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A great city car on a tight budget

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: November 20, 2012

By Stephen Sinfield

  • Skoda Citigo SE, On the road price: £8,530. Model tested including extras £9,865

  • Interior is surprisingly good for such a budget car

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THE SKODA Citigo is, as you might have guessed, a car designed with the city commuter in mind.

It’s small, practical, economical and relatively cheap while offering just enough luxuries to make the inevitable traffic jams as tolerable as possible.

With official fuel efficiency statistics recorded as 62.8mpg on the combined rating, the Citigo will certainly help to slash your fuel bills.

The model I reviewed had been jazzed up a touch with the inclusion of a sports pack and to match this sporty image was a 0-62mph rating of 14.4 seconds and a maximum speed of 99mph. My model also swapped the standard 14in steel wheels for 15in black sporty alloys.

It’s for these reasons alongside the Citigo’s value for money, that this model scooped the Auto Express ‘Car of the Year’ — accolade as well as being named ‘City Car of the Year’.

So what do you get for your cash? The SE model I tested sits mid-table in the comfort level stakes — just above the basic ‘S’ model and below the ‘Elegance’ model.

Standard features on the SE include electric front windows, remote central locking, air conditioning, and ESP (electronic stability programme) safety features.

These luxuries are on top of the standard ‘S’ model features of CD radio, daytime running lights and speed-sensitive power steering.

My model also included the £275 extra of a ‘portable infotainment device’. This is a touchscreen satnav system coupled with Bluetooth phone technology, media player and car computer.

If you are not using this electronic gadget for its satnav features or hands-free phone capabilities, it can also be set to either mimic your vehicle’s instrument panel (showing a giant rev counter and thermometer) or it can be set to calculate your average speed and fuel consumption per journey.

Comfort in the Citigo is good considering the budget price and its compact size. The manual air conditioning works extremely well and you have plenty of on-board storage spaces.

If I was picking fault, I would suggest the need for more front passenger cup holders and a larger glove box.

Rear seat passengers have equally adequate leg room and also benefit from side pocket bottle holders.

Although designed as a small and compact city car, the Citigo doesn’t short change you when it comes to space.

The 251-litre boot capacity is plenty large enough to carry the family shopping (or 2,711 ping-pong balls) and this can be extended further with the 60:40 rear split seats boosting capacity to 951 litres.

My model scrapped the spare wheel and instead contained a canister of leak-sealing gunk. This change frees up considerable hidden space in the recess designed for the spare wheel.

The Skoda Citigo is certainly a sprightly car to ease you through the traffic on your commute.

The major downside for me is the emission level of 105g/km.

Yes, the car tax is still cheap at £20 a year but ideally this city car should be hitting the magic 99g/km figure to qualify it for a zero tax band.

But overall, this is a vehicle that has been designed with a clear purpose in mind and it has achieved this.

Skoda wanted to build a small, cheap, fuel efficient car and the Citigo is the result, ticking almost every box.

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