Its a travesty that Skoda’s excellent version of Volkswagen’s e-up! EV is not going to be sold in Ireland. The electric Skoda Citigo ‘e iV’ is not only Skoda’s first BEV but it is simply a brilliant little four-seater. Skoda Ireland says our taxation system means that despite the car’s green credentials it does not make economic sense to import it for sale in Ireland. Why? Cost! The compact city car would have an expected sticker price of close to €30,000 net of grants and incentives.
We took the pint sized car for a spin around the Dutch city of Haag to see what it is like and in no time at all we were mourning what Irish car buyers are set to miss. Straight away the tiny 3,597mm long and 1,645mm wide five door impressed. It has a solid feel and like all EVs the way it delivers its power made for rapid and entertaining acceleration. The sturdy car is already great in its standard petrol form but with a battery pack and electric motor the experience around the little city was fantastic. The driver can choose from three driving modes by using a button positioned next to the selector lever. Normal does what it says, Eco mode uses less power, while Eco+ maximises range and even switches off the air-conditioning.
Under the bonnet is an electric motor that powers the front wheel. It has an output of 61kW or 82hp and that is pretty powerful in a compact city car. What is more telling is the amount of torque the all electric Citigo produces – 212nm. This delivers a strong amount of pulling power to the driver’s right foot that tells more of the story as to how the car truly feels behind the wheel. 60-100km/h takes 7.3 seconds and 0-100km/h takes 12.5 seconds. Top speed is a French motorway legal 130km/h.
The rechargeable battery pack is made up of 168 individual cells linked together. It has a 36.8kWh capacity and can be charged up to 80% in one hour using a CCS combo plug (optional on entry model) and 40kW DC fast charger. On a home EV box (7.4kW) 0-80% takes 4 hours 8 minutes. From a single charge the EV has a maximum range of 265km (WLTP).
Inside the cabin has been redesigned a little for the iV version with a new instrument panel. App connectivity with the iV is a key part of the car’s functionality. You can monitor the car’s charge/charging status and pre condition the interior by adjusting the air con system too.
The charm of city cars is their compact nature. Yes the boot is tiny at 250 litres but if you fold the seats you can fit up to 923 litres of cargo. The Skoda CITIGOe iV comes in a choice of two grades: Ambition and Style. You can spot an e by the colour coded front grille, redesigned front bumper and CITIGOe badging. Four standard and three metallic colours are available with colour coded mirror caps standard as is the safety aid lane assist.
The CITIGOe is a hoot to drive and makes huge sense as an urban runabout. With zero emissions at the tailpipe and its tiny footprint it should be a car bought by fleet buyers, councils and as host of state services at least as it provides a great way of being mobile with minimal impact on the environment where it is used… It is absolutely tragic it is not being brought to Ireland.