By Wayne Gorrett
Part of the VW Group’s city car triage sharing DNA with SEAT’s Mii and the VW Up!, all three are technically identical under the skin – which, badging apart, doesn’t really change much between the three brands.
Skoda’s Citigo was released to the UK market in April, 2012 and – like its other two VAG siblings – has proved very popular. And it’s easy to see why. Skoda sells the Citigo in either three or five-door guises, which is more than you can expect from many of it’s A-segment rivals as most tend to offer one body style due to costs.
Introducing ‘Special Editions’ of existing models are a good way of boosting a car’s appeal with minimal financial outlay and applying mostly cosmetic enhancements. Skoda has followed that trend with this new Citigo Black Edition, released to the UK market in October last year.
There are only two colour choices for Skoda’s Citigo Black Edition – ‘Candy White’ and ‘Black Magic’ pearlescent paint. Our test car was provided in white, which sets off the black 15-inch Auriga alloy wheels to good effect but I can’t help thinking that the ‘Black Magic’ paint would offer more attitude and road gravitas.
There is no external badging to indicate that this is actually a special edition – which I think is a missed opportunity for the Citigo in general. Other external styling enhancements include rear sunset glass to give the car a slightly more upmarket appearance.
Despite its small dimensions, the Citigo is surprisingly spacious. Front and rear headroom is excellent and it’s easy to get comfortable on the well-designed front furniture. The back row is a tad tight but it’s good for short journeys or for children, plus there are Isofix points for child seats. The five door version as tested has wide-opening rear doors and is the more practical choice.
The Citigo Black Edition is based on the SE trim grade, but adds some welcome kit such as Skoda’s portable infotainment device (PID), which brings Bluetooth, media player, satellite navigation and trip computer. That’s on top of manual air-conditioning, electric front windows, daytime running lights, height-adjustable driver seat, remote central locking and tyre pressure monitoring system.
While the side mirrors are colour-coded to paint choice, they remain manually adjustable – something I haven’t seen for quite some time. Almost cute. Almost.
Engine, Drivetrain and Performance
Both body styles of Skoda’s Citigo Black Edition are sold with a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, with 59 bhp and is a good match in real world driving conditions, especially around town where the Citigo feels very much at home. All models come with a five-speed manual gearbox which feels quite smooth in operation.
There are only two prices for the Citigo Black Edition, both of which are based on body configuration. The three-door costs £9,990, while the more practical five-door is priced at £10,340.
On The Road
Skoda’s Black Edition of the Citigo wears the same mechanicals as any other Citigo. Despite its small power output of just 59 bhp, the Citigo is great fun to drive. The ‘wheel in each corner’ design with very little discernible front or rear body overhang makes it excitingly nimble and very agile. Even out of town it’s thoroughly enjoyable on a twisting road.
From the off, the little car achieves 62mph in a somewhat pedestrian 14.4 seconds and tops out at 99mph. The ride around town is surprisingly supple and seemed quite unperturbed by speed humps or poor road surfacing.
Good steering, a high level of grip and strong brakes mean that the Citigo delivers more than the usual city car fare for more enthusiastic drivers.
Over 421 mixed miles during our week together, the little Skoda returned an excellent 62.1 mpg (official combined 62.8 mpg), at an average speed 28 mph.
The Citigo is dead easy to drive and park, very practical (especially in five-door guise tested here) and well put together, plus it’s cheap to buy and run. Overall, the Citigo is a great choice of small city hatchback and offers excellent value for money.
However, I can’t help thinking that this special edition’s younger target buyer would like a few external Black Edition badges to differentiate it from other Citigo’s driven by their nan’s bridge-playing pals.
Fast Facts : Skoda Citigo 5-door ‘Black Edition’
Price : £10,340
Engine: 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder, EU6 compliant.
Power: 59 bhp @ 5,000 rpm
Torque: 95 Nm @ 3,000 rpm
Transmission: Five-speed manual
0-62 mph: 14.4 seconds
Top speed: 99 mph
Fuel consumption: 62.8 mpg (combined cycle).
Fuel tank: 35 litres (7.7 gallons). Theoretical range: 483 miles
CO2: 105 g/km
Luggage capacity (rear seats up / down): 251 / 959 litres.
Insurance group: 2E
Euro NCAP safety rating: Five stars
Annual VED Band: B (Zero for first 12 months and £20 per annum thereafter)