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

  • More than 29 million Golfs have been sold since 1974

    Volkswagen Golf

  • The standout component of the Ford Focus has always been its handling

    Ford Focus

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

    Seat Leon

  • 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

  • Peugeot 308
    The 308 marks the first time a carry-over name has been applied to an all-new Peugeot

    Peugeot 308


Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Skoda range

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    1 December 2015
    Bentley's big seller has a facelift for 2015 and we've driven it on UK roads for the first time in twin-turbocharged 4.0 V8 form. Is it still the pick of the range?
  • First Drive
    27 November 2015
    We try the turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol version of the Golf Bluemotion. If you're not doing mega miles, it's a better bet than the diesel
  • 2015 Mercedes-AMG A45
    First Drive
    27 November 2015
    Mercedes couldn't let the Audi RS3 get away with having more power than its AMG A45. As part of a wholesale A-Class facelift, it now has 376bhp and a host of other revisions
  • First Drive
    25 November 2015
    More powerful Clubsport version of Volkswagen's iconic hot hatch proves thoroughly entertaining on our track-only first drive in Portugal
  • First Drive
    25 November 2015
    Suzuki has added an automatic diesel powertrain to its S-Cross crossover line-up. Does it offer a compelling choice over the manual versions?