Although you may have always tended towards larger cars, a smaller size doesn’t mean reduced quality. In fact, going for a smaller model can often mean greatly reduced running costs, without having to sacrifice much in the way of looks and storage. You’ll also find a city car much easier to handle and park in built-up areas.
Whether you’re sick of saloons or you just want to save some money, there are many great city cars for you to choose from. Here are three of the best.
#1 Skoda Citigo
No matter where you look, the Skoda Citigo has a reputation as one of the best city cars money can buy. Take it out for a spin, and you’ll be able to tell why immediately! Like any city car, the dimensions make it very easy to manoeuvre. The cabin, however, is surprisingly roomy, and every last part of the car looks clean and smartly designed. There are four trim levels you can choose for the Citigo.
While the Monte Carlo trim is probably the best looking, I recommend going with the SE. This comes with electric windows and air con fitted as standard. There are two engines available; one litre at either 59 or 74 horsepower. Even if you go with the more powerful engine, CO2 emissions are low, letting you off of excise duty. The only real drawback of the Citigo is the gearbox. Many people have reported changes being a little jerky. However, this is nothing you can’t get used to, and is a small blemish on such a practical car. The low cost of these cars have made them popular at dealerships such as RRG Group, so get out there and start looking!
#2 Hyundai i10
Hyundai have always been known for their reliable, efficient city cars, and even among its peers the i10 stands outs. The latest version of the i10 is a five-door, which will save you all the awkward clambering into the back. Depending on your options, this could give it an edge over some Citigos. The space and refinement inside is way improved from the previous model, making this more like a hatchback than most other “city cars”. The whole vehicle feels nice and solid to drive, and the interior materials, though not luxurious, are of a fantastic quality.
Although there aren’t any high-tech bells and whistles, the engine’s very hard to put down. There are two petrol engines available; a 1.0 and 1.2. Both of them are efficient and dependable enough for short, day-to-day drives. The modern i10 is far more spacious than its predecessors, so you’ll have no trouble feeling comfortable at the wheel. The trim levels don’t make a huge amount of difference, although I recommend the mid-range “SE” end. While affordable, this trim still comes with a range of handy features, such as air con, cruise control and USB connectivity.
#3 Seat Mii
When you go looking for this car, you might feel like you recognise it from somewhere. There’s a reason for this. On the exterior, the Seat Mii looks a lot like the VW Up!, another popular city car model. Despite the near-identical looks, picking between these two cars isn’t a matter of your favourite front badge. You may find that the interior of a Mii is slightly more stylish than the Up!, with rounded trimmings and a more convenient dash layout. As an actual car though, the Mii is near identical to the Citigo. The two engines are both single litre, and the choice is between 59 or 74 bhp.
Obviously, you’re not going to take it on any track days, However, the engine’s great or urban driving and won’t be too strained on the motorway. The fuel economy is equal to the Citigo’s if not better, and driving the Mii feels smooth and comfortable. While this is certainly a great candidate for a city car, the price might be a little off-putting when you see your other options. Whether new or used, the Citigo is a much cheaper car, and often comes with more features. Despite this, the Mii is certainly one of the better city cars currently on the market.
Get any one of these cars, and you’ll have a brilliant little runner for urban driving. Any old vehicle can be small enough for easy handling. However, it takes a fine balance of size and functionality to make a truly great city car. You’ll find a lot of good cars in your search, but be sure to put these at the top of your list.