The city car market is one filled with many options that all try to be the answer to the same equation. For a city car to compete, it needs to be small, practical and manoeuvrable without being too expensive, as well as looking funky to attract younger buyers.
The three models listed here are the ones that define the market the most, as they all encapsulate the requirements for a city car perfectly. We look through all of them to see which one comes out on top.
Based on the same platform as its siblings from Volkswagen and Seat, the Skoda Citigo comes with an excellent starting point, and then excels beyond it.
With a distinct body that stands out from the crowd, the go-kart-like Citigo is well suited for the urban environment thanks to the wheels being placed on the corners for swift turning in and out of tight corners, with the light steering helping drivers keep control.
Despite the compact nature of the Citigo, it offers 251 litres of boot space off the bat, with this extendable to 951 litres when the rear seats are folded down. This makes this great for moving things around if needed.
Equipment-wise, the Citigo comes with the bare essentials from its standard S spec, including a radio and CD player with USB port, electric windows, central locking and 14-inch steel wheels – but models further up the chain come with good high-tech features, such as Bluetooth, climate control, a small infotainment display and daytime running lights.
The Citigo is a solid option as a cheap run-around, with prices start from £8,860 – undercutting many of its key rivals, especially its VW Group partners, the Volkswagen Up! and Seat Mii.
The French have always been able to build fun city cars that are able to sit well on urban roads, and Renault’s current effort, the Twingo, is one that has matured in its 26 years on the road yet still remained youthful.
The latest version was released in 2014 and it comes with a funky exterior that covers a practical cockpit with lots of storage space built in. It fits the city car brief perfectly as the wheels sit on the far corners to improve manoeuvrability and the rear-mounted engine helps with the car’s packaging.
In the boot, the Twingo offers only 219 litres – which is smaller than the other two cars on this list – but with the rear seats folded down, that increases to 980 litres.
Currently only available in two trim levels – Play and Iconic – the Twingo comes with plenty of kit to begin with, including 15-inch alloy wheels, a radio with Bluetooth, USB and AUX connectivity, emergency brake assist, central locking, speed limiter, LED daytime running lights and electric front windows – with plenty of extra equipment available to fit besides.
Prices for the Renault start from £10,750 – which is more than both its rivals here – but considering the equipment you get the price is reasonable.
Out of the three here, the Hyundai i10 is the most practical thanks to its 218-litre boot in the standard layout and 1,012 litres of storage space with the rear bench folded down.
Currently in its second generation, the i10 shares a platform with the Kia Picanto and is arguably the least stylish of the three here. But looks aren’t everything when it comes to choosing your city car and the i10 has a lot to offer.
Available with two petrol-powered engines, the i10 comes with five trim levels that offer plenty of features from the base S spec. Kit includes a radio with AUX and USB connectivity, 60/40 split rear seats, daytime running lights, front electric windows, electric power steering and remote central locking.
Higher spec models come with excellent kit, such as cruise control, satellite navigation, rear parking sensors, lane departure warning and static bending light, as well as a seven-inch touchscreen that can come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The Hyundai i10 starts from £9,795 – putting in the middle of the three listed here.
Which one should you buy?
The Skoda Citigo, Renault Twingo and Hyundai i10 all come at the city car from different angles, but all three manage to offer a practical package with good driving dynamics as well as plenty of customisation and equipment. But out of the three, the Skoda comes out on top thanks to its lower starting price, funky looks and well-balanced chassis, as well as VW Group reliability.