Is the Skoda Citigo the perfect getaway car?
A somewhat ordinary used car review, except slightly more interesting
You and a few of your mates run through the Ikea car park, pushing a trolley full of... well, Ikea stuff. Around the corner, squeezed into a tight space, is a 7-year-old Skoda Citigo with its boot ready to be filled. The schedule is tight, but the superb little hatchback copes with those bits of wood rather well. Four people, four seats - and just enough legroom for everyone. In a race against time, the characterful 3-pot bursts into life as you start the car, and it skirts forwards.
A tight turning circle ensures a smooth getaway from the car park, with the Citigo leaning into the corner as you shift down into second. Home is just a few minutes from here, and the ability to dart through traffic makes it even quicker. You look at the receipt: £17 for the small coffee table. After quickly unloading the aforementioned bits of wood, you can finally get that table built just in time for the party. You know, so that there's space for the sausage rolls this time.
Don't worry, I haven't stolen a coffee table from Ikea. Nor have I stolen a 2014 Skoda Citigo. No, this is my mom's car, and it is great. The one you're looking at right now is the 60hp 'SE' model, which has a few more interior bits than the basic 'S', including air-conditioning as standard. You'll want that. When we bought it brand new, we got a Garmin infotainment device, but all I can say is that it's completely pointless, not least because the voice recognition is a bit crap.
The Citigo's low weight and short wheelbase, as well as the grunt of the engine, makes it fairly quick and very nimble - its electric power steering makes the handling a bit numb, but the car is overall very lively. Being small has its benefits too, and this little Skoda has excellent visibility, as well as much better manoeuvrability than most. What's more, this car is generally cheaper than its rivals - and even its siblings, the VW up! and the Seat Mii. I think it's better looking, too.
Despite the interior being full of hard plastic, the feel is surprisingly good, and the quality is as expected from what is essentially a German car. On 5-door models like these, the rear windows pop out to reduce costs, which is not ideal given that the circulation system is not great. The driver also has no control over the passenger window, the radio system is quite basic and there are no blind spot mirrors. But these minor drawbacks are nothing compared to the positives.
Even with a thorough vacuum, those fabric seats are hard to clean, but this isn't too much of a big deal either. The Skoda Citigo is quite a small car on the outside, but its well-proportioned package means that there is plenty of room for four adults. If you look at the second picture, you will see my dad, who is 6 feet tall. He fits quite nicely in there. The boot is rather spacious too, and some have spare wheels in the back. The only negative here is the lack of a boot light.
One of the best features of this car is the peppy and free-revving 3-cylinder engine. It gives just the right amount of 'oomph' at low speeds, although it can struggle a bit on the motorway. The lack of a temperature gauge means that you shouldn't push it too hard, but the Citigo can take a beating before getting tired. Its engine noise is noticeable, especially when pushing over 2K RPM, but it is such a nice sound that you won't even mind. Check out the video down below!
With everything working towards its advantage, the Skoda Citigo has excellent fuel economy and low running costs, as well as great depreciation - models like this will fetch around £5,000 these days. It's comfortable, safe, reliable, practical, good-looking and, most of all, fun to drive. As I proved earlier on in the article, not only is it the perfect getaway car, but the Citigo is also one of the best used superminis on the market today - it's certainly the one I'd pick.