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 Volkswagen 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.

Nic Cackett

Road tester
Slow to 'Sunday driver' pace and a true 50mpg is far from out of the question in the 1.2 TSI

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.

Top 5 Family hatchbacks

  • Seventh generation Volkswagen Golf
    More than 29 million Golfs have been sold since 1974

    Volkswagen Golf

    1
  • The popular Ford Focus in 1.5 TDCi Zetec form
    The standout component of the Ford Focus has always been its handling

    Ford Focus

    2
  • Seat Leon
    Seat offers five engines for the Leon, ranging from a 104bhp 1.2 petrol to a 181bhp 2.0 diesel

    Seat Leon

    3
  • Seventh generation Vauxhall Astra
    The seventh-generation Vauxhall Astra seems to be a collection of General Motors' latest and greatest technology

    Vauxhall Astra

    4
  • Mazda 3
    The SkyActiv platform used in the 3 features more high and ultra-high-strength steel, offering greater strength and less weight

    Mazda 3

    5

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