Skoda doesn't have any problems making decent cars anymore, which in itself might pose a problem.

With the pick of the VW parts bin, a loyal fan base and incredible value for money, the main concern over at Substation Volkswagen could be how not to steal sales from cars like the Polo, Golf, Passat, Audi A3 and A4.

If Skodas last as long, drive almost identically and use the same engines as these "rivals", who wouldn't want to save money to boot? Of course, the fact it is a Skoda is enough to put a lot of people off, but another issue must be the way all these cars look.

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing particularly wrong with the styling of Skodas, but given the handsome, if a little bland, lines or most VW/Audi products why do they always look slightly awkward?

Read the Octavia 1.4 TSI first drive

It is almost as if someone at VW is kicking the table as the Skoda designers put the finishing touches to their designs. Perhaps there is a touch of planned ugliness that has been mapped out in a boardroom somewhere and engineered in?

The new Octavia looks alright, but from some angles it is gawky, the headlights making it look a little top heavy. The Fabia, too, has been given a funky Mini-esque roof but looks under-wheeled and ungainly. The Suberb is a huge car, and excellent value, but it looks a little slab-sided.

Dynamically there is little to fault Skodas, but visually there is still a bit more work to do to get them looking right. Or maybe there isn't. Perhaps that's exactly how they are meant to look.