Skoda do not make a bad car, so when we get something new to test, I take it seriously. This car as always is based on VW running gear as is its sister, the SEAT Toledo. The Rapid is positioned between the Fabia and the Octavia in the Skoda model range and the hatchback has been very popular. The estate/Spaceback is designed to widen the vehicles appeal
The release model is powered by the 2014 model VW 1.6 TDI engine, an efficient, quiet diesel. £50 per month pays all your company car tax at 20%. The car itself is based on the Polo platform, don’t forget that the Audi A1 is also based on that platform and everybody loves it. The drive is comfortable and handling precise, the ride a little choppy on UK roads. The steering is a that little slower than the Polo or the A1, with Skoda using an electro-mechanical system on the Spaceback. Although out of fashion for many years, these systems have been standard fit on small BMW’s, especially the Mini, for some years now and have proven to be reliable
The Spaceback will compete head to head with the Hyundai I30 and the Kia cee’d. It is roomier than each and for my money, it knocks the spots of them for drive quality and the VW engine is in a different league, once fully launched in the UK, unlike this pre-launch model, I suspect the ride will be, more Ford/VW like.
Skoda have taken the unusual step of installing an iphone dock, so 60% of the population will be happy.
They will be happier still as they roll up at the diesel pump, with this little beauty doing 64.3mpg and emitting less than 115g/km CO2. For 2013/14 that puts it into 17% bracket
Due soon is the even more economical GreenLine, with emissions of less than 100g/km CO2. That puts it in the 14% bracket. Expect stellar fuel efficiency. Skoda have fitted air-con at every model level, unusual in this market. From SE upwards, the company car target, they have sensibly fitted Bluetooth and it works well with an iphone, including IOS7. The have also added alloys and park distance. The Elegance gets climate, fog lights and height adjustable seats in addition.
There is a market for a mid-size car that works hard and drives well enough to be used at the weekend. The new Spaceback falls into that category and can hold its own in most ways. Where it will lose out against rivals such as the Focus is ride quality, which needs addressing for our market. If it was priced lower than its rivals, it would not matter, but it isn’t, so it remains to be seen as to how Skoda price it to funders. But if you have a team of reps banging doors down, carrying product and you want something with nearly the carrying capacity of a van, but that is actually a great car, then have a good look at the new Spaceback.