec Elegance model – and it’s the one to have, despite costing nearly £1,000 more than the Citigo SE. It adds alloys, foglights and electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, plus heated front seats and a leather steering wheel.

However, the biggest selling point for tech-savvy customers will be Skoda’s nifty Portable Entertainment Device (PID), which is standard. A removable five-inch touchscreen interface accesses extra trip computer data and features sat-nav, Bluetooth and a micro SD input for music files. We just wish the screen was a bit bigger; it’s tricky to use for anything other than the basics when on the move.

Skoda offers the Elegance with 59bhp or 74bhp versions of the characterful three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engine, but you only need the latter if you venture out of town regularly. The 74bhp car is also the only one to have stop-start as part of the GreenTech package – yet the lower-powered car returns better economy, at 68.9mpg, and emits less than 100g/km of CO2 to give exemption from road tax.

No matter which power output you choose, the Citigo impresses with its big car manners. It nips in and out of small gaps eagerly, yet still soaks up broken urban roads with aplomb. It also keeps up on the motorway. What really stands out, though, is the Skoda’s composure and stability.

Pop-out rear windows are reminders that this car is made to a price, but it’s still desirable – especially at less than £10,000.

Disqus - noscript

Why bother reviewing this vehicle as you have already tested the Up!

Why bother testing Aygo/C1/107 sererately then? Why bother testing 110/Picanto?
The Citigo/up!/Mii trio have re-written the rulebook for citycars, and certainly the Skoda Citigo makes the 500/Panda/Ka/107 and Korean offerings etc all look very VERY overpriced. Simply Clever.

simply boring more like

Instead of being an armchair expert who shallowly believes a cars looks are everything, why not go out and try a Citigo? I have, and a Panda, a 500, a 107 and the Picanto, and got the Citigo, as the Panda/500 are too feminine and have small boots/poor reliability record and cheap nasty interiors, the Picanto was dire with a warranty that isn't worth the paper it's written on, and the 107 was just abysmal to drive and had uncomfortable seats.
The Citigo has great features, is a bargain price and FUN to drive with its raspy exhaust note and sharp handling.

Indeed why bother. The various "badges," particularly in these cases, are marketing exercises and are designed to create spurious differences in the minds of potential purchasers. It's a bit like kidding yourself that supermarket x's cornflakes are better than those of supermarket y. If one of these clones appeals to you then buy on trade in for your old vehicle., new vehicle discount and location of dealership. Forget the "badge", it's a chimera.

Yeh I guess as a man, its a tougher choice, but even the citago aint exactly macho! Plus I dont need to drive one to know I wouldnt buy one!! Also dont believe the hype on skoda quality and reliabilty.... It aint no toyota!!

This car is trash. I has the misfortune of driving this awful thing and I couldn't wait to give it back - SLOW, NOISY, DULL, everything I expected from a Skoda. I would avoid these rubbish VAG dishwashers. The interiors are cheap and nasty, and there is no sense of fun like you get from a Panda, or 500. The engines are also underpowered rubbish compared to Fiat's offerings. You'd be better off buying a stylish Fiat 500 Abarth - faster, better looking, better built and class leading residuals, or even the excellent new Panda tops this. I've just driven a TwinAir Panda and believe me the ride quality is superb. It looks better, handles better and has that special Italian charm you never get with a Skoda...leave them for the grannies!

That is true - look at the appalling amount of recalls Toyota have had to make recently. Skoda haven't, they get it right first time!I have first hand experience of Skoda quality being a previous owner, and can't fault it.

Skoda Driver Power Position - 1st.
Fiat Driver Power Position - 30th and Last!
I had the misfortune of driving a Fiat NEW Panda, and was amazed how much Fiat have declined in quality since I owned an Uno years back. Quality was poor then, now it is worse!Jittery ride - worse than a 500, and thats saying something! I bought a Citigo for its charm, merit, germanic styling, (not that poncy italian rubbish that makes people question your sexuality like in a 500 or the uglier MiTo), excellent reliability record, and the fact the VAG group has rewritten the rule books when it comes to city cars, hence the reason Citigo is COTY!

Fiat Panda - European car of the year - I'd say thats far more prestigious than some cheap magazine funded by VAG. Fiat 500 also won European car of the year...need I say anymore? There is a reason why Fiat has sold over 6.5 million Panda's and it remains Europe's top seller in the city segment. Skoda' crappy Shitigo will never surpass the superb Panda. Have you seen the Skoda's nasty popout rear windows? How cheap and tacky!! I'd rather buy a quality Panda with wind downs anyday. Let's not forget the excellent engine choices; TwinAir, MultiJet and 1.2 - far superior to Skoda's underpowerd box. Skoda's are dull rebadged VWs driven by old farts so I wouldn't be seen dead in one, and that embarrassing badge is a major put off anyway!! So glad I chose an Abarth 500 - fun, fast and super stylish - everything the Skoda is not!

I've tested the citigo aka UP! and the Panda the Panda was the all round better car. There was no soul in the Citigo.

I still don't understand how VAG can act as if the UpMiiGo is a brand new's like going back 15 years! But with a ridiculously high price tag. Buy one...if you are a fool!!

I had the misfortune to buy a Twingo Renaultsport-I have not been so shaken and stirred in my life. Plenty of power but the rest rubbish. However as a passenger and driver of the Citygo I have been really impressed..Excellent service and product-Thanks VAG

I got my Citigo last month and it's a great little car. Tried C1, 107, Panda and Mii, but the Citigo won me over with its peppy engine and sharp handling. Pleased to see the back of my old Yaris.

Key specs

  • Price: £9,820
  • Engine: 1.0-litre 3cyl petrol
  • Power: 59bhp
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel drive
  • 0-62mph/Top speed: 14.4 secs/100mph
  • Economy/CO2: 68.9mpg/96g/km
  • Equipment: Bluetooth, stability control, air-conditioning, 14-inch alloy wheels, satellite navigation
  • On sale: Now