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First Drive: Skoda Citigo Sport

Written By John Simpson Published On: Jul 17 2013

Following the popularity of the Skoda Citigo and its ability to raise itself above daunting competition from VW cousins - the up and SEAT Mii - in many a cross-test, a sport-styled Citigo has emerged in an attempt to capitalise on its quickly realised success.

The Citigo was a fair looking car in the first place, but Skoda’s decision to take the sporty route and slap on some stripes enhances its looks.

There’s more to it that just a few sport stripe decals though, such as the 15” eight-spoke ‘Auriga’ black alloys, front and rear spoilers, sports suspension, and the whole interior is spruced up with sports upholstery which pops up on the floor mats, dashboard, even the key. The Citigo was a fair looking car in the first place, but Skoda’s decision to take the sporty route and slap on some stripes enhances its looks.

Sport by name, sport by nature?

So it’s got the sporty looks locked down, but does it have the performance? Not really.

Besides its appearance and a few tweaks here and there, it’s the same Citigo as before, which isn’t a bad thing. For zipping about town, the Citigo is brilliant and its 0-62mph time of 14.4seconds is many things but ‘sporty’ sadly isn’t one of them.

The standard Citigo can come with a 75PS 1L petrol engine delivering a 13.2s 0-62mph time. But the Sport is only available with the more modest 60PS unit in the UK, which stretches 0-62mph time to 14.4s. It’s slightly baffling why Skoda would go all out with the sporty looks but then pull back by sticking a lesser powered engine in it.

Either way, the three-pot petrol engine is just as likeable in the Sport as we remember it in the regular Citigo we drove around 12 months earlier. the three-pot petrol engine is just as likeable in the Sport as we remember it in the regular Citigo

From a standing start, the Citigo is responsive enough, jabbing out 3,000Nm of torque at 4,300rpm. The near-15second 0-62mph time doesn’t mean you have to be super cautious when emerging from junctions, as it gathers enough pace to quickly reach the 30mph mark.

The five speed manual gearbox is smooth and sturdy, requiring minimal effort. A five speed auto gear box is also available. To drive, it doesn’t do much outside what you’d expect from any other city car, but it does what it is supposed to do competently.

We found the Citigo to be highly economical, falling six short of the claimed 62.8 combined mpg in our hands. CO2 is rated at 105g/km so 12 months tax costs a measly Ł20. The Citigo Greentech pushes fuel economy to 68.9mpg at 95g/km (auto gearbox: 67.3mpg and 98g/km) but at the cost of its sporty extras.

We found the Citigo to be highly economical, coming six short of the claimed 62.8 combined mpg.

Space

One thing the Citigo does pull off better than its rivals is space. For such a low-down compact car, the cabin is far from squashy and the deep 251-litre boot, which expands to 951 litres, will surprise many.

The side door bins and glovebox are accommodating enough but the ill-considered open space in front of the gearstick can be a bit bothersome if you leave too many things in there to clatter about. One thing the Citigo does pull off better than its rivals is space

The removable 5” touchscreen satnav is the same system you’ll find in the up! and the Mii so much so that upon start-up, a VW logo appears with the tagline ‘Welcome to Volkswagen’. Slight identity crisis for the Citigo there, but it’s actually an indication of the quality you can expect from the city car.

The build quality is as you’d find in the standard Citigo; a respectable level of materials used throughout minus any obvious cost-cutting spots, although we’d have expected the ‘sport’ logo spotted in the cabin and on the side exterior to be more than just a transparent sticker. The interior does have classy three-tone sport textile seats in red, grey and black

The interior does have classy three-tone sport textile seats in red, grey and black though and it feels like it has been put together with notably more care than say Peugeot’s 107 and Citroen’s C1. Given VW/Skoda’s reputation for reliability, the Citigo is likely to go longer before springing any faults.

With a wheelbase just short of 2.5m, there’s room to comfortably seat four occupants although expect those in the back to get whingey and achy after an hour. At 3563mm overall, it is longer than its up! and Mii siblings by up to 23mm with width, height, and curb weight being virtually identical (W: 1641mm, H: 1478mm, 929kg).

The Citigo was the first subcompact car to receive a five star safety rating from Euro NCAP, along with the up! and Mii. That remains the case with the Sport which features City Safe Drive active braking assistant, which can lessen the impact of a collision or even avoid it completely.

Skoda Citigo Sport range

Citigo Sport at a glance:

Length: 3563mm
Width: 1641mm
Height: 1478mm
Wheelbase: 2420mm
Boot space: 251 / 951 litres
Petrol engines: 1L 60PS
Diesel engines: None
0-62mph time: 14.4seconds
Combined fuel economy: 62.8mpg
CO2 emissions: 105g/km - tax band B - Ł20 a year
Price: Ł10,290 OTR
Main rivals: Hyundai i10, Peugeot 107, Citroen C1

Categories: Skoda, Citigo

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