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Skoda Reviews

Skoda

Once a motoring joke because of their poor quality and cheap prices, Škodas have enjoyed a major metamorphosis in recent years under the ownership of Volkswagen. Formed in 1924 in Czechoslovakia, the firm's pre-war cars proved popular and sold well - and were among the best cars built in Europe at the time.

After WW2, Škoda found itself behind the Iron Curtain, which meant it concentrated on low-cost machines. During the 1960s, it moved over to building quirky rear-engined cars based in the Renault Dauphine – at a time when many others were abandoning the layout – and continued for the next quarter of a century. VW took control in  1990, and revamped the range; Škoda today is a high-quality budget brand with a much-improved image.

Good: Much better to drive than you might think
Bad: A little too rare in the UK when new - and certainly so now
Good: Art deco styling, and cool details now
Bad: Rear engined saloon lacking in space and quality
Good: Cute styling, cheap to run and service, is an instant talking point wherever you go, the joke image has pretty much gone
Bad: Some parts are getting really tough to get hold of, lacking in quality and integrity
Good: Good looking, light steering, interesting handling
Bad: Too many people consider these cars a joke
Good: Rear-engined handling characteristics, if that's your bag, usefully sized front boot, still relatively cheap, despite being near-extinct
Bad: Hard to get spares, flimsy trim, repairs likely to cost more than the car is worth, in 2011, only eight left on the road and 22 on SORN
Good: Great fun in the right conditions, quick enough to be interesting without the rearward weight bias completely overwhelming the chassis
Bad: Ugly interior, cheaply made, non-believers just don't get them
Good: Decent handling and quite practical, one of the more sensible bargain-basement choices
Bad: Rust, flimsy trim and dodgy electrics, engines smoke unless the oil is changed frequently
 

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