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
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