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Skoda Citigo-e | Test Drive

Running Costs...%

The Skoda Citigo-e is one of the cheapest pure electric hatchbacks available with a very decent official range of 250 kilometres. We know how good the Skoda Citigo is as a standard petrol city car not to mention it’s near identical siblings the Volkswagen Up and the Seat Mii, they were pretty much the best small cars you could get at the price. The Skoda is notable from its siblings because it was sold at a cheaper price, had a lower spec and was available without fast charging to save money on the list price. This particular electric model was ever sold in Ireland, but we were offered the opportunity to test drive an imported used Citigo-e by Western Motors who currently have the Crystal Blue Metallic version below brightening up their forecourt.

Special mention : Great second car for nipping just about anywhere and it’s a lot more fun than it should be. Typical Skoda cleverness throughout the design including the mobile phone holder on the dash.

Needs work : The cabin is well designed but some of the materials would do well with a little texture upgrade. Depending on what you want in a modern car, the Citigo-e doesn’t run everything through a touchscreen which makes it a great car to start your EV journey in if you’re wary of such modern do-dads.

61kW Lithium Ion BatteryElectric / Auto
0-100 km/h in 12.2 secondsRoad Tax €120

Price: €25,275
(used with 8,000 kms)
Boot space 251/959 litres

Is it just about penny pinching or is this a really good small car? The Citigo-e was available with two charging levels, the base se version with an AC type two socket which can charge at up to 7.2 kilowatts and gives you a full battery from a home wall box in under six hours. The standard three-pin cable that comes with it will top up to 36.8 kilowatt hour battery from flat in 16 hours if you plug it into a standard domestic socket.

If you plan on doing the occasional long journey you may want to consider finding one with the CCS fast charger or the higher spec SEL version which had the fast charger as standard. The CCS socket allows you to plug into a DC rapid charge point, the sort most commonly found in motorway services. The maximum 40 kilowatt charging speed will deliver 160 kilometres of additional range in around 60 minutes. Whether you look for the highest spec car or not you will pay extra for a type two cable to allow you to plug into a home wall box or any AC public car charger. All DC rapid charging stations come with the cables tethered to the actual plug points so you don’t need to worry about cables for charging up on the motorway. Seeing as the Citig-eo has an official range of just over 250 kilometers you could make reasonably longer journeys in it without too many stops.

Brake regen is good and you access that just by putting the gear lever into B which gives you the highest level of regen. It’s not as ‘heavy’ as it is in the Nissan Leaf but as long as you’re looking way up the road and judging distances well ahead, you’ll still  save lots of energy. It’s got three levels you can toggle through from level one which is mild, up to two and three which are slightly heavier. It just means you can vary it as you need and it’s very easy to do.It’s really nice to drive with light steering that is perfect for about town but still feels absolutely fine out on country roads.

It feels a lot nippier than the claimed 0 to 100 km/h in 12.3 seconds, the most fun is had from 0 up to about 60 km/h. Top speed is 110 km/h, it feels stable but wind noise is noticeable at higher speeds. It doesn’t feel like the sort of grown-up long-distance electric car that some of the bigger SUVs are but given the price you probably wouldn’t expect it to be. It gets a bit lumpy over potholes, it never gets really harsh or brittle so it won’t bother most people but it definitely is firmer than the little petrol version. Even with that factored in, this is still just an absolutely brilliant city car.

The interior of the little Skoda is pretty good, you get a bit of visual interest in the finish on the dash and the driving position is pretty good. I found it very easy to get a natural driving position  however I would say that the steering wheel feels strangely large and while it goes up and down, it doesn’t go in and out so you can’t adjust it for reach which some people might find a bit restrictive.

Visibility is good and although you don’t get an infotainment touchscreen you do get a great little phone mount on the dash which of course you can have all of your music and nav from there. There’s a USB input right behind it to charge your phone which is handy. Some people might miss a touchscreen but it keeps the cost of the car down and it keeps things simple, and that’s a really good thing. Equipment is also pretty good with a digital radio, climate control and the trim feels pretty good. It’s a really neat and fit for purpose interior. Rather impressively, Skoda has managed to keep the space in the electric Citigo-e just the same as it was in its petrol predecessor.

This little five-door hatch will fit two average-sized adults fairly easily in the back and the boot is big enough at 250 litres. It’s worth finding one with the optional variable boot floor as it creates a much more useful cable storage area than the standard, if rather tight, cable cubby tucked away below the boot lip. While the Citigo-e is clearly nowhere near as practical as bigger more expensive hatches like the Opel Corsa and Peugeot 208, by City car standards it is still one of the more practical and cheaper to run options. 

There are some aspects where improvements could be made, namely the dash plastics and the interior styling but it’s so easy to forgive given its unpretentious cheerful nature. Ultimately it’s a great electric car, a practical city car and an excellent beginners guide to electric motoring.