Car brand reviews
Should I buy a Skoda car?
By Martin Pratt
Article 20 of 24
Skoda is the VW Group's popular budget brand. Should you consider its cars? Find out from our expert overview, including price information.
Once regarded as the lame duck of European brands, Skoda has enjoyed a major turnaround under the stewardship of its parent company, the Volkswagen Group. Based in the Czech Republic, Skoda has built up its reputation by offering solidly practical family cars at prices that undercut its main rivals.
However, the close relationship with Volkswagen (including the sharing of many of its engines) means that certain diesel-powered Skodas built between 2009 and 2015 may be affected by the 'dieselgate' scandal, and therefore could be more polluting than official figures suggest. Affected models could be recalled. Visit our guide to car emissions to find out whether your car is among the worst offenders.
Models such as the Fabia and Octavia have established the marque as a producer of surprisingly high-quality mainstream family cars that offer solid value. Skoda has also now widened its market reach with models such as the larger Superb, the Roomster MPV and the Yeti 4x4 SUV. Should you consider buying a Skoda? Our in-depth road-test reviews reveal the truth, while our annual Which? Car Survey gathers full details of reliability and owner satisfaction.
To see how all the Skoda cars we've tested scored head straight to our Skoda reviews.
How much do Skoda cars cost?
Value has been Skoda's trump card for a whole generation. Offering VW-engineered cars for thousands of pounds less than the equivalent VW has made Skoda one of Europe's bestselling brands.
However, in recent times, the prices of Skodas have crept up so that the gap between its products and its sister Volkswagen models is now much narrower. For instance, the Octavia with a 2.0 diesel engine starts at over £21,000, while the similar VW Golf with the same engine is only about £2,500 more. The Skoda Citigo, meanwhile, is only around £750 cheaper than the VW Up.
It has been left to other brands like Dacia to occupy the true budget end of the market. Second-hand values of Skodas are not quite as good as for VW so, if you're considering a used car, a Skoda could make sense.
Choosing the best Skoda car
Skoda has built its brand success on sold virtues of practicality, usability and value. Its cars may not boast cutting-edge technology or be the most exciting from a design point of view, but if you're after a no-nonsense family car, there are plenty of options in the Skoda portfolio.
Skoda cars certainly feature in force in our annual survey of car owners, with hundreds opting for popular models like the Yeti, Fabia and Octavia. Most Skoda models are essentially Volkswagens underneath - so the Fabia is based on the VW Polo, the Octavia on the Golf and the Yeti on the Tiguan. The large and well-specified Superb, meanwhile, has VW Passat underpinnings.