Skoda Citigo Monte Carlo review

31 Aug, 2014 7:00am Oliver Kew

The Skoda Citigo Monte Carlo special edition makes a great city car a little bit better with a sharper value proposition

Verdict

5
It's easy to see why the fun, frugal and impeccably mannered Skoda Citigo finished an excellent second in our Driver Power 2014 satisfaction survey. This Monte Carlo version isn’t the best-value model, at £1,530 more than a Citigo SE, but the unique styling and standard touchscreen infotainment system usefully elevate its desirability.

Skoda's connection to the Monte Carlo Rally is tenuous at best – it’s never won the event, and no longer competes in the World Rally Championship. Still, it’s looking to expand its range of Monte Carlo-badged models, and the latest car to get a sporty makeover is the Citigo. 

Best city cars to buy now

The Citigo Monte Carlo is based on the top-selling model in the UK, the SE, allied to the 59bhp three-cylinder engine. Disappointed that this rally wannabe edition doesn’t have the 74bhp version? Don’t be. Thanks to identical torque outputs – and the fact that this engine produces its peak power lower in the rev range – the 59bhp unit’s performance deficit is pretty much unnoticeable around town. 


Skoda Citigo Monte Carlo rear tracking

And with the Citigo only weighing a featherlight 854kg, it feels nippier than its 14.4-second 0-62mph time suggests – that’s credit to the slick five-speed gearchange.

The drivetrain’s main weakness is that there’s no stop-start – most of the Citigo’s rivals have this tech. However, refinement is still one of this car’s major assets. In the face of all the new challengers, the Skoda is still the benchmark for low levels of vibration and noise, which would shame models from the class above. 

Yet it’s fun, too – loads of grip, minute overhangs and the 15mm lower sports suspension ensure anyone can have fun driving the Monte Carlo. 


Skoda Citigo Monte Carlo interior

The perforated, tactile, flat-bottomed steering wheel is part of the cabin refresh, which is brightened by red and black one-piece seats and ‘Monte Carlo’ doorsill kickplates. 

The exterior upgrades are appealing – this car wears its jutting front splitter, rear spoiler and diffuser well and the 15-inch alloys look sophisticated. Rally pedigree or not, it’s a winner.

Key specs

  • Price: £10,590
  • Engine: 1.0-litre 3cyl
  • Power: 59bhp
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel drive
  • 0-62mph: 14.4 seconds
  • Top speed: 99mph
  • Economy/CO2: 62.8mpg/105g/km
  • On sale: Now
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