Posts Tagged ‘skoda’

You know, it’s strange. Initially I wasn’t too fussed about it but now the Superb is fast becoming one of my favourite new cars. While – as someone who grew up in the time of the box-like lumps they used to call Skodas – is kind of strange, isn’t that surprising given the current economical conditions.  

Skoda's Superb Greenline

Skoda's Superb Greenline

And now the new Skoda Superb has become even more appealing for times of economic and environmental turmoil. The GreenLine edition sees Skoda roll their fuel-saving and planet-saving approach out into their new exec-slayer. It’s got a 1.9 litre turbodiesel that still kicks out the power but kicks out less into the air – emissions have dropped to just 139g/km. If that’s baffling you as much as those stats do me, this one won’t – it’ll now offer up 55.4 mpg! Which means you’ll spend less time at the pumps and less money on road tax too thanks to the emissions cut. 

Skoda have basically tweaked the engine, added some low resistance tyres, thery’ve done something to the gears and improved the aerodynamics. Oh, and they’ve dropped it a bit lower too which means it looks a little skleeker as well as, presumably, helping it acheive those stats. Though I’m still not likely to give up my Alfa keys, it does look pretty swish.

While this is great, and all kudos to Skoda for planning to roll this across their entire vehicle range this year,  I have to wonder – why isn’t this done anyway? If it’s possible to do this, then why not do it in the first place rather than create it as a unique model?

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Ok, not so long ago I did a post asking how Superb Skoda’s new motor really was. Well, thanks to a bit of free time, people asking me if I had an answer yet and a certain Sussex Skoda dealer I was able to find out.

new skoda superbI’m not one for writing road tests. I don’t have the sufficient vocabulary to describe varying degrees of handling or grip. I’ll leave that to certain TV presenters with an odd taste in clothes. But I will say that i was more impressed with the Superb than I have been by a car for a while – well, one that I’ve taken for a spin at least.

It does handle really smoothly (I did tell you), it pulls away from standing with a fair bit of pace that wouldn’t be expected for a car of its size – or badge – and feels like there’s plenty of guts hiding underneath the bonnet. A bonnet which is part of a car styled nice and sleek and looks so much better in the flesh and metal than phots do it justice. 

Ride quality is also a lot better than I was expecting. I’ve never driven a Skoda before and grew up in the time of Skoda jokes but this was as quiet and solid – feeling as within my own Alfa Romeo. Though obviously not styled in quite the same way. 

There’s some nice little tricks to it – the twin boot thing is something that I don’t think I’d get bored of: sliding your fingers under the lif to switch between hatch or saloon. There’s also the Park Assist thing which is just plain strange – seriously: the car pretty much parks itself. I could grow extremely lazy with this one.

Skoda are pitching this against cars like the Insight but I think it could go and box in a heavier wieght class, against the big German saloons it’s so obviously styled like.

So, in answer to my earlier question: is it Superb? It ain’t far off and for the money your dealer will want, it’s as near-as-damnit.

Anyone else taken one of these out for a spin? Or home? Do you see it in the same way?

Now this is what I call great news: Skoda have re-started their 5 day working week at their Czech factories. 

They had proposed a four-day working week for the first half of 2009 but thanks to an increase in demand for new Skoda cars, particularly in Germany, it’s back to work the the thouasands of workers employed by the Volkswagen  company. 

This really is a good sign when combined with the earlier news of Fiat cancelling lay-offs in Italy. More and more governments are taking actions that don’t just bail car makers out but encourage people to buy new cars.  The increase for demand in new Skodas across Germany has been partly attributed to the scrap subsidy introduced by the government. 

So, back to work Skoda workers, back to the drawing board for other governments to find similar ways to boost car demand rather than just keeping car companies in existence. After all, what’s the point if nobody can buy one of their cars???

It’s a term that I’ve heard increasingly often and usually in reference to music and films (someone only willing to admit liking Footloose -film or song – if it’s under the amnesty of a Guilty Pleasure) but I was talking to a mate about what he calls his guilty driving pleasure.

By this I don’t mean thinking that the new Skodas are pretty decent cars , I mean things that you should really feel guilty about doing but don’t. His example – and I can’t stress strongly enough that this isn’t me – is driving over roundabouts, or cutting them out and darting across the wrong way. Obviously not on main roads or when there’s other cars about but it still struck me as slightly perverse.

I know I really enjoy squirting the gas a bit to jump through lights at the last minute, even when I’m not rushing. But everyone does right?

I used to enjoy watching peoples faces at petrol stations when my Xantia would rise up and down at the back, though that’s more simple pleasures as there was nothing shameful about it.

Then again, I do feel like a bit of a bastard for this one but if there’s sufficient puddles I do like swerving just enough at the right speed to soak groups of chavs as I drive past. Does that count or is that a social service?

I’m curious as to whether I’m the only one without a guilty driving pleasure of if my mate is the only one who takes delight in being a secret lunatic. Anyone?

I’ve been surfing around this Lincoln Skoda dealer‘s website lately and I’m curious about the new Skoda Superb and whether it really is, well, superb.

The new Skoda, Superb?

The new Skoda, Superb?

The advertising for it said “we started with the name and worked backwards.” Which suggests a team of designers all trying to make the most superb car. Did they succeed?

It looks nice enough, it doesn’t look like a traditional Skoda – which is a good thing – pretty sharp inside and out and has all the now-usual gadgets and gizmos along with some unique touches. I really like the twindoor boot concept – the boot can open either saloon style or hatchback style.

I’m not sure if it counts as Superb though – I suppose I’ll have to head to a Skoda dealer and drive one. But it’s pitched at the executive market which has elluded Skoda for some time.

What do you think: is the new Skoda Superb really all that superb??

I’ve been arguing with my younger brother lately. He has one of those magnetic ‘cool walls’ and a school boy like appreciation of cars so our opinions on what’s cool or un-cool differs greatly.

New Skoda Octavia

New Skoda Octavia

I approach the debate as a hardened driver of many years and many cars of varying degrees of greatness and I look at it from more realistic options – not just looks. We were / are arguing over the new Skoda Octavia. I say it belongs on the ‘cool’ section. My argument is this: if you were offered a new Skoda Octavia for free, would you accept it?

Thanks to a Skoda dealer in Lincoln I got to drive one a month or so back and I’d be more than happy if I were offered one for free.

Does it, therefore go on the ‘cool’ section? My brother says it looks like a brick. What’s the current opinion? Is it a good car and what counts for a cool car now? Given the economy rape and fuel price lottery, should we be more realistic in assessing what’s a cool car? Does good value and economy warrant it a good placement?