Inautonews.com has recently tested the new Skoda Citigo three-door 1.0L 75HP and, just live every other vehicle out there, it has some good parts and some which could have used a little more work.
Engine and Transmission
The model we have chosen for a three-day test was the three-door equipped with the all-present 1.0-liter engine, developing 75 HP, which is actually the most powerful version of the small car. The unit is mated to a five-speed manual transmission which is allowing the model to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 13.2 seconds, before reaching a top speed of 171 km/h. Despite being a three-cylinder engine, the torque developed is assuring a good throttle response in every gear, if the revs are being kept over 2,000 rpm and thanks to its small body, the sensation when you push the gas pedal to see what it can do is quite impressive until 110-120 km/h but after that, the small cc unit pulls his mask off and the acceleration takes forever. The Skoda Citigo feels good in an urban environment and you can see that it has been developed to ride between traffic lights and buildings, but once you pull it out of its comfort zone, it’s just another plane and dull vehicle. The engine sounds quite good after 4,000 rpm and we actually wondered if this sound would improve with a sports exhaust system.
The official figures for the fuel consumption of the Skoda Citigo, on the version we have tested, are 4.7 liters burned every 100 km/h but we couldn’t achieve it no matter what we did. In fact, when we received it, the trip computer was showing an average fuel consumption of 10.2 liters, but that quickly dropped, even with the air conditioning on, to 8.2L, where it stayed until the sun disappeared from the sky and we could finally turn the AC off and the windows and electric sunroof down. Once we turned the AC off and we were admiring the stars over our heads, the fuel consumption dropped to 7.0L in an urban environment. With the city behind us and a quick highway drive ahead of us, the Skoda Citigo’s trip computer was showing an average fuel consumption of 6.2L / 100km. In fact, this was the best we could do in this chapter.
The Skoda Citigo has been developed for urban use and narrow streets suit it just well where its small size makes it easy to drive for just about everyone and its suspension is taking a good part of the shock when going over speed bumps or holes in the asphalt. But there is a catch here too, because on the rear seats, what seems to be a “plus” in the suspension system for the driver and front passenger, quickly turns into a “minus” because the comfort offered is close to zero and the rear shocks and springs seem to be welded together.
The steering of the Skoda Citigo deservers a round of applause on speeds up to 100-110 km/h where things get different, but considering the fact that it has been developed for urban use, it does its part of the job very well and besides responding almost instantly, it’s also quite precise and, if you know what you’re doing and you’ve taken your “brave pill”, it will take you around the next corner in a good “manner”, while the rear wheels will make a noise of their own.
The fact that it has a small size is definitely a plus for the urban environment but what we don’t get is why the Skoda engineers fitted large door mirrors on a such a small car and when we say large, we mean large, because they are almost the same size as the ones found on midsize SUVs. Sure, you might say here that they are good for visibility, and they are, you can see just about everything in them, but when you try to squeeze the vehicle in a tight space you see that the door mirrors are in the way.
The visibility offered by the Skoda Citigo is normal, and we won’t praise it or curse it and the rear parking sensors are a real help after you have found a tight space in the middle of the city. They play their part quite well and if you didn’t like those big exterior mirrors before, you will definitely like them now. The cabin mirror is also coming in a generous size and the A, B or C-pillars won’t get in your way when trying to maneuver it in tight spaces.
Despite its reduced exterior size, the Skoda Citigo manages to impress us in a positive way with a lot of space in the cabin, where it can carry up to four passengers, with the condition that they don’t have long legs, because if they do, the journey can quickly turn into a nightmare. But this nightmare doesn’t include the driver and the front passenger, because, with front seats pulled back, they will forget that they are in a small urban vehicle. In fact, with the driver’s seat pulled back at the max, I couldn’t reach the pedals, despite my 1.90m tall.
The dashboard of the Skoda Citigo reminds us of transport vans and the center console looks like it has been designed by a guy who was in a hurry to get his lunch. But we understand this because the company had to save some money in order to offer the model for a normal price. The plastic used in the cabin isn’t the cheapest ever but it won’t impress you either. All the buttons are where they supposed to be and the driver can operate everything very easy. Storage spaces can be found on the doors, in front of the gearshift lever, between the front seats and in the glovebox, of course. The front seats get an interesting design and they seem to be inspired from racing seats but side support is missing completely and this is felt especially by the driver during tight cornering.
The rear seats of the Skoda Citigo can transport two people quite comfortably, but on the version we have tested, the rear seat passengers were constantly telling me to drive slower because they don’t have anything to hold on, except for the front seats. Skoda says that the Citigo’s trunk space is 251 liters with the rear seats up and this clearly isn’t a car to go on a long vacation but it will be just enough for a local trip to your supermarket and, if your “victim” isn’t too fat, he/she will fit the tight space on top of the spare tire.
The model we have chosen had just about everything fitted like the electric sunroof, front electric windows, electric door mirrors, front airbags, side airbags, rear parking sensors, four-speaker audio system with AUX input, trip computer, six-way adjustable front seats, fog lights, reading light, alloy wheels and more.
The Skoda Citigo has been awarded with a five-star rating by Euro NCAP and the European safety specialists were quite impressed by the small vehicle. Volkswagen has played a main role in developing the Skoda Citigo or the Seat Mii and this can be clearly seen in its safety.
Likes / Dislikes
We had the Skoda Citigo for three days and this was enough to make a real point of view on the model. Just like every other car driven, the Skoda Citigo has its ups and downs and the things we liked were the electric sunroof, the throttle response in second gear (it goes up to 95 km/h), the good visibility offered at night by its headlights, the fuel consumption, despite the model being driven sportier than intended, the space for the driver and front passenger or the level of cabin noise insulation, despite being aimed towards the Mini segment, at speeds up to 100 km/h.
We didn’t like the fact that, despite having two electric windows, the driver couldn’t operate the window on the passenger side because the button for that operation was fitted onto the front door only. We also didn’t like the leg space for the rear seats, the large door mirrors which don’t come in handy when trying to squeeze the vehicle in tight spaces, the gearbox, which isn’t so precise and it sometimes forgets its role, the cheap plastic used in the cabin, the transport van-like dashboard, the small glovebox, the green light used on the center console compared to the white light used on the instrument cluster, the fact that the vehicle becomes very unstable at speeds over 110-120 km/h and the wind which made a very annoying noise with the front windows half way down at speeds at around 100 km/h.
Despite these “downs”, we liked the fact that despite being a small hatchback, the Skoda Citigo has turned some heads, quite a lot, and, in a particular case, the driver of a Porsche 911 has stopped his supercar next to ours at a traffic light and he was admiring it. The admiration will last for probably another six months to one year because Europe’s streets will probably be full of Skoda Citigo, Seat Mii and Volkswagen Up! vehicles. As a conclusion, the mini segment has gained an interesting vehicle and, if it wasn’t for the Volkswagen Up!, it would be my first choice and I wouldn’t even look at models like the Citroen C1, Renault 107, the Toyota Aygo, the Renault Twingo or the Ford Ka. However, the Fiat 500 is one worthy opponent.
Special thanks: Porsche Romania