2019 Auto Express Review

The Skoda Scala is a real achievement for the Czech company. It rides extremely well, especially on SE spec’s 16-inch alloy wheels, yet it’s still precise and good to drive. What will matter more to most buyers, however, is that while the new Skoda is more practical than most of its rivals, it’s also one of the cheapest cars to buy. Ultimately our verdict has to factor in cost – and the Scala is among the best of its breed on value for money.

We loved the new Skoda Scala when we drove it for the first time in Croatia earlier this year. Now, we’ve had the chance to get behind the wheel of a right-hand-drive model on British roads, which is any car’s toughest hurdle.

To recap, the Scala is the Czech brand’s latest rival for the Volkswagen Golf in the family hatchback class. It won’t replace the much-loved Octavia; instead, it’ll sit alongside the more saloon-shaped model in Skoda’s range, with a slightly keener price. The new car has similar mechanicals to the Golf and the Octavia, because all three models are based on the VW Group’s MQB architecture. However, there are some crucial differences between them.

Even on our rough roads, the Scala rides every bit as well as a Golf, especially on the 16-inch alloy wheels that come on SE trim. The tyres’ large, soft sidewalls really help to cushion the worst of the UK’s surfaces.

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This is what happens when world rally champion Jan Kopecký brings the ŠKODA Kodiaq RS to the track.

When it comes to cars, Jan Kopecký, the reigning world champion in the WRC 2 category, knows precisely what he likes. So how did the ŠKODA KODIAQ RS fare in his uncompromising test drive?

When he first saw the KODIAQ RS, the new sporty version of the popular ŠKODA SUV, he was very curious. “Personally, I associate SUVs with off-road driving, though I can understand how practical they may be for family needs,” said Kopecký, admitting that he was venturing into the unknown a little.

The ŠKODA KODIAQ RS makes no secret of its sporting ambitions. The twin-turbocharged 2.0 biTDI engine offers 240 PS and a flat torque of 500 Nm. Its four-wheel drive is always propelled by a seven-speed dual-clutch DSG gearbox, and its standard equipment includes an adaptive chassis and sports seats. It accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.9 seconds, with a top speed of 221 km/h.

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It seems natural that a car company that started out making bicycles should make great cars for cyclists. But do they? Here is a closer look at the ŠKODA Karoq.

ŠKODA’s story began 120 years ago when two Czech engineers started making bicycles before moving on to cars. ŠKODA has partnered with the world’s biggest bike race, the Tour de France, for the past 15 years.

Its cars are designed with keen cyclists in mind, and none more so than the Karoq. It’s the perfect SUV for serious cyclists who believe cars and bikes are natural partners. Here are the car’s bike-friendly features that will get any cyclist excited.

Custom-made racks

We’ve all been there: you and a couple of friends need to drive for an hour or two to begin a Sunday-morning sportive. But a lack of space means you’re forced to drive in more than one car, or get the train.

This problem is solved with the Karoq thanks to the custom-made roof rack that means you can comfortably fit up to four bikes on the roof, regardless of frame size or tyre width.

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Ed gives us a demonstration on ŠKODA’s Keyless Entry ‘KESSY’ on the ŠKODA Kodiaq Sportline 7-seater.

While having the key in his pocket, Ed shows us how to unlock, lock and start the ŠKODA Kodiaq.

KESSY stands for “Keyless Entry, Start and exit SYstem”.

NZ’s most fuel-efficient petrol cars revealed: Driven News

No.1 – 2018 Skoda Fabia TSI

The most efficient petrol-powered car you can buy new in New Zealand is the ŠKODA Fabia.

Powered by a zippy little 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo engine, the five-door hatch has the lowest advertised fuel economy rating of 4.4 litres per 100km with a manual transmission.

No.2 – 2018 Suzuki Swift GL
No.3 – 2018 Mini Cooper three-door hatch
No.4 – Mazda2
No.5 – Peugeot 2008 SUV

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World champion cyclist Alison Shanks tells us her top 5 reasons why you should buy the ŠKODA Kodiaq.

From the massive storage space, to the customizable Ambient Lighting feature. Ali shares everything she loves about the 7-seater Kodiaq.


Sporty replacement for Skoda Rapid set to debut in concept form at Paris show

SKODA has provided its first glimpse of a future small performance car that is likely to replace the Rapid as the company’s Toyota Corolla fighter.
The Czech car-maker has revealed a pair of sketches of its Vision RS concept ahead of its reveal at this year’s Paris motor show, and while Skoda is yet to confirm solid details, it said the concept will show the “next design phase for its sporting RS model range”, as well as providing a peak at its next C-segment hatchback.
The Rapid landed in Australia in May 2014 after going on sale in parts of Europe in late-2012, but it is a low-volume model for the VW Group brand’s local arm.
However, Australian Skoda executives have previously stated their desire for a more competitive offering, with the second-generation model to more effectively take the fight to the big guns in the small-car segment, such as the Toyota Corolla, Mazda3, Hyundai i30 and even its VW Golf cousin.

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Only this version of the compact crossover can be had with a 2.0 TSI delivering 190 horsepower.

It was only a couple of days ago when Skoda unveiled the rugged Karoq Scout and now the compact crossover from Mladá Boleslav is gaining a more athletic version. The Sportline trim is not a case of “all show and no go” since it has an ace up its sleeve compared to the lesser versions of Yeti’s replacement. You’ll have the buy this version should you want the four-cylinder 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine delivering 190 horsepower (140 kilowatts).

It’s not the sole engine offering as the Karoq Sportline can also be equipped with the familiar 1.5 TSI rated at 150 hp (110 kW) or the hugely popular 2.0 TDI offered in two states of tune: 150 hp and 190 hp. Depending on your pick, Skoda will sell you the newest member of the Karoq lineup with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic transmission. Cheaper versions will be stuck with a front-wheel-drive layout, but reach deeper into your pockets and the Czech marque will reward you with AWD.

Then there are the styling tweaks in the same vein as those of the bigger Kodiaq Sportline. It gets a slightly sportier body kit thanks to redesigned bumpers, plus standard 18-inch wheels or this snazzy 19-inch set with a black polished appearance. Extra touches include the black roof rails, tinted rear windows, black body accents, and the “Sportline” badge to drive the point home.

Once you hop inside the cabin, the new Karoq Sportline will greet you with sports seats finished in black with contrasting silver stitching. Skoda says the seats have been upholstered with “revolutionary three-ply air-permeable Thermoflux fabric,” which boost comfort particularly during the hot days of summer. Rounding of the niceties are the stainless steel pedals, sports steering wheel covered in perforated leather, along with LED ambient lighting and a black look for the pillars and headliner.

Like all of the other Karoq versions, buyers can spend more for an optional all-digital instrument cluster. It’s a little bit more special on the Sportline version since it comes with an extra display mode showing the rev counter and speedometer in the center of the screen as depicted below.

Skoda will have both the Karoq Scout and Sportline on display in October during the Paris Motor Show.

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THIS car brand used to be the butt of many cruel jokes about its reliability, but suddenly its rivals aren’t laughing anymore.

The Car of the Year for 2017 is … a what? It’s a Skoda. The Kodiaq. A family seven-seater that trumps the very best of the newcomers that arrived in Australian showrooms over the past year. The Kodiaq is the first car of the year champion from the Czech brand that once was the butt of cruel jokes about its reliability. One of the world’s oldest car makers — and part of the giant Volkswagen group — Skoda was introduced locally in 2007 and has struggled to gain a foothold in the competitive local market.

The Kodiaq’s victory will surprise many — it was rated a 34-1 chance with bookmaker Sportsbet — but it scored a unanimous victory in the final run-off. The Skoda is built off the same underpinnings as the VW Tiguan, which took the car of the year prize in 2016, but it’s improved in many ways. Its cabin works as a comfy five-seater or occasional seven-seater and smile-inducing little touches include a built-in torch, a pair of umbrellas, iPad holders, a rubbish bin and pop-out rubber strips on the doors to prevent carpark dings.

“It’s the Swiss Army knife of cars. I love it,” says judge Joshua Dowling. The Kodiaq, from about $46,000 on the road, comes with a five-year warranty, which makes it a winner on the value front. A rare downside is Skoda resale values, which don’t yet match the quality of its cars, largely because the brand is relatively unknown. The Kodiaq had to beat one of the toughest fields in the 21-year history of News Corp’s Car of the Year, with 10 contenders ranging from the baby Kia Picanto city car priced at $15,690 drive-away to the luxury Audi Q5 SUV from $72,400 on the road.

There were also the sporty Honda Civic Type-R, with a rorty turbo engine and sports suspension, and the Kia Stinger, a landmark car from South Korea that recalls the strengths of the Holden Commodore with a twin-turbo V6 and rear-wheel drive. The Kia was the popular choice in a reader poll that attracted more than 85,000 votes. About 28 per cent of respondents chose the Stinger, ahead of the Audi Q5 and Honda Civic Type R.

The 2017 Car of the year contest was the first without a single contender from a local maker. Ford, Holden and Toyota failed to make the grade with any of the imported models that now fill their showrooms after the end of local manufacturing. Holden and Volkswagen have won the award the most. The Commodore won in 1997, the Astra in 1998, the Monaro in 2001 and Calais in 2006. Volkswagen won with the Polo in 2010, the Tiguan last year and the Golf in 2009 and 2014.

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