Used Skoda Citigo (Mk1, 2012-2019) review

The Skoda Citigo is an impressive all-rounder and a front-runner in the city car class

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.5 out of 5

  • Practical
  • Cheap to run
  • Grown-up drive
  • Basic entry-level model
  • Unassuming styling
  • Pop-out rear windows

Verdict

We were so impressed with the Citigo when it arrived that it won our 2012 Car of the Year award, prompting us to proclaim at the time: “How does Skoda do it for the money? The Skoda Citigo is a small car with huge talent. It’s got space for four people, drives superbly, is incredibly efficient and is beautifully built. Then there’s the price and kit list. It’s simply sensational value for money. We love it.” It has proven reliable and, thanks to ongoing demand and keen pricing when new, running costs are minimal even when depreciation is taken into account, which is what any decent city car should be about.

Which one should I buy?

  • Best Skoda Citigo for low cost: 1.0 MPI 60PS S
  • Best Skoda Citigo for motorway driving: 1.0 MPI 75PS SE L
  • Best Skoda Citigo for driving fun: 1.0 MPI 60PS Monte Carlo

The high-powered engine is worth having if you regularly use motorways, but other than that it makes little difference. Three and five- door cars are the same length, but the latter obviously offers easier access to the rear.

Entry-level S spec is spartan and best avoided; it features steel wheels and manual windows, with the only concession to luxury being a CD/tuner. The SE adds powered front windows, remote central locking and air-con, while range-topping Elegance cars offer 14-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats and a Portable Infotainment Device.

The Black Edition is based on SE spec and adds black alloys, a DAB radio and nav, while the Monte Carlo boasts black door mirrors and wheels, lowered suspension and a rear spoiler.

What are the alternatives?

In effect, the SEAT Mii and Volkswagen up! are the same car as the Citigo, with different badges. They are its closest rivals and just as easy to recommend, while the sporty up! GTI is especially fun to drive, even if prices for this diminutive hot hatchback start at £17,000.

The Hyundai i10 and Kia Picanto are tough adversaries with their keen pricing and longer warranties; reliability and build quality are also good. You get strong value, low running costs and smart styling with the Citroen C1, Peugeot 108 and Toyota Aygo, but the trio aren’t as grown-up dynamically.

Another very good alternative is the Suzuki Celerio, while you could also consider the Renault Twingo and Smart ForFour; this mechanically related pair offer clever packaging and excellent agility.

Skoda Citigo vs Kia Picanto vs Renault Twingo

Skoda Citigo vs Picanto vs Twingo

A victory for the Skoda Citigo in this city car battle. We liked the Skoda’s low running costs, fun handling and high-quality interior, although the Kia was a very close second. The Renault offered something different, but this wasn’t enough to prevent it from taking the bronze medal. Full test here...

Ford Ka+ vs Vauxhall Viva vs Skoda Citigo

Ford Ka+ vs Vauxhall Viva vs Skoda Citigo

The Citigo faced a new challenge in 2016 in the shape of the then-new Ford Ka+. It was another victory for the Skoda, but only just, with the roomy Ford impressing us with its ride and handling, affordable finance and long list of standard equipment. Full test here...

Suzuki Celerio vs Toyota Aygo vs Skoda Citigo

Another test and another victory for the Skoda Citigo. The Suzuki Celerio was the new kid on the block in 2015, with the practicality to shame some superminis. This wasn’t enough to stop the Skoda from taking class honours, with the fresh-faced Toyota finishing second. Full test here...

Skoda Citigo vs SEAT Mii vs VW up!

Skoda Citigo vs SEAT Mii vs VW up!

We called it the city car showdown the world had been waiting for. How do you split three cars built on the same platform and sharing the same DNA? It’s tough, but the Skoda was victorious once again, thanks to its affordable price and low running costs. Full test here...

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