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By Jonathan Crouch
Added 2nd March, 2012
, updated 9th August, 2019
The Citigo is ŠKODA's take on the most modern citycar design in the market. Now it offers an all-electric option too. Jonathan Crouch reports.
So. How to sum up? Well, think about the reasons people buy small cars: ease of use, low running costs, practicality. This one seems to very effectively tick a lot of those boxes - but then the Fabia always has. In its first two generations of life though, this supermini lacked something of a spark - that 'want one' factor. Which meant that when it came to developing this MK3 model, ŠKODA knew they had to somehow build that into the design DNA.
To some extent, they've done this. A bit of extra effort's been made to personalise the car inside and out but you still won't be buying this model to make a fashion statement or to impress the neighbours - and you certainly won't buy it to corner on your door handles. Fabia customers tend to be beyond all that sort of thing. Instead, in this ŠKODA, they'll recognise a sensible, state-of-the-art supermini in every way fit for purpose in an increasingly demanding modern world.
Of course it ought to be. As part of the Volkswagen Group, ŠKODA has access to some of the finest vehicle technologies going, many of which are showcased here. The Fabia doesn't make a song and dance about this cleverness but look beneath the unassuming surface and there's a highly accomplished package that's only made more appealing by the price. True, the end result may not be the car you always dreamed of owning. It could though, very well be the one you actually need.
ŠKODA understands its customers. Ease of ownership, value pricing and solid build are all priorities - and all satisfied here by this Rapid. That the brand can deliver more sophistication than this is not in doubt - the larger Octavia demonstrates that. But the point here is that a significant number of customers just don't need it. People being targeted precisely by this car.
It competes against many Focus-class family hatchbacks from the 2012-2018 period that feel more sophisticated, drive more dynamically or feature higher-tech trimmings. But almost all of these are smaller, less versatile and more expensive. At the end of the day, it depends on what you want. This isn't a car that'll leap out of a glossy picture into your mental driveway - but then, day-to-day living isn't really very much like the pages of a glossy picture. It's a rain-soaked, commuting-congested, family-frantic thing.
After a few days of which, at the wheel of one of these, you might rapidly come to the conclusion that though ŠKODA's take on affordable family motoring may not be what you once dreamt of, it could actually be what you need. Such is life.
A ŠKODA Octavia was once the least sophisticated of all the Volkswagen Group's family hatchback products. Not any more. Almost nothing has been held back for this third generation version, which now features a hi-tech 1.0-litre TSI entry-level petrol engine, the option of adaptive damping further up the range and more sophisticated optional smartphone connectivity.
The two bodystyles - hatch and estate - both feature smarter styling and are mated with TSI petrol or TDI diesel power. Petrol-wise, the range now starts with a clever 115PS three cylinder unit in the case of the entry-level version. Above that sits a 150PS 1.5 TSI derivative or a 2.0 TSI vRS variant offering 245PS. Diesel drivers choose between 1.6 or 2.0-litre TDI units and there's the choice of eight main trim levels - S, SE, SE Drive, SE L, Sportline, Laurin & Klement, Scout and vRS. 4WD is an option with the 2.0 TDI engine.
ŠKODA's Karoq is targeted right into the heart of the industry's fast-growing SUV 'C'-segment. Jonathan Crouch tries a 2.0 TDI 150PS 4x4 version to find out what this spacious 'Qashqai-class' Crossover has to offer.
ŠKODA's first stab at citycar motoring has 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 improved version has smartened up its act and those in search of a beautifully conceived, affordable and impressively space and fuel-efficient urban runabout will need to consider it.
Thanks in part to a low kerb weight of only around 850kg, both 60 and 75PS models will return a combined fuel economy figure of 55.4mpg (WLTP), with emissions pegged at 96g/km (NEDC). If you want to do better, you'll need o be talking to your dealer about the battery-powerred Citigo electric model. This variant's 36.8kWh battery pack allows for a WLTP-rated range of up to 161.5 miles between charges.
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