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In-depth reviews

Skoda Citigo review - Interior, design and technology

The Skoda Citigo's cabin is functional and well built, but it's not as funky as a Renault Twingo's

It's not the most glamorous city car, but the Citigo is neat and well proportioned. With its upright lines and simple detailing, the Skoda has clearly been designed to maximise interior space. 

Nevertheless, the refresh in 2017 boosted its visual appeal slightly, with a redesigned front end featuring LED daytime running lights (standard on SE and above), as well as a couple of bright new colour choices. 

If you want to give your Citigo a more distinctive style, then there are a number of upgrades available. For instance, there’s a set of sporty body stripe decals for around £175, while black or white-finished 15-inch alloys can be added for around £550.

There are four trim levels to choose from: S, SE, Monte Carlo and SE L, while the Colour Edition adds more, er, colour to the mix. However, the entry-level models are particularly basic and get black plastic mirror housings and door handles. 

S and SE models make do with 14-inch wheel trims – although the SE’s body-coloured details help shake off the entry-level version’s bargain basement looks.

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The Monte Carlo edition is the sharpest-looking version. It gets the standard equipment from the SE model and, to help it stand out from the rest of the range, it adds a series of styling tweaks, such as red/black upholstery and sport steering wheel with red stitching. It also has lowered suspension and eye-catching 15-inch alloy wheels as standard.

The SE L model adds some much-needed kerb appeal over the SE with standard 14-inch alloys and front fog lights set into the bumper. This is the only version available with the 75PS engine.

Climb aboard and the Citigo’s links with the VW up! and SEAT Mii are plain to see. The layout is the same in all three, meaning the major controls and switchgear are well sited. It lacks some of the slick materials found in the up!, but the new colour infotainment screen on higher-end models adds class, as do the gloss black trim panels and chrome surrounds for some of the switchgear.

The simple cabin doesn’t have the funky appeal of rival city cars such as the Toyota Aygo or the Citroen C1, but the Citigo’s dashboard is clearly laid out and, while the plastics are hard, the quality is first rate.

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Slick and precise Volkswagen Group switchgear is used throughout and everything feels solidly screwed together. It's just a shame there aren't more colour and personalisation choices on offer inside. 

You get a surprising amount of kit on the range-topping SE L. A leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearlever feature, as do heated front seats, electric windows, Bluetooth and air-conditioning.  

Five-door versions of the Skoda have pop-out rear windows rather than conventional windows that roll down, but this is the only really obvious sign of cost-cutting. 

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

Previously, Skoda offered a dashtop-mounted Garmin sat-nav and infotainment system on top models. It was effective enough, but not the easiest system to operate, and looked a bit low-tech next to the built-in screens in cars like the latest Kia Picanto. 

From 2017, Skoda joined VW in offering a dashtop cradle for your smartphone and a new app service instead. Simply mount your smartphone, with a handy USB socket just behind it to keep it charged. Then you just download the Skoda app to your phone, or use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto on your device, to get access to navigation and other features. Bluetooth means you can sync your music and make phone calls, too. It’s actually an unmatched system if you only use your phone for mapping anyway – many city car buyers do exactly that – although if you don’t have a modern phone you’re sadly out of luck.

In addition, the Skoda’s supplementary screen that displays other info is excellent. It’s clear, crisp and really easy to use. It’s just a shame DAB radio costs about £160 extra, while the basic S model makes do with a non-colour screen. 

If you're upgrading a Citigo, we’d suggest adding the Convenience Pack. For around £460, it adds parking sensors and cruise control. The latter helps you make full use of the Citigo’s relaxed motorway ability; and, while the car is already a doddle to park, the sensors are great for nervous or new drivers. 

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