Our Cars: Skoda Citigo 1.0 MPI Monte Carlo

6 March 2015: Con-fused

The Details

Current mileage 3263
Claimed economy 62.8mpg
Actual economy 50.6mpg

If I find myself on a long journey without my phone in the car I get deeply frustrated. I need to listen to Spotify or web radio when I’m on the move, I need to check Facebook and Twitter three hundred times when I get to the motorway services and I need to find my way when I get lost. Thankfully none of those things is too bad for battery life.

Something that is bad for the battery is Waze, a sort of interactive free navigation system that interconnects all of its users. It’s fantastic – other people can mark traffic jams as they happen and explain the cause, even with a photograph if they want. It also intelligently plots ideal routes based on the amount of time it takes other users to make similar journeys.

I now almost exclusively rely on Waze to navigate, meaning the perfectly useful PID nav that came with the car is relegated to music duties. That means my phone sits on a none-slip ‘Gecko’ pad on my dashboard with its screen on all the time. And that really takes its toll on battery life.

The obvious solution is to get a 12V charging device, but I have bad luck with those. The coiled-up 1990s looking-one I had spare in a draw broke in half and there is no USB output in the Citigo - unless I can’t find it. So, out of desperation, I bought a socket with two USB outputs for an extortionate amount of money from Beaconsfield services.

A Fuse

Spare fuses - not standard equipment

Not only was it ludicrously expensive, but I discovered it didn’t work. By this time I was too far away to go back and get a refund, so I pulled over and twisted it every which way, eventually bashing it hard enough to slice my thumb open. This didn’t work either. Apparently the fuse had blown.

After consulting the manual in a layby I found the fusebox – which was actually quite hard – and pulled out the blown fuse. That wasn’t much help though, since Skoda, for some reason, doesn’t provide spare fuses as standard. I considered for at least ten minutes whether or not I actually needed ventilation or interior lighting more than a 12v output.

Eventually came to my senses and went to a car parts shop. Thankfully fuses are cheap and after popping one in I was away with my phone merrily charging – for about 10 minutes until I gently agitated the now infuriating red 12v charger and it popped the fuse. Again.

So I stopped, smashed it to pieces, went to a proper shop and bought a better one for about a third of the price. Since then everything has been fine. But I have learned two lessons from this – Skoda doesn’t provide any spare fuses and motorway services shouldn’t be trusted to sell reliable goods at reasonable prices.

« Earlier: Would I buy a Citigo?     Later: Moving house in the Citigo »

Updates
Our time with the little red Citigo is at its end. It's proved extremely capable but has it left a lasting impression?
When our time is coming to an end and we’ve covered all the important bits, we’ve got to start searching out things to complain about.
You can't do a proper house move in a tiny hatchback, but even so the Citigo surprised with its practicality.
6 March 2015: Con-fused
A cheap 12V charger and a problem with fuses leads to some serious anger issues in the Citigo.
We change our vehicle for Our Cars every six months - but if it was time to pick a car to last for a lot longer, would the Citigo do?
The Citigo isn't alone. Volkswagen and SEAT also make what is basically the same car at the same factory. What's the difference?
We've been racking up hundreds of motorway miles in the Citigo - but rather unlike the proverbial fish out of water, it's coping well.
It might have less power than some of the cars I've run in the past, but the Citigo is still a lot of fun.
The Citigo is designed for town work, but chances are most buyers will have to take to the motorway some time. How does it fare?
People buy cars like the Citigo because they're cheap - not only to buy but also to run. Will it save you money?
At £300 should you choose the optional PID, or is an everyday aftermarket navigation system up to the same job?
We say hello to Skoda's tiny urban runabout - the Citigo. Is it the perfect car for the capital? We'll find out over the next six months.
 

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