CITI GETS SLICKER (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Introductionword count: 72
Skoda's first stab at citycar motoring proved to be an impressive one, this Citigo borrowing Volkswagen technology and blending it with the value we expect from this growing Czech brand. This post-2017-era version of this design added a bit of extra polish to this impressive package and as a result, those in search of a beautifully conceived, affordable and impressively space and fuel-efficient urban runabout have even more reasons to consider it.
Modelsword count: 5
3dr/5dr citycar (1.0 60PS, 75PS)
Historyword count: 316
What should a Citycar be? Clever? Affordable? Space efficient? Cheap to run? Skoda's little Citigo ticked all these boxes, but as a used car, it's up against an army of equally competitive rivals and needs to set itself apart. The post-2017-era revised first generation version of this model aimed to do just that. This, as you may well already know, is Skoda's version of the little city runabout also sold as a Volkswagen up! and a SEAT Mii. Like those models, it was originally launched back in 2012 and was Skoda's first ever entrant in this, the market's most affordable segment. By 2017, over 200,000 Citigos had been sold, aided by pricing which made this Bratislava-built contender a touch cheaper that its two design stablemates. That affordable pricing was key to this car's success but originally, it was very nearly far more expensive, the early prototype being a radical rear-engined, rear-driven design that promised impressive space-efficiency but would have been pricey to produce. A last minute switch to the more conventional front-engined, front-wheel drive hatch that the Citigo was in 2017 ensured that this Skoda could compete on equal terms with the Korean value brands and rivals built with cheap labour in emerging markets - city cars from this era like Suzuki's Celerio and Ford's KA+. To help this Czech contender take on all these competitors as well as improved versions of its Volkswagen and SEAT design stablemates, Skoda facelifted the Citigo range in the Spring of 2017. The changes were small, but quite significant, a smartening of the front and rear styling accompanied by improvements to both media connectivity and safety provision. The combustion engine versions of this model ended production at the end of 2019, to be replaced by an all-electric Citigo e iV battery-powered variant, which only stayed on sale until the Autumn of 2020, when the Citigo left Skoda's price lists entirely.
What You Getword count: 482
It's perhaps a touch ironic that of the three models produced from the Volkswagen Group single citycar design (the others are the VW up! and the SEAT Mii), it's this Skoda, the most affordable, that looks arguably the most mature and up-market. Under the skin of course, it's identical to its Volkswagen and SEAT stablemates but within this conformity, designer Jozef Kaban (the man who styled the Bugatti Veyron) still managed to create a subtly different end result, one that was subtly updated in 2017 as part of the facelift changes made to the three and five-door models in the updated Citigo line-up. You'd have to know the car pretty well to pick these improvements out at first glance, but if you do, you'll notice this restyled bonnet which in updated form has a so-called 'powerdome' design that brought a central bonnet bulge. That flows into a restyled chrome-bordered grille flanked by sleeker headlamps that on most variants feature twinkling LED daytime running lights. Behind the wheel, probably the key change to this revised model lay in its redesigned range of infotainment systems. Provided you avoid entry-level trim, you get a 'Swing' radio set-up with a 5.0-inch display. As for connectivity, well previously, Citigo buyers were offered a Garmin-developed removable touchscreen that clipped into place on top of the dash and could be taken with you when you left the car. With the facelift range, that was done away with in favour of a smartphone docking attachment that sits above the central dashboard module and can accommodate handsets with screen sizes of up to 5.5-inches. The 'phone screen can then effectively function as a dashboard infotainment display - or at least it will do if you take up Skoda's offer of downloading the compatible 'Move&Fun' app that's been developed for the 'Swing' system. This integrates your smartphone seamlessly into the car's trip computer and infotainment system, letting you receive DAB digital radio, use offline navigation maps, listen to music stored on your smartphone and view basic driving data. In the rear, you're treated to far more interior space than you'd expect the modest external dimensions would be able to provide. There are though, a couple of irritations: first that you don't get proper side windows - just glass panes you can angle out for extra ventilation. Secondly, there's no opportunity to take a third centrally-seated passenger, as you might want to if, say, you were transporting three small children. To be fair, a number of other rivals share these issues. Otherwise, this area of the car is a triumph of space-efficient design. Open the glass tailgate (apparently styled to look like a flat-screen TV) and as long as you can lump your stuff over the rather high sill, you'll find 251-litres of space. That's only a fraction less than you'd get in, say, a Ford Fiesta supermini from the next class up.
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Category: Small Runabouts
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