Skoda executives have freely admitted to us that, if you look within the Volkswagen Group at failure rates, breakdown frequency and overall, measurable, tangible quality, Skoda actually fares no better than its VW sibling. Yet when it comes to customer satisfaction surveys, Volkswagen, which sells more fleet cars to higher-mileage, higher-speed and more demanding users, never performs as well as Skoda.
This, Skoda’s engineers and managers think, cannot be expected to last as Skoda grows, so the company is enjoying it while it still can. Certainly the impressive fuel consumption we recorded in the Rapid will please most owners if it appeared on their trip computers. Skoda’s enviable reputation as a maker of practical cars that offer good value for money when new means that residual values should remain as strong as anything within the class, too. Especially when you consider that there isn’t a great deal within the Skoda’s class. Plenty of mid-size hatches have an alluring ‘price from’ figure, but they quickly hop from there to a place the Skoda still manages to undercut.