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Skoda Citigo Elegance 1.0 MPI: what is it?

The Citigo is essentially a Volkswagen Up with a Skoda badge, which is also available as the SEAT Mii. It’s available in both three- and five-door body styles and a range of different trims. Although it’s been on sale a while, we wanted to get reacquainted with the little Citigo and spent a week with a top-spec Elegance five-door with the higher powered 75hp 1.0-litre engine.

Skoda Citigo Elegance 1.0 MPI: what are its rivals?

The Volkswagen Up fancies itself as a more premium alternative to the Citigo, while SEAT is chasing the female market with the Mii by Mango. Which kind of leaves Skoda owning the value for money territory, which is something the brand does very well. Not convinced by the UpMiiCitigo trio, then you could consider the 108C1Aygo trio, along with Ford’s Ka and Fiat’s Panda or 500.

Skoda Citigo Elegance 1.0 MPI: which engines does it use?

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The Skoda Citigo is powered by a single 1.0-litre turbocharged unit, with two power outputs: 60hp and 75hp. The latter of these manages to propel the Citigo along at a rather brisk rate, seemingly much faster than the 0-62mph time of 13.9 seconds would suggest. As you’d expect, it runs out of breath at motorway speeds, but once cruising it’s surprisingly good at covering long distances. There is, however, one issue…

Skoda Citigo Elegance 1.0 MPI: what’s it like to drive?

Our test car was fitted with the semi-automatic transmission, which must be one of the most disappointing systems on the market. It single-handedly manages to wipe off any sense of enjoyment, with lethargic gear changes and an inability to select the right cog for any given situation. It certainly won’t be hurried, but even a smooth and relaxed driving style doesn’t improve matters. It’s a shame, because aside from this, the Citigo is great fun to drive.

Skoda Citigo Elegance 1.0 MPI: fuel economy and running costs

On paper, the 75hp Citigo automatic could deliver up to 62.8mpg on a combined cycle, with CO2 emissions of 105g/km. Opt for the Green Tech models, available on SE and Elegance trim levels, and the 60hp version offers 68.9mpg and 95g/km respectively. It achieves this through a stop-start system, along with a brake energy recovery system, lowered suspension and energy-efficient tyres.

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Skoda Citigo Elegance 1.0 MPI: is it practical?

For such a small car, the Citigo is surprisingly practical. There’s enough room inside for four adults to be seated in comfort, while even the tallest of occupants will find plenty of head-room. There are also multiple storage bins throughout the cabin, plus a useful 251 litres of boot space, although access is hampered by the high boot lip. Overall it’s a clever use of space, with neat touches, such as a slot for your phone in the cup holder, a clip on the windscreen for parking tickets and pockets on the side of the front seats.

Skoda Citigo Elegance 1.0 MPI: what about safety?

The Skoda Citigo has been awarded the maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating and includes four airbags and a tyre pressure monitor. You can also opt for parking sensors which, despite the car’s tiny dimensions, may come in handy in tight spaces. For £275, you can order the Safety Pack, which includes a passenger airbag switch-off function and City-safe automatic braking.

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Skoda Citigo Elegance 1.0 MPI: which version should I go for?

You almost certainly won’t want to opt for the semi-automatic transmission, as the five-speed manual is a better option. If you intend to spend as much time out of the city as you do in it, we’d recommend the 75hp version, as this offers better long-distance potential. Elegance trim starts at £10,000, with our car weighing in at £11,810 with some well-chosen options. Not cheap, but the feel good factor is high. That said, the PID (Personal Infotainment Device), which is standard on Elegance models, does feel a bit dated. Bluetooth, sat nav and a media player are welcome, but we’d expect to seem them integrated in the dash. It’s the one area where the Citigo shows its age. It still manages to sit head and shoulders above its rivals.

Skoda Citigo Elegance 1.0 MPI: should I buy one?

Almost certainly. Taking the transmission out of the equation, the Skoda Citigo is fun to drive, eager, spacious, well-equipped and safe. Gone are the days when a small car felt unsafe and you’d only venture beyond the city limits on special occasions. Skoda always performs well in satisfaction and reliability surveys, so your time spent with the Citigo should be stress-free. Have some fun with the options list and regardless of what you spend, you won’t feel short-changed.

Skoda Citigo Elegance 1.0 MPI: pub fact

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The Citigo is the first Skoda to be offered with three or five doors. We also reckon it features one of the smallest and nicest rev counters since the Citroen AX GT. What a shame it’s so redundant when mated to the semi-automatic transmission. Did we mention how much we dislike this system?