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City Car of the Year 2016: Skoda Citigo

The Skoda Citigo is the 2016 Auto Express City Car of the Year, with the Hyundai i10 and Vauxhall Viva commended

Even though a raft of city cars has launched over the past few years, it’s proving hard to knock the Skoda Citigo off the top spot. Yet again the brand’s urban runabout claims victory as the Best City Car at the Auto Express New Car Awards, making it five in a row.

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It’s the compact dimensions that give the Skoda impressive manoeuvrability in tight spots, but a spacious interior delivers a big car feel inside.

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You can really sense this maturity from behind the wheel, as the car’s compliant ride and strong build quality mean it’s nicely refined. It’s competent on the motorway, with even the lower-powered 59bhp 1.0-litre engine offering plenty of punch. We’ve selected the more powerful 74bhp model as our pick of the range, though.

It’s in built-up areas that the Citigo really excels, skipping over rippled urban tarmac and filtering out the worst of the bumps. On the right road, the taut chassis and relatively torquey engine make it fun to drive, too.

City cars can no longer afford to compromise on practicality, and this clever layout maximises passenger space inside. But as well as offering room for four adults, the Skoda has a 251-litre boot, which rivals cars from the class above when it comes to luggage capacity.

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Best small cars to buy now

Skoda Citigo Black Edition front

There’s more kit on offer than in some bigger cars, too. We’ve picked SE L trim, which gets Bluetooth, sat-nav and heated seats as standard. With prices from £8,275 and some attractive finance deals available, plus impressive efficiency and low insurance costs, the Citigo is great for anyone after frugal, affordable motoring. And with a facelifted model on the way in the next 12 months, the best is only going to get better.

Our choice

Skoda Citigo SE L 1.0 75 GreenTech 5dr (£10,815)

SE L trim heads the range, but even at this price, the Citigo is still incredibly affordable given the level of equipment on offer. It adds to the Skoda’s refined feel on the road, and it’s this combination that carves the Citigo out as the best car in its class.

Commended

Hyundai i10

Best first cars for new drivers - Hyundai i10

The second-generation Hyundai i10 arrived featuring downsized engines and upscaled dimensions, pushing efficiency and practicality even further. Hyundai also improved quality, meaning the more spacious interior feels more upmarket. It still can’t quite match the Citigo’s classiness, but a standard five-year warranty is a big bonus.

Vauxhall Viva

Vauxhall Viva ecoFLEX 2016 - front cornering

Vauxhall revived the Viva nameplate for its new city car, calling on its heritage. Its well packaged design means it’s roomy inside, while impressive safety tech, sub-100g/km CO2 emissions and options like Vauxhall’s IntelliLink system add to the appeal. The interior also boasts decent material quality and solid construction. 

Auto Express New Car Awards 2016 

 

For complete, in-depth coverage of the New Car Awards 2016, buy your collector's edition copy of the Auto Express magazine now or click here to subscribe...  

 

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