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The best city cars of 2019

Is urban driving a challenge for your current car? Feel at home in the hustle and bustle, with a selection of this year’s best city cars.

Some of the finest city cars of 2019.

Some of the finest city cars of 2019.

Volkswagen up!

While it’s the most diminutive model in the German manufacturer’s range, the up! still punches above its weight in both style and performance. Available in 3- and 5-door variants, its bright and fun outer bodywork is matched by a stylish interior, featuring intricate stitching on its front seats, and room to fit two passengers comfortably in the rear, meaning even families can take to the town in the up! with confidence. All models above entry level come with air conditioning, too, helping keep you cool no matter how many pesky traffic lights halt your progress. Is the journey round Old Town proving labyrinthine? Then Volkswagen’s integrated app system will keep you on the right track, giving you access to sat nav, music apps or your car’s important driving stats. And if that’s music to your ears, the Beats version contains a six-speaker sound system, giving crystal clear sound even above all those horns and sirens.

ŠKODA Citigo

Czech this out! It’s ŠKODA’s smallest creation and it’s tailor-made for the metropolis. Just as at home on the wide city bypass as on the tight cobbled streets of Central Europe, its compact dimensions make it versatile to drive, but its 1.0-litre, 75bhp Greentech trim makes it a green machine too, with CO2 emissions of under 100 g/km. And while it drives nimbly, the Citigo fits four people with ease, and a 251-litre boot space, almost class-leading, gives driver and passengers loads of room for the day’s shopping. And even if finding your way out of the concrete jungle takes a little bit longer than expected, don’t worry; the Citigo’s fuel economy nears an austere 70mpg, making your fuel go a long way.

Toyota Aygo

If city cars have personalities then the Aygo would stride stylishly around town, and with the Japanese car maker’s reputation for reliability, you know it can handle the early morning bustle, or your weekend trip to the shops, time after time. The car has excellent build quality, with a stunning front grille that features a 3D ‘X’ design, and gracing the bodywork are front and rear LED lights as standard, a great addition to an already smart city car. But the Aygo’s street smarts aren’t for show. In the cabin, the driver and passengers can enjoy great in-car tech, with smartphone integration through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. So not only will you be guided effortlessly around the city streets, this pint-sized car can manoeuvre with ease into the tightest of parking spots.

SEAT Mii

A real city slicker, the Mii has smooth and angular contours, but with the badge that depicts Barcelona’s famous Avinguda Diagonal imposed on SEAT’s tell-tale narrow honeycomb grille. The Mii’s pint-sized power is perfect for the city, with its 1.0-litre engine choices offering either 59 or 74bhp, which will allow you to climb to a gentle cruise during your commute, and will certainly pack enough punch for the demands of the urban sprawl. The Mii is really light, too, at only 875kg, meaning it can handle sudden twists and turns with aplomb, and its light build means that with intelligent anti-collision braking, you can come to a stop and avoid any unexpected bumps, even in the maelstrom of rush-hour traffic. But if you’re looking to add a touch of the exotic, the Mii by Mango trim will prove a great fit, an automotive-fashion collaboration that produces design touches like part-Alcantara seating and luxurious upholstery.

Fiat 500

A classic city car with a perennially fresh feel, the Fiat 500 navigates the busy piazza just as well as it does the open road, with a nimble build and a range-topping 1.2-litre petrol engine offering a punchy 69bhp. The car affords the driver a real feeling of control, and in typical Italian fashion, there are plenty of customisation options across five main trim levels, from the entry-level Pop (featuring LED front lights as standard) to the Rockstar trim, with 16-inch alloys, tinted rear windows for a VIP look, and a range of safety features including hill hold function. And don’t be fooled by the 500’s humble dimensions; this 3-door has ample room in the cabin for driver and three passengers, and FIAT’s excellent Uconnect infotainment is at hand, which includes a responsive touchscreen system and smartphone mirroring. The 500’s panels and instrument display give the car an added gloss, with familiar but welcome quirks like the car’s raised gearstick, and electric window switches that are operated from the central console, adding to the intrigue. And while when lined up against its many sports car compatriots, it might not have their powerhouse appeal, as a versatile city car, it’s the pride of the peninsula.

Kia Picanto

A highly-rated South Korean city car that’s available in five trims, if it’s sporty street style you’re after, then you’ll want to get your hands on either the GT-Line or GT-Line S, with stunning aesthetic details like twin exhausts, tinted windows, and chrome exterior panelling. In the cabin, too, these sporty lines are strongly laid out, with leather-effect seating and vibrant design and colour stitching on the seating and instrument trims. Even the more elementary trim lines offer air conditioning, body colour door handles and alloy wheels for a smattering of sporty flair, but it’s the range-topping GT-Line S where, amidst all the buzz of the city, you’ll benefit from a 7-inch touchscreen and steering wheel controls at thumb’s reach, all the better for firing up the sat nav and charting your path home. And for that drive back to the banlieue, you’ll benefit from the car’s punchy choice of engines, available in 1.0-litre and 1.25-litre petrol variants, offering 66 to 99 bhp. Inside and out, this city car’s got Seoul.

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John McCallum

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