Autopoint Articles


Autopoint Articles


The Skoda success story covers the remarkable journey of the original Czechoslovakian independent and very individualistic marque from relative obscurity to a top brand under Volkswagen ownership. The sixth place of the Skoda Octavia in the new cars sales charts for 2012 is proof positive of the rise of Skoda plus the acceptance and appreciation of the brand's quality and value-for-money by many Irish motorists.

Two Skoda models of totally contrasting size and type were recetly test driven by and both proved extremely satisfying and enjoyable in their own way. The Skoda Citigo is a triplet, along with the Volkswagen up! and Seat Mii. Size wise the Citigo can be classified as a city car, small, nimble and user friendly for nipping through traffic and parking in the tightest of spaces. On the open road, the Citigo does feel quite tiny in the somewhat daunting company of large trucks, buses and such like mammoths. However, the Citigo is built to the highest standards of safety, and any initial fears of vulnerability are quickly dispersed as the cheeky little Skoda buzzes along effortlessly with plenty of zip for safe overtaking from the 3-cylinder 1.0 litre petrol engine with 60bhp power. There is also a 75bhp engine option. Max speed is 160 to 171km/h, 0-100km/h in 14.4/13.2 secs. The Citigo has low emissions to qualify for the lowest tax band. Petrol consumption is invariably up to the driver but on average should be at least around the 45 to 55mpg mark (pre-metric measure).

The Citigo has its limitations as regards space and comfort on long journeys, but for short commuting and urban/city driving it has plenty of bonus points. The Citigo comes in 3-door and 5-door hatchback (pictured) models and in three trim versions and all well equipped, with all the goodies on the more pricey Elegance model. Automatic transmission is an extra cost option as well as City Safe with emergency braking function.

Probably more so than anyone else, the Brits love their sporty cars, placing performance as their top priority. But, surprise, surprise, the big selling 'Auto Express' the big selling weekly, nominated the Skoda Citigo as their Car of The Year for 2012. Now that's some accolade by a prestigious publication that tests virtually everything on wheels, from minicars to supercars and a while lot more in between. Price wise, the Active version can be on the road, taxed and insured for around the €10,500 mark which is pretty OK for a reputable brand.

The Skoda Yeti looks big when when parked alingside the Citigo, but is in fact quite a compact Crossover-type SUV. It is extremely well built and competent and well priced in the late '20K's - for the front-wheel-drive version as in the aptly named Urban model. Four-wheel-drive is available for those who need to drive in tough off-road conditions, but not at all necessary for the average motorists who never ventures off tarmac terra firma.

The Yeti Urban has the bulk and the high command driving seating that particularly appeals to women drivers and passengers, and also gives all drivers a better view of the road and traffic situations etc. The Urban features a Panoramic roof, darkened rear glass, Variable Flex rear seating system, rear parking sensors, ESP, seven airbags, air con., Bluetooth, 17" alloys and more as standard.

The 2.0 litre TDi engine gives an official diesel fuel economy of 5.4L/100km. The yeti is a paricularly pleasant to drive, sure-footed, comfortable and effortless, with top speed of 177km/h, 0 to100km/h in 11.6 seconds. Best of all, its compact size is ideally suited to town, urban and long country driving - quite a handy all rounder that makes a sensible alternative to a traditional mid-size family saloon.