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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 a Skoda car? Find out from our expert Skoda overview.

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Skoda has enjoyed a major turnaround under the stewardship of its parent company, the Volkswagen Group.

Based in the Czech Republic, Skoda was once regarded as the lame duck of European brands. But it has built up its reputation by offering solidly practical family cars at prices that have traditionally undercut its main rivals.

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. 

It still offers budget models in the form of the Citigo and Rapid, but Skoda has also now widened its market reach with models such as the larger Superb, and 4x4 SUVs such as the Karoq and Kodiaq.

Should you consider buying a Skoda? Our in-depth road-test reviews reveal the truth about what each model is like to drive, while our annual Which? Car Survey gathers full details of reliability and owner satisfaction.

To see our verdict on all the Skoda cars we've tested, head straight to our Skoda reviews.

How reliable are Skoda cars?

Skoda cars are reliable - or so the company's reputation would have you believe. But does the reality live up to the expectation?

Every year, we run an annual car survey where tens of thousands of people tell us about their current car and how reliable it is. Based on feedback from current Skoda owners, we have reliability data for new cars aged up to three years old, and also for cars aged between three and eight years old. 

Which? members can log in and use the table below to find out just how reliable Skoda cars really are. Not yet a Which? member? Join Which? to unlock all of our reliability ratings and our online reviews.

Skoda car reliability
  Ratings and review
0-3-year reliability
3-8-year reliability
Reliability description

Table notes
Results from the 2018 Which? Car Survey (results gathered from 43,027 owners about 51,172 cars, between December 2017 and February 2018).

Key

Member Content

Find out how Skoda's reliability compares with its rivals - check our car brand reliability tool.

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 Skoda Octavia starts at around £18,000 – only about £2,000 less than a Volkswagen Golf. The Skoda Citigo city car, meanwhile, is only around £750 cheaper than the VW Up.

While Skoda does still offer value-led cars such as the Skoda Rapid, it has left other brands such as Dacia to occupy the truly 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.

Skoda-Fabia

Skoda-Octavia

Skoda and dieselgate

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. All affected cars are subject to recall.

We put every car we test through our tough emissions tests – these are more stringent than the official tests. Find out whether your car is among the worst for emissions – check out our car emissions guide.

Choosing the best Skoda car

Skoda has built its brand success on solid 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 such as the 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 Kodiaq on the Volkswagen Tiguan. The large and well-specified Superb, meanwhile, has VW Passat underpinnings.

Now you know more about Skoda, let us help you find your ideal car. See our independent, expert new and used car reviews.

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