The electric Skoda Citigo is near-perfect town transport, but for the price tag that's keeping it away from our shores. To see what we're missing out on, we took the little city car for a test drive.
In the Metal:
As with an increasing number of electric cars, the new Skoda Citigo-e iV looks no different to its more conventional sibling cars. The grille at the front is a little more blanked-off than normal and finished in body colour, while there are unique bumpers for better aerodynamic performance. Inside, the usually spartan cabin has been upgraded slightly, with digital air conditioning controls and some brightly coloured analogue instruments. There's also a unique stippled effect on the dashboard over on the passenger's side, which looks slightly like the surface of an old-fashioned table tennis bat, and which your kids might eventually end up trying to colour in with Sharpies.
The rest of the Citigo's cabin is as you were - relatively low-grade plastics, but all bolted together with convincing authority, decent space and comfort, and a reasonable 250-litre boot out the back. It's not the roomiest car you'll ever buy, but cabin and boot space have been essentially unaffected by the conversion to electric power, which is impressive in one so small.
Electric power really is the perfect solution for a car such as a Skoda Citigo. As its name implies, it's a car that's going to be stuck in town most of the time and therefore, even though the usual 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine is pretty economical and low in emissions, running on electrons just makes sense.
The Citigo is also not short of range - its WLTP figure stretches to a very healthy 275km from a 36.8kWh battery, proving that minimal cars such as this can make better use of squeezed battery resources than big, hulking, SUVs.
Nail the throttle of the Citigo-e iV from a standing start and you're rewarded with a chirrup of wheelspin, before the electric motor's instant torque flings the Citigo forward at an impressive rate. The 0-100km/h time is nothing special, but up to 50km/h, the Citigo-e feels almost RS-quick.
Although it weighs a relatively porky 1,265kg at the kerb, the battery's position under the floor (it's only 30cm high) means that the Citigo-e has a very low centre of gravity, so it manages to still feel agile and nippy around town, an effect heightened by the instant torque. Certainly, on the narrow, bicycle-populated streets of The Hague, the Citigo-e felt every millimetre the perfect, silent, urban transport.
What you get for your Money:
This is where our tale must take a sad turn, for the Skoda Citigo-e isn't coming to Ireland. The market in general for such small city cars is lean at the best of times, and staggeringly price sensitive. There is no official Irish price for the car, but a figure in excess of €25,000 has been spoken of, which really would scupper its chances. A shame - we're missing out on an excellent little electric car.
As a way of getting about town, zipping through tight spaces and into narrow car parks, all while causing no localised emissions or pollution, the Citigo-e is hard to fault. If only it wasn't so darned expensive, and if only we could have one.