Skoda is upgrading the smallest member of its model range: the CITIGO is being launched with three or five doors and lots of new design, technology and equipment features.
The city runabout has a length of 3,597 mm, width of 1,645 mm and height of 1,478 mm (five-door model), making it one of the most compact cars in its segment and, according to the manufacturers, one of the most spacious.
A completely revised front section includes a new bonnet, a modified bumper, revamped fog lights and a redesigned radiator grille. The headlights feature LED daytime running lights as standard from SE trim upwards while City Safe Drive with light and rain sensor as well as Light Assist with Coming Home function is optional from SE trim level.
Inside, there is a 251 litre boot which expands to 951l in the three-door and 959l in the five-door with the rear seats folded down. The long wheelbase (2,420 mm) creates plenty of space in the rear; and the EasyEntry function in the three-door version makes it easier for passengers to get into the back.
The dashboard has been designed to be ‘neat and uncluttered’: the instrument cluster with speed indicator, rev counter and fuel gauge comes in a new design and is available in two different versions. The standard three-spoke steering wheel is now available as a multifunction steering wheel with leather cover (standard on higher spec variants). Its buttons allow control of the radio and paired phone without the driver having to remove his hands from the steering wheel.
The emergency brake helps to prevent rear-end collisions in city traffic; it is automatically active at speeds up to 19 mph. A laser sensor integrated in the rear-view mirror mount scans an area of 10 m in front of the vehicle, and in the event of an impending collision – if the driver does not react – the braking system is primed in the first instance and the hydraulic Brake Assist function becomes more sensitive.
The system also initiates a full application of the brakes to bring the car to a standstill if required, or – if the driver is not braking hard enough – it automatically increases the braking force.
Standard equipment is pretty impressive for a car this size: it includes four airbags, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), a traction control system, Electronic Differential Lock (EDL), electromechanical power steering, three-point seat belts for all four seats, belt tensioners for those in the front, Isofix anchor points on the rear seats (including a top tether fastening), automatic activation of the hazard lights in the event of emergency braking, Hill Hold Control and tyre pressure monitoring.
There’s a choice of two transverse-mounted 1 litre (999cc) three-cylinder engines producing either 44 kW (60 PS) or 55 kW (75 PS) that drive the front wheels. SKODA says that “despite the small cylinder capacity, all power variants are characterised by high torque with low noise levels and high efficiency”.
All engines meet EU6 emissions standards and all trim levels can be equipped with GreenTech technology as an option, to optimise fuel consumption.
The entry-level 44 kW engine has maximum torque of 95 Nm at 3,000 rpm, accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 14.4 seconds and has a top speed of 162 km/h. With its five-speed manual transmission, it has a combined consumption of 4.4 litres per 100 km and emits 101 g of CO2 per km.
The more powerful engine variant has a top speed of 173 km/h and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h takes 13.5 seconds.
A Stop-Start system and brake energy recovery which ensure lower consumption and emissions are key features of the optional GreenTech.
In all trim levels, electromechanical power steering with an actuator on the steering column is used. The power support works only when it is required.
The CITIGO comes with either a five-speed manual gearbox or an ASG automatic transmission. “The focus was on a compact design weighing very little” says SKODA. The manual gearbox weighs just 27 kg and the automatic less than 30 kg; the latter reduces consumption by up to 0.1 litre of petrol per 100 km compared to the manual version.
The Czech brand has adopted the motto ‘simply clever’ and boasts that “even the smallest model is packed full of features that make travelling in the car easier”.
For example, there’s an umbrella under the passenger seat, a fold-out bag hook on the handle of the glove compartment, storage nets on the inner side of the front seats’ backrests (standard from SE), multimedia holder in the centre console, ticket holder on the windscreen and sun visor, cup holder between the front seats, 1,5-litre bottle holder in the storage compartments of the front doors, variable boot floor, boot nets and hooks for securing luggage, a removable waste bin.
A special Monte Carlo edition incorporates a rally design with a sports chassis, which has been lowered by 15 mm, front and rear spoilers and motorsport-inspired styling. It has a modified front spoiler and the radiator grille frame and wing mirror housings come in ‘a sporty black’.
The rear window and rear side windows are tinted. Based on the Ambition trim level, the Monte Carlo variant is available with three or five doors and runs on 15-inch black ‘Crux’ alloy wheels with 185/55 tyres.
Local SKODA agent UNICARS are expecting to have the new car in their showrooms within the next couple of months and although prices have not been released I understand that it’s not expected to be more than the current model, probably starting at around €9,000.