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NEW DRIVE- Skoda Citigo great in and out of the city

Great in and out of the city!

 

I was looking forward to reviewing the Citigo as I have never been in a Skoda before and I am too young to relate to any Skoda Jokes associated with the old rear engine Czech  cars. Just two weeks earlier I reviewed the Panda which helps set a baseline to compare small and compact city cars. My review started with an open mind and my usual questionnaire.

The test drive was arranged with Martin Harrison from the local Arbury Garage in Leamington for a Sunday. Martin was obviously a motoring fan with his Williams F1 t-shirt, so I knew he had the usual DNA and interest in cars. It turns out his pride and joy is a 1989 Mercedes 500SCC coupe for sunny day driving – which was rare this Summer. With rain pouring down outside the showroom we had an interesting chat about the Skoda brand and the types of people that buy Skoda’s.

Martin reflected that many people wanted quality and reliability without the need for a status badge on the car. Interestingly he said that many customers felt happy with their lot in life and had “already arrived in life with little to prove to others.” He had recently moved down from the North to Leamington and was happy with the prospect with Skoda which has a large range of new cars coming on stream over the coming months such as the Rapid. As a Brand, Skoda wants to break the 5% market barrier in the UK and capture new younger customers. So will the Citigo attract me??

So onto the car itself - we had a 1.0 MPI 60 SE model with some nice alloy wheels and silver paint which look very presentable. The extras raised the price of the SE £8530 to £9355. The car was Martin’s everyday transport and used for several long journeys. My first impressions was how compact  the car was on the outside, however, on the inside it is quite spacious in the front and back.  The car was a three door model which had easy rear access. The car has a simple and neat design.

 

A key design feature in a car is a good dashboard that interests the driver and passenger. The dash is nice and simple and solid looking. Skoda has been smart with adopting a Portable Infotainment Device (PID) that costs £275, which conveys information and brings interest to the dashboard in a simple manner. The seats felt immediately comfortable with large integrated headrests.

 

 

 

For those interested in the engine bay there is good access to work around the engine like the Panda. With just 3 cylinders the size of the engine is very compact. Ease of access should be reflected in reduced servicing bills. The Citigo comes in three versions of S, SE and Elegance, which are fitted with 1.0 litre engines that produce either 60 or 75 bhp, but interestingly they have the same 95Nm of Torque. The engine was a real surprise from the off. It was quite around town, but gave a great raspy noise when “opened up”. It felt that the car accelerated quicker to 60mph than its quoted 14.4 seconds if you give it the bean! Young drivers (boys) will appreciate this and Dad’s will as well as the car is Group 1E on the insurance!.


Our test drive included a motorway journey in torrential rain and the car felt very safe with its 4 wheels very close to the corners of the car.  We zipped up back lanes to Leamingtonto take some pictures in the sunshine before a quick tour of Coventry for some City photos. The PID showed some remarkable figures of 70mpg at 70mph.

So are there any niggles? Not really. There is no electric passenger window switch on the driver’s door that means you have to lean across. The interior was a little too much plastic for my liking but to be honest I’m nit picking the niggles.


In summary, I really like the Citigo. Great things come in small packages. The tiny engine will exceed most expectations. The 50 mile trip highlighted the Citigo is very able for longer journeys. If you compare the Citigo to the Panda, the Citigo has a better engine and the Panda has a more stylish interior. Style is a personal choice -  both cars are great value for money and either will not disappoint.
Martin summed the car up as “mature competence combined with style and panache”. I think the Citigo is a worthy  2012 TOPCAR

Overall 4.5 Stars out of 5 

WOW!!! 77mpg.

 Fit for in and out of the city.

 

 

 

Thank's to Martin Harrison and Mark Weaver at Arbury Motors - Leamington

for providing the test drive car.

 

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