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Car group tests

Suzuki Celerio vs Toyota Aygo & Skoda Citigo

New Suzuki Celerio offers mix of space, kit and value. Can it beat the Toyota Aygo and Skoda Citigo?

Small cars are big business. With city roads getting ever more congested, increasing numbers of drivers are looking to downsize to something smaller and cheaper to run, without sacrificing practicality and design.

Here we’ve lined up a new contender in the crowded city car marketplace, in the shape of the Suzuki Celerio – and the compact five-door’s unique selling point is usability, as it’s one of the class’s most spacious and practical choices. 

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Best city cars

Even small car buyers want to be able to customise their models’ looks, and the Skoda Citigo and especially the latest Toyota Aygo allow trendy city dwellers to do just that.

The Suzuki doesn’t offer the same scope for personalisation, but it’s excellent value. At £8,999, it comes with an impressive level of standard kit that puts more basic versions of the Aygo and Citigo in the shade. 

But is this value offering enough to attract buyers? We took all three city cars for a spin around town and country roads to find out.

Suzuki Celerio review

Toyota Aygo review

Skoda Citigo review

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Click the links above to read individual reviews, and scroll down to see which city car comes out on top in this test...

Head-to-head

Equipment

For its £8,999 list price, the top-of-the-range Celerio SZ4 gets plenty of features. A DAB radio is standard (although it’s fiddly to programme initially), as is air-con, a USB connection and Bluetooth. You’ll have to spend £303 to get the latter on the Citigo, and a whopping £3,000 to upgrade to Bluetooth-equipped x-pression spec on the Aygo. Sat-nav is an optional extra on the Skoda and Toyota, but not the Suzuki.

Rear seats

The Celerio is the only car with five seats in this test, so even though it isn’t the most stylish or modern-looking city car, that does give it a big advantage in terms of usability. There’s lots of space in the back, and the rear doors open wide, which makes access easy, too.

Boot space

Those big back seats in the Suzuki are comfortable, but this doesn’t impact the decent-sized boot, which is easy to load. Drop the seats and there’s 726 litres on offer. The Celerio does without a spare wheel – you get a can of sealant instead – but this means extra storage under the boot floor.

Verdict

1st place: Skoda Citigo

Compared to the Toyota and Suzuki, the Skoda feels more mature to drive, yet it mixes this grown-up character with a fun streak: it’s civilised on the motorway and great to drive on a back road. The Citigo also offers decent practicality, great build quality and frugal running costs, while Skoda’s excellent showing in our Driver Power survey means the car should be hassle-free to live with.

2nd place: Toyota Aygo 

With its fresh-faced new design, Toyota has injected a dose of vitality into its latest city car. The Aygo is nearly as good to drive as the Skoda, but it can’t live up to the Citigo’s quality of finish or supple ride around town. However, the Toyota is £500 cheaper than the Skoda and strong residuals of nearly 48 per cent, plus competitive running costs, mean it’ll be cheap to own.

3rd place: Suzuki Celerio 

For the price, you get an excellent level of equipment in the Celerio, but it feels too bland and unremarkable in this company. With practicality that’d shame some superminis, you won’t  be short of room for passengers or luggage, but it’s the most expensive car to run. Its plain design, lacklustre engine and dull handling peg its rating back here.

Key specs:

 Skoda Citigo SE 5dr 60Toyota Aygo 1.0 VVT-I x 5drSuzuki Celerio SZ4
On-the-road price/total as tested£9,420/£9,420£8,995/£8,995£8,999/£8,999
Residual value (after 3yrs/30,000)£4,051/43.0%£4,273/47.5%£3,500/38.9%
Depreciation£5,369£4,722£5,499
Annual tax liability std/higher rate£262/£524£215/£429£215/£429
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)£1,579/£2,631£1,559/£2,598£1,829/£3,049
Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost1/£249/B/£207/£262/A/£07/£221/A/£0
Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service£479 (3yrs/30k)£99/£179/£99£590 (3yrs)
    
Length/wheelbase3,563/2,420mm3,455/2,340mm3,600/2,425mm
Height/width1,645/1,478mm1,460/1,615mm1,540/1,600mm
Engine3cyl in-line/999cc3cyl in-line/998cc3cyl in-line/998cc
Peak power59/5,000 bhp/rpm68/6,000 bhp/rpm67/6,000 bhp/rpm
Peak torque95/3,000 Nm/rpm95/4,300 Nm/rpm90/3,500 Nm/rpm
Transmission5-spd man/fwd5-spd man/fwd5-spd man/fwd
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel35 litres/sealant35 litres/sealant35 litres/sealant
Boot capacity (seats up/down)251/951 litres168 litres/N/A254/726 litres
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight845/436kg/N/A840/400kg/N/A835/425/400kg
Turning circle/drag coefficient9.8 metres/0.33Cd10.2 metres/0.29Cd9.4 metres/N/A
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery2yrs (unlimited)/3yrs5yrs (100,000)/£6pm3yrs (60,000)/1yr
Service intervals/UK dealers10,000 miles (1yr)/13510,000 miles (1yr)/1819,000 miles (1yr)/149
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.1st/5th17th/6th33rd/16th
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars89/80/46/580/80/62/461/74/68/3
    
0-60/30-70mph13.4/14.0 secs12.5/13.7 secs12.5/13.3 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th7.2/11.3 secs8.0/11.3 secs7.3/10.9 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th11.9/19.1 secs13.3/20.4 secs13.5/21.6 secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph99mph/3,000rpm99mph/3,200rpm96mph/2,900rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph49.7/35.3/9.2m52.2/37.2/9.1m51.4/40.5/9.3m
Noise levels outside/idle/30/70mph64/63/62/65dB62/62/63/66dB65/62/59/63dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range38.7/8.5/298 miles39.2/8.6/302 miles33.4/7.4/257 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined50.4/72.4/62.8mpg56.5/78.5/68.9mpg55.3/76.3/65.7mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined11.9/15.9/13.8mpl12.4/17.3/15.2mpl12.2/16.8/14.5mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket196/105g/km/14%166/95g/km/12%195/99g/km/12%
    
Airbags/Isofix/parking sens/cameraFour/yes/£450*/noSix/yes/£400/noSix/yes/no/no
Automatic box/stability/cruise control£665/yes/£450*No/yes/noNo/yes/no
Climate control/leather/heated seatsNo/no/£400^No/no/noNo/no/no
Metallic paint/xenons/keyless go£500/no/no£495/no/no£415/no/no
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/Bluetooth£303/yes/£155/£303No/yes/no/noNo/yes/yes/yes
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