Citigo Monte Carlo 1.0 MPI 60PS 5-door
let the citi part of its name
stop you getting behind the wheel
of Skodas Citigo. It delivers a
grown-up and fun driving experience,
wears its designer-look body with
panache and its actually as
competent out of town as it is punting
around inside the concrete jungle...
IN CASE YOU WONDERED, the Skoda Citigo is a triplet, being directly
related to both the Volkswagen Up and SEAT's Mii, with whom it shares both VW
Group parentage and the same underpinnings, and is even 'born' in the same Volkswagen
plant in Slovakia. This is, of course, very good news but even better
is that out on the mean streets it's Skoda's 'baby' that's the best value.
The Citigo has picked up plenty of awards and last year was given a subtle makeover
nothing drastic because there really wasn't anything that needed
improving… Certainly not the engines, which continue to be the same eager-beaver
1.0-litre three-pot petrol units with a choice of 59 or 74bhp. Titter ye not!
59bhp might not sound a lot but squeeze this particular triple's accelerator
and you'll be rewarded with peppy acceleration, the kind that's perfect for
taking advantage of gaps in the flux of town traffic.
course, ducking and diving on crowded city streets calls for more than just
nerve from under the bonnet; it needs dynamic verve. And that it's got too
the handling is agile, the manual gear-change action snappy, and there's excellent
visibility for the driver to spot every opening then go for it making max use
of the decent grip, fine body control, and precise steering.
59bhp might not sound
a lot but squeeze this
accelerator and youll be
rewarded with peppy
acceleration, the kind
thats perfect for taking
advantage of gaps in the
flux of town traffic...
And if you think that stop-start London-life driving is all the Citigo does
(and it does make light of it) you'd be short-changing its liking for life outside
the city walls.
Set free from metropolitan restraints, the Citigo feels unexpectedly at home
on faster open roads where the full set of its five well-considered ratios can
be given a workout.
Neither does it feel out of its depth bombing along at the legal limit on motorways,
even though the three-pot is working at twice its 'town' revs
in fact, it seems more content with the rev-counter needle brushing past the
4K mark than it does at half of that.
There's no denying that triple cylinder engines aren't as quiet as those with
four but the Citigo's free-revving 999cc powerplant positively welcomes a hard
taskmaster, repaying him or her with strong low-down grunt and giving its all
willingly with a tuneful 'thrummy' soundtrack. It's also and again
not what most people would be expecting unusually smooth-revving
and refined, humming away unobtrusively in the background when you don't need
While the extra horsepower of the 74bhp engine is welcome, choosing it over
the 59bhp version doesn't buy you any more torque both generate
70lb ft, so mid-range, where it's most meaningful, there's almost nothing in
it although if paper figures matter to you then know that the 59bhp Citigo ticks
off the 0-62mph dash in 14.4 seconds while its more powerful brother gets it
done in 13.5. But given how gleefully the little 1.0-litre conducts itself,
few would dare complain about its thirst a consistent 55mpg!
We've accelerated ahead of ourselves a bit here as we haven't yet stopped to
consider the Citigo's looks. Smartly well-proportioned and ingeniously compact,
with room for four real-world doors despite measuring just 3.6 metres from its
finned grille to an upright tail finished off with Skoda's signature C-shaped
vertical rear light units.
wide and well-planted stance hints at Skoda's racetrack adventures (the Czech
carmaker has been involved in motorsports since 1901 and has won titles all
around the world just check out skoda-motorsport.com), hence the
Monte Carlo accents that feature both inside and out.
paper figures matter
to you then know that the
59bhp Citigo ticks off the
0-62mph dash in 14.4
seconds while its more
powerful brother gets it
done in 13.5. But given
how gleefully the little
1.0-litre conducts itself,
few would dare complain
about its thirst
a consistent 55mpg!
Externally, Monte Carlo models come with 15-inch black alloy wheels, black front
and rear spoilers, a black grille surround, black door mirror shells, low-key
chequered flag decals on the lower doors and tailgate, and a rear diffuser.
The theme continues inside with black and red upholstery, a black gloss fascia
with Monte Carlo logo and red centre console, and floor mats with red stitching.
There's also a leather-wrapped, flat-bottomed sports steering wheel with red
stitching confirming the sporty tone.
The seats are in a sports style with headrests integrated into the backrests
and light but effective bolstering, and upholstered in fabric with striped centre
panels. The driving position is perfect for the cut and thrust of jockeying
in commuter traffic, and the wheel's perforated leather 'work' sections are
great to grip.
The fascia layout works well with a single central 'island' that clusters all
the controls including those for the AirCon and colour infotainment screen high
on the central dash where they can be easily seen and quickly reached with minimal
distraction on the move. Overall, the cabin gives off a nicely minimalist good-to-live-with
ambiance, something that even the manually adjusted door mirrors can't spoil
(because, let's be honest, you only need to set them up the once).
Through the upper rim of the wheel the view is of a large single-dial speedometer
that's flanked by two lower-set and smaller dials for revs and fuel. A trip
computer window is let into the bottom section of the speedo so all the driving
information you'll need is presented directly in front of you.
Comms is something new and while the onboard Swing radio and infotainment system
is good, it's at its best when Bluetooth-paired to your smartphone (docked in
a stand-alone holder atop the dash) via the slick Move&Fun app
after which you'll enjoy handsfree Bluetooth, multimedia functions, can listen
to your fave sounds, let your SatNav show you the way home (or anywhere else
for that matter), and stay fully connected on the go. Naturally there's a USB
port, Aux socket, and SD card slot.
kit not mentioned elsewhere includes the usual Skoda freebies: an umbrella located
under the front passenger's seat, a ticket holder on the windscreen to display
your parking ticket, and handy mesh storage pockets on the inner sides of the
front backrests that are prefect for a mobile phone or other small essentials.
Citigos handling and ride package is well sorted: Monte Carlo
versions get a sports
suspension set-up that
gives them an edge on
faster roads where they
sure-footed, riding flat
and level through the
twisties and gripping
well in corners...
Safety-wise, there's front and side airbags for the driver and front passenger,
LED daytime running lights, tyre pressure monitoring, front fog lights, and
electronic stability control.
Skoda's 'City Safe' system is optional across the range and monitors the area
ahead of the car, actively braking at speeds below 19mph if the driver isn't
paying attention or gets distracted. And it's reassuring to know that while
you're not in a hulking great 4x4 you're still safe the Citigo
has been awarded a full five-star EuroNCAP safety rating.
The Citigo's handling and ride package is well sorted. Monte Carlo versions
get a lowered sports suspension set-up that gives them an edge on faster roads
where they feel confidently sure-footed, riding flat and level through the twisties
and gripping well in corners.
ride seems to get better the quicker you go, even on rutted country roads and
although you occasionally feel some of the bigger bumps they never unsettle
the Citigo or corrupt your chosen line. The power steering is light enough to
take the strain out of town driving but it's also direct and feels more weighty
under load. The brakes, too, do a good job and the Citigo's stability can be
exploited courtesy of the fine visibility from behind the wheel to place it
accurately on the blacktop.
Those travelling in the rear cabin will be a lot happier if it's the five-door
and not the three that they're in. For a very small premium (just £350) there's
really no excuse for not going for the five-door as it also gets you a lot more
usability it's often easier to chuck things on the back seat instead
of opening the boot.
This is a city car, but even so rear knee and legroom is more than okay and
better than many of its rivals. The
upright rear glasshouse treatment provides both decent rear headroom and a boost
for the airy feel created by the good-sized side windows.
rear windows don't drop vertically but are front-hinged and open at the trailing
edge, which on the move lets in a nice stream of fresh air that's agreeably
free of buffeting. For the record, the front windows are regular electric items.
a boot sometimes
and the Citigo gives them
a fair-sized one:
a deep 251 litres for
escape to the country
which you can almost
quadruple to 959 litres by
dropping the 60:40-split
Factor in nicely shaped and comfortable seats and privacy glass from the B-pillars
back, and the fact that the cabin is well insulated from both road and wind
noise, and it's no surprise that passengers allocated the rear seats are content
to be there.
Even city-dwellers need a boot sometimes and the Citigo gives them a fair-sized
one: a deep 251 litres for 'escape to the country' weekender luggage or the
weekly Waitrose shop (you'll find four bag hooks on the boot sides).
If it's just you and your front seat passenger then you can almost quadruple
the load space to 959 litres by dropping the 60:40-split
rear seatbacks. While there is a step up from the boot floor, the folded seats
sit flatly horizontal for easy loading through the liberal-sized tailgate opening.
You certainly don't have to be downsizing to think about getting a Citigo (although
it will definitely cut your motoring costs without compromising on comfort and
practicality) because as a first-rate all-rounder it's a perfect choice for
those owning just a single car. There's also a lot of space within its compact
footprint, and it delivers driving pleasure whether you're in town or journeying
to check out far horizons. ~ MotorBar
Skoda Citigo Monte Carlo 1.0 MPI 60PS 5-dr
Maximum speed: 101mph | 0-62mph: 14.4 seconds | Test Average: 55.1mpg
Power: 59bhp | Torque: 70lb ft | CO2: 101g/km