As our city streets become ever more congested and regimented by increasingly stringent environmental red tape, the demand for cars capable of conquering the urban jungle has grown exponentially. Queue the meteoric rise of the city car. The Skoda Citygo, one third of the mechanically identical trio that also includes the Volkswagen UP! and SEAT Mii, is typical of today’s breed of smaller, more streetwise hatchbacks. Rejuvenated for 2017, the Citygo is back, bringing its trademark mix of practicality and economy to the ‘small is beautiful’ world of the city car.
The smallest member of the Skoda line-up retains much of the boyish charm of the original model that launched back in 2011, but with a number of key updates. The familiar three-tier trim – S, SE and SE L – returns, but now with a different face. The heavily updated front facia gets a new domed bonnet with modified front bumper and fog lights nestling below the revamped radiator grille. The rear too has been freshened up with a pair of dark-tinted taillights.
As always, Skoda throw in more standard goodies the higher up the specification pyramid you climb; LED daytime running lights and fog lights with cornering function are both included from SE trim upwards. If you’re tempted to tinker a little further, why not upgrade the Citygo’s standard issue 14-inch wheels to 15 or 16-inch equivalents or even go two-tone with the option of a black or white roof and wing mirrors.
Delving into its compact cabin, the 2017 Citygo is decidedly more upmarket than its predecessor. Headlining the list of new editions is an optional colour infotainment display, fully smartphone compatible and linked to a six-speaker audio system. The instrument cluster, available in two new designs, sits above either the standard three-spoke steering wheel or an all-new, multifunction variant. There’s even an umbrella stowed neatly under the passenger seat, living up to the city car mantra that no space goes to waste.
Both three and five-door incarnations of the baby Skoda feature traction control, an electronic locking differential as well as hill‑hold as part of the basic package, together with a choice of two three-cylinder engines. The base 1.0-litre powertrain comes with either 59 or 74bhp. Of course, neither will get you through the metropolis at a prodigious pace – the more powerful of the two hits 62mph from a standing start in 13.5 seconds – but both will stop fuel costs burning a hole in your pocket. An optional GreenTech pack pushes the mpg envelope even further, making full use of regenerative braking as well as Stop-Start technology. There’s no word as yet on an all-singing all-dancing GreenLine specification for the new Citygo. Traditionally Skoda’s most eco-friendly evolution, we’re more likely to see the chief CO2-buster joining the new Citygo roster at a later date. In the meantime, the launch edition uses a five-speed manual gearbox that can equally be replaced with an automatic equivalent if desired.
Finally, the ranks of the 2017 Citygo will be bolstered from launch by a sporty Monte Carlo Edition. Although there’s nothing in the way of Formula 1 technology in the engine room, its lowered sports chassis, front and rear spoilers and motorsport-inspired styling should make for a head turner when picking your way through the urban labyrinth.
You can get your hands on new Skoda Citygo this summer, with prices for the entry-level S trim starting at £8,635 for the three-door version and £8,985 for the five-door model.