Personal investment. The Skoda Citigo.
Having run various Skoda models personally since 1997, Iain P W Robertson took a turn for the better with his most recent acquisition, which speaks heaps, delivers loads and incites opinions like never before.
Being a Scotsman is both a reason and an excuse for the way I live my personal motoring life. Being a car enthusiast is why I do what I do. Making a personal choice of motorcar is actually tougher for me than you might imagine and is part of the reason all two metres of me drives one of the smallest and (potentially) slowest of Skoda city cars presently on sale.
When I was spending my own cash on a car, it was the amount of work that I was ploughing through which determined its choice of pace, space and grace. However, those awfully Germanic people at BMW made me spin on my heels and wheels earlier in 2013. The Bavarians decided to introduce their new i-Series of electric vehicles.
As with the vast majority of the Great British Population, which does appear to have turned its back on EVs, despite the £5k government incentive not to do so, I was unmoved by the attempted movement. Nissan and Renault has some misguided self-belief in the category and several other carmakers are exploring the possibilities. However, a sliver of light emerged from the BMW proposition, which made me question my belief in ‘hybrids’ (petrol, or diesel, with electric assist power) for the future.
BMW, which normally will not resist the hard selling of its motorcars, is determined NOT to sell its i-models. In fact, it makes a major point of leasing being its key focus…‘ownership is so old-fashioned’. It even employs ‘geniuses’ in its showrooms to direct customers into comprehensive lease plans.
Clearly, I was being left behind. A run of vRS (sporty) Skodas, now much-loved and not ridiculed by all and sundry, was coming to an end. I shall not squander almost £30k on an Octavia vRS, regardless of how ‘sexy’ it looks. A different tack was essential. While I had admired the up!/Mii/Citigo (and soon Audi A0) range of VW-derived tiddlers, that I was now contemplating a major volte face and considering the acquisition of a Citigo was shocking to all who know me.
What’s more, I do not even own it. Following BMW’s example, I have thrown off the ownership mantle and I am leasing my baby Skoda, complete with its budget-busting (low-end) 1.0-litre, three-cylinder, 75bhp petrol engine and automated sequential-manual transmission. Mind you, not wishing to lose the creature comforts, it is laden to the gunwales with every imaginable ‘extra’ from sat-nav, to heated seats and climate control, to an electric sunroof and privacy glazing. I love it!
Having just returned from a 1,383 miles round-trip from my Lincolnshire home to Wick, in the far north of the homeland, in snow, hail, sunshine and rain, its delightful Nokian winter tyres providing grip where none existed, I averaged 54mph and 57mpg. Top that! I was passed only by one car northbound and two on the return trek and I was carried in cosy comfort in a supportive driver’s seat. Do I miss my old vRS? Not really. In fact, I think that Citigo is actually aiding both my driving and enjoyment levels.
Conclusion: Downsizing is not as painful as it might be with Skoda Citigo. The zero tax, high-MPG, zero mechanical worries and £100/month lease plan makes my Scottishness contented (for the next three years anyway), yet there is space for four adults and parking is a doddle. Go Skoda (Citigo)!