Review: Skoda Citigo (2012)

Rating:

Small car based on Volkswagen Up. Ideal for town. Economical on fuel. Fun to drive. Lower prices than Up and SEAT Mii.

Cheapest versions not under 100g/km CO2. High incidence of gearbox and clutch failures lost it a star. Timing belts need replacing at 4 years or 40k miles. Dealers recommending manual gearbox oil change at 3 years old.

Recently Added To This Review

5 November 2019

VW dealers offering a timing belt change on Up 1.0 engines for just £150 if carried out before 31-12-2019. Presumably applies to Skoda Citigos and SEAT Miis as well. Read more

9 September 2019

Report of warped brake discs in July 2017 on pre-reg 64 reg Skoda Citigo bought in April 2015. Discs replaced and now juddering again at 17,000 miles. See 21-7-2013. Read more

10 June 2019

Report of owner of 2016 SEAT Mii manual (same car as Citigo) being recommended by the dealer to have a transmission oil change at its 3rd annual service. (See 19-5-2012; 3-7-2013; 4-5-2015; 27-9-2016;... Read more

Skoda Citigo (2012): At A Glance

The Skoda Citigo may be a small car but it has big talents. It’s easy to drive and park, surprisingly practical and well put together, plus it’s cheap to buy and run. The Citigo costs a little less than its near identical Volkswagen Up and SEAT Mii stable mates, so if you’re seeking the best value for money it’s a great choice of small hatchback.

All versions of the Citigo are sold with a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, with either 60PS or 75PS. In real world driving there’s very little between the two, especially around town where the Citigo is most at home. For those who spend a lot of time on the motorway the higher powered version is a better choice.

It’s great fun to drive despite having very little outright power – the ‘wheel in each corner’ design makes it nimble, agile and easy to thread through gaps in tight urban traffic jams. Even out of town it’s enjoyable on a twisting road, but the suspension shows its lack of sophistication over broken surfaces, where the ride can become noisy.

Despite the Citigo’s small size, it is surprisingly spacious. From the driver’s seat the car feels a little on the narrow side, but headroom is excellent and it’s easy to get comfortable. The back row is tight but it’s fine for short journeys or for children, plus there are Isofix points for child seats. Both three and five-door versions are available and the latter has wide-opening rear doors.

There’s plenty of equipment on offer, including an easy to use navigation system on upper trim grades, but those who go for an entry level S model will do without a few key creature comforts including electric windows and electric door mirrors. There are numerous extras packs on offer to add things like a panoramic glass roof, cruise control and parking sensors. 

Skoda Citigo 2012 Road Test

Long Term Test Skoda Citigo 1.0 MPI Monte Carlo

Skoda Citigo 2017 Facelift Road Test

What does a Skoda Citigo (2012) cost?

List Price from £10,165
Buy new from £8,375
Get a finance quote with CarMoney

Skoda Citigo (2012): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 3563–3597 mm
Width 1641–1914 mm
Height 1463–1478 mm
Wheelbase 2420 mm

Full specifications

The Skoda Citigo might be small but it’s also surprisingly practical, with a reasonably sized boot, Isofix child seat mounting points and good comfort levels. Skoda offers both three and five-door models, the latter of which has surprisingly wide-opening rear doors to make loading child seats easy.

The boot might not be huge, but compared to a Citroen C1 it’s generous. At 251 litres it’s actually not that far behind the Ford Fiesta, although the Citigo does have a high load lip to lift heavy items over. The seats also fold forward, giving more than 900 litres of load space.

Material quality impresses and although soft touch materials aren’t used, everything is very solidly screwed together and feels hardwearing. That said, you can see where costs have been cut - the front seats, for example, have one piece backs with no adjustable headrests.

That said, they are comfortable. There’s enough adjustment to find a good driving position with impressive visibility, plus there is space for smaller adults in the back row. Taller passengers won’t be too comfortable, but for teenagers or children there’s ample leg and head room.

Standard equipment on entry level cars is acceptable if you’re after back-to-basics motoring, with an AUX-in audio system but little more – windows and mirrors are manual. Moving up to a higher trim level doesn’t cost very much and brings better levels of gear so go for an SE if you want air conditioning and remote central locking.

Standard Equipment:

S is the entry trim grade and features include head/thorax airbags, height adjustable steering wheel, power steering, daytime driving lights, preparation for portable infotainment device (PID), CD player with aux input and 14-inch steel wheels.

SE is the mid-level trim. It comes with electric front windows, body coloured door mirrors and handles, ESP, remote central locking and air-conditioning as standard.

Elegance gets electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, 14-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, leather steering wheel and front fog lamps. It also comes with the portable infotainment device (PID), which includes an onboard computer, navigation system, hands-free Bluetooth connectivity and a multimedia player.

Child seats that fit a Skoda Citigo (2012)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Skoda Citigo (2012) like to drive?

The Skoda Citigo is offered with a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with a choice of two power outputs – 60PS or 75PS. If you spend most of your time in town then there’s no real reason to go for the higher powered engine – there’s very little between the two until you get up to motorway speeds thanks to identical torque figures of 95Nm.

The standard gearbox is a five-speed manual which is precise and easy to use, unlike the slow-witted ASG automated manual which isn’t recommended unless you must have an automatic. Its saving grace is that it's cheaper than a conventional automatic but does take some getting used to and is far from smooth.

The Citigo has a typical small hatchback design, with a wheel in each corner and very small overhangs. This makes it very easy to judge its size – parking is tremendously easy, as is getting through gaps in traffic. Despite having little in the way of outright power the lightweight Citigo is sprightly enough away from the lights and up to 30mph.

It’s great fun to drive thanks to well-weighted and precise controls. Because of the light weight there’s a great feeling of nimbleness through tight twists and turns, plus driver enjoyment is enhanced by an engine note that remains quiet at most speeds but comes alive with a buzzy, enjoyable thrum at higher revs.

The Citigo is an inexpensive car so there is some evidence of cost-cutting. The suspension typically offers a good balance between ride quality and handling, but over rough surfaces it shows its lack of sophistication. The ride quality deteriorates and there’s quite a lot of suspension noise transmitted into the cabin.

Refinement could be better too – you can hear the gear linkage clunking when stationary and there’s quite a lot of wind, engine and road noise at motorway speeds – although no more so than you’d get from rival cars like the Peugeot 107, Citroen C1 and Toyota Aygo.

Thanks to the tiny engine, running costs are low. Fuel economy varies from 60.1mpg to 68.9mpg depending on trim level and power output, which translates to emissions of around 100g/km. BlueMotion Technology models, fitted with stop/start, come in at below 100g/km and so qualify for free annual VED. 

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.0 60 63–64 mpg 13.9–14.4 s 101–105 g/km
1.0 60 ASG 63–66 mpg 14.8–16.7 s 100–103 g/km
1.0 60 GreenTech 59–69 mpg 13.9–14.4 s 95–101 g/km
1.0 75 ASG 63–64 mpg 13.5–14.9 s 103–105 g/km
1.0 75 GreenTech 59–69 mpg 12.8–13.5 s 96–105 g/km

Real MPG average for a Skoda Citigo (2012)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

87%

Real MPG

41–71 mpg

MPGs submitted

368

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Skoda Citigo (2012)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

What's the best small car on a £4500 budget?

I want to buy a used car and have a budget of £4.5k. Can you suggest a reliable, economical small car with three doors? Boot size is not important. I have been considering an Aygo or a Volkswagen Up but is it best to look for a car with low mileage or the newest car for my budget?
The Volkswagen Up is a really good car but not without its faults, unfortunately: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/volkswagen/up-2012/good/. If this doesn't concern you, also consider the SEAT Mii and Skoda Citigo - they're essentially the same car but a little cheaper. The Aygo isn't without its issues, either, and feels flimsier than the Up. I'd look for a Kia Picanto - it has fewer problems and is a great little car. I'd prioritise condition and service history over mileage or age, but there's no reason why you can't tick all the boxes with a £4500 budget.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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