The Skoda Citigo retains its Best City Car crown thanks to a combination of comfort, low running costs and superb on-road ability
As the name suggests, it’s perfectly at home in crowded urban streets, but the most surprising thing is how well it copes with long journeys.
City cars aren’t usually known for comfort and refinement, but the Skoda and its Volkswagen up! and SEAT Mii stablemates have raised the bar for long-haul ability in this class. In fact, we recently covered 1,000 miles in two days in our Skoda.
The supple suspension soothes bumps and the engine is but a distant hum, however hard you work it. As a result, the Citigo will happily keep up with motorway traffic and tackle twisty B-roads with relish.
In fact, you’ll struggle to find fault with this car – we’d like a smoother automatic gearbox, yet that’s our only criticism. It’s small on the outside but big on the inside, so you won’t feel like you’re compromising too much on space. Plus, the compact dimensions and efficient engines guarantee low running costs.
With room for four adults to sit in relative comfort, affordable prices and the back-up of Skoda’s brilliant dealers, buying a Citigo is a real no-brainer. And unless an incredible rival appears in the next 12 months, we wouldn’t bet against it taking a hat-trick of Best City Car titles.
Our choice: 1.0 MPI 75 Elegance GreenTech 5dr (£10,460) The 74bhp GreenTech is the Citigo to go for. It has the ultimate city car mix of price, kit, performance and low running costs.
Since the days of the original Bambino – the 500 – Fiat has excelled at designing and building great small cars, and the latest Panda is a genuine contender for class honours. Arguably, it even has a bit more character than the brilliant Citigo.
The up! is almost identical to the Citigo, but is slightly more expensive and lacks the assurance of Skoda’s award-winning dealer network. Yet it’s still a classy performer, and the higher price buys a welcome dash of premium appeal.
- 1Introduction18 class winners, 36 commended cars, 8 Special Awards and the 2013 Auto Express Car of the Year – it's all here
- 2Car of the YearThe most coveted accolade in the world of motoring goes to the SEAT Leon
- 3Best City Car - currently readingThe Skoda Citigo retains its Best City Car crown thanks to a combination of comfort, low running costs and superb on-road ability
- 4Best SuperminiThe Ford Fiesta wrestles its way back onto the top of the podium after last year's loss to the 208
- 5Best Compact Family CarThe SEAT Leon fights off its fellow VW Group rivals to take the gold medal in one of the most competitive classes around
- 6Best Family CarThe new Mazda 6 sees of all-comers to take family car class honours
- 7Best Estate CarOffering peerless practicality, huge value for money and attractive lines, the Skoda Octavia is the best Estate on the market
- 8Best Five-Seat MPVFord's innovative small MPV pips its big brother – the C-MAX – to the Best Five-seat MPV award
- 9Best MPVFor the third year in a row, the SEAT Alhambra wins the Auto Express Best MPV award
- 10Best CrossoverThe Mazda CX-5 is a talented all-rounder that offers everything you could want from a crossover
- 11Best Compact SUVThe Range Rover Evoque is one of the most striking cars on the road – but it's also more than just a pretty face
- 12Best Large SUVThe talented Santa Fe is one of the best models Hyundai has ever produced
- 13Best Hot HatchThe Ford Fiesta ST is in a class of its own – and better value for money than its key rivals
- 14Best CoupeThe brilliant Porsche Cayman pips its big brother - the 911 – and three-time winner the Peugeot RCZ to the Best Coupe prize
- 15Best RoadsterThe new Porsche Boxster is so good it makes you question why anyone would every buy a 911
- 16Best ConvertibleWith funky looks, premium quality and low running costs – frivolity has never been so sensible. Or so desirable
- 17Best Pick-upWith decent handling, comfort levels and build quality, the VW Amarok is a cut above its rivals
- 18Best Compact Executive CarThe 3 Series continues its undisputed reign as king of the compact executive class
- 19Best Executive CarBMW 5 Series fends off some impressive German rivals to take the executive class crown
- 20Best Luxury CarAs a 4x4, an SUV and a luxury car, the Range Rover is jack of all trades. But it's a master of all trades, too
- 21Performance Car of the YearThe entertaining GT 86 outguns a host of big-name sports cars to take Performance Car of the Year
- 22Design Award The latest incarnation of the iconic Range Rover is voted by Auto Express readers as the best designed car of 2013
- 23Green AwardThe Vauxhall Ampera's innovative range-extending powertrain wins it our Green Award
- 24Van of the YearOur Van of the Year is hi-tech, practical and the first van in its class to get a five-star crash test rating
- 25Safety AwardThe Volvo V40 is probably the safest car ever made, and a worthy winner of our Safety Award
- 26Driver Power AwardThe Japanese premium brand has reclaimed its Driver Power top spot for the first time in four years
- 27Hall of FameBMW board member inducted into the Auto Express Hall of Fame