Should I buy a Skoda?
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.
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).
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We surveyed online 47,013 members of the general public covering 55,833 cars. Survey in field December 2019 to February 2020.
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 is now much narrower. For instance, the starts at around £21,250 – only about £2,000 less than a , and it's even almost £1,000 more than the entry-level .
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.
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 and .
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.
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 .
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.
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.