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Cars & travel.

24 September 2021

Should I buy a Skoda?

Skoda is the VW Group's popular lower-priced brand, and many of its cars share the same underpinnings as a Volkswagen or Audi. So is a Skoda a smart choice for your budget? Our expert Skoda overview reveals all.
Oliver Trebilcock

Skoda is reaping the rewards from being part of the Volkswagen Group of brands, where it has built up a reputation for producing surprisingly high-quality, solid-value cars. Alongside Volkswagen (VW) and its other sister brands, Skoda is making a big push into electrified cars, including its first all electric model the Skoda Enyaq iV crossover SUV.

Originating in the Czech Republic, Skoda is now a world away from the times when it was once regarded as the lame duck of European brands. Its core focus is on practical, mainstream family cars that traditionally undercut the prices of its main rivals.

Some of the most well-known are the spacious Octavia, the Kodiaq large SUV that has an option for seven seats, and the Fabia small hatchback.

While its prices aren’t quite as low as they once were (that’s now budget rival Dacia’s turf), Skoda has a remarkably wide range of models. This includes the large Superb hatchback and Karoq mid-size SUV.

Skoda got caught up in the 2015 ‘dieselgate’ scandal, when its parent Volkswagen Group admitted to cheating official emissions tests with its engines. It’s an important consideration when buying a used Skoda, as this 'cheat' means certain diesel-powered models manufactured from 2009 to 2015 may pollute more than official figures suggest and might be subject to recall (this applies to VW, Audi and Seat, as well as Skoda).

So should you consider buying a Skoda car? Below we reveal if Skoda is a reliable brand you can trust - discover what Skoda owners told us in our latest annual Which? car survey.

We use the independent results of our in-depth lab and road tests to create our expert, independent reviews. See our Skoda car reviews.

How reliable are Skoda cars?

As a Volkswagen Group brand, you might assume Skoda cars are reliable. But is that the reality? We have data from the owners themselves – Skoda cars feature in force in our annual survey of car owners.

Every year, we run a 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 reveal the reliability of new cars (aged up to three years old), and also for used cars (aged between three and eight years old).

Which? members can log in and use the table below. Not yet a member? Join Which? to unlock all of our reliability ratings and online reviews.

 

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

Table notes: We surveyed online 47,013 members of the general public covering 55,833 cars. Survey in field December 2019 to February 2020.

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 generations. Offering VW-engineered cars for considerably less than the equivalent VW has in recent years made Skoda one of Europe's bestselling and most financially successful brands.

However, prices of Skodas have crept up, so that the gap between its cars and sister brand Volkswagen is now much narrower. For instance, the Skoda Octavia starts at around £21,250 – only about £2,000 less than a Volkswagen Golf, and it's even almost £1,000 more than the entry-level Seat Leon.

After Skoda discontinued two of its remaining most value-led cars, the Skoda Citigo and Skoda Rapid, it has left other brands such as Dacia to occupy the truly budget end of the market.

The value of second-hand Skoda cars isn't quite as good as for VWs. So a used Skoda could be a good option if you're looking to save money. 

But make sure you check our Skoda car reviews first, to find out whether the model you're interested in is reliable and to discover how it performed in our tough, independent tests.

Does Skoda have electric cars? Find out about the Skoda Enyaq iV

The stylishly-designed Enyaq iV electric car is certainly a departure from the norm for Skoda. This crossover SUV certainly isn’t cheap, costing from £31,085 (including government grant). Although it's cheaper and slightly larger than rivals the Kia E-Niro and Hyundai Kona Electric.

The Enyaq begins a new naming convention, where all Skoda’s electric cars will start with the letter ‘E’.

The entry-level model (60 Nav) is powered by a 62kWh battery pack - Skoda claims this offers a maximum range of 256 miles. For 4x4 fans, a four-wheel-drive variant follows the initial launch, dubbed the Enyaq iV 80X.

Standard equipment includes 19-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, rear parking sensors and heated, electrically-folding door mirrors.

Inside, the Skoda Enyaq has dual-zone climate control as standard and a 13-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration for your phone. Safety equipment includes autonomous emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, cruise control and a speed limiter.

Find out more in our Skoda Eny

aq iV overview - we'll have our full review and definitive verdict there as soon as we’ve finished testing it.

Skoda has more electric car launches in the pipeline, too. However, you’ll want to look elsewhere if you're in the market for a smaller electric car, since Skoda says it plans to focus on models the same size and larger than its Octavia (which is bigger than the VW Golf). There's also the Skoda Superb Estate Plug-in Hybrid.

See our expert pick of the best electric cars.

Choosing the best Skoda car

Skoda’s brand success is built on the solid virtues of making practical, attractively priced cars. Skodas may not always boast the latest cutting-edge technology or be the most exciting from a design point of view, but if you're after a no-nonsense, high-quality family car, there are plenty of options in the Skoda portfolio.

Most Skoda models are essentially Volkswagen cars underneath - so the Fabia is based on the VW Polo, the Octavia and Octavia Estate on the Golf, and the Kodiaq on the Volkswagen Tiguan

So if you’re tempted by a Volkswagen, it’s worth looking at the Skoda equivalent to see if you can make a good saving for an otherwise very similar car.

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