Driving Octavia

Hello peoples.

I’m off to Melbourne tonight. Another weekend with Mrs Swade, and visiting the rest of the family.

Euopcar says this is the car I will be driving. I’m hoping they’re correct and not planning to slot me into something else at the last minute.

Given the reviews that Skoda have been getting in the press here, it’ll be an interesting drive for a few days.

I’ll still be posting over the weekend, just not as much.

Have a good one.

Pat h
Guest
Pat h
5 years 7 months ago

If you find some time maybe a review of the car for fun could be a fun idea 😀

Wulf - NW Michigan
Guest
Wulf - NW Michigan
5 years 7 months ago

They have Skoda’s in Australia?? Would be interesting if they ever import those to the US.

Joe
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Joe
5 years 7 months ago

It’s pretty much a Jetta, I believe. Slightly older stuff from the VAG parts bin, some newer stuff too to make it more interesting. Less noise isolation. My theory, from a Swedish point of view and if it necessarily has to be a VAG car, VW is a better buy since it’s just little more expensive but have better trade-in values. Marketing: VW=fleet and corporate leasing. Skoda=private ownership.

zippy
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zippy
5 years 7 months ago

The new A4/Jetta are German Skodas, Joe. 😉

Love the comment about Skokasunited.com.

Patrik B
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Patrik B
5 years 7 months ago

I am in India right now and there is a lot of Skodas here!

Saabseller
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Saabseller
5 years 7 months ago

Swade, when you front up at the rental desk, you can generally ask – “do you have a wagon – an Audi A4 manual diesel would be great”. I’ve always found Europcar very accommodating. A diesel is essential for economy at speed. The Octavia is a fine car, the diesel a cracker.
Have a good flight.

turbin
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turbin
5 years 7 months ago

Prepare to be underwhelmed.

Rune
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Rune
5 years 7 months ago

I predict we will see a “skodaunited.com” within a month.

😛

Max
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

That would be fun, I would appreciate to see this as a Saab owner living in Skodaland 🙂

Edonis
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Edonis
5 years 7 months ago

This made me laugh out loud in public, and receive quite a few strange looks 😀

benrp
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benrp
5 years 7 months ago

Only been to melbourne twice but it seems to be a great city. Rental companies like to show cars and write “or simular” on the website. They told us we would get a Toyota Rav4, we got a Hyundai Tucson, thats not simular.

aerokev
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

Welcome to my state Swade, you picked a very crappy weekend weather wise to come up. They reckon it’ll crack the 300mm mark for rain this summer tonight and Saturday. Get brollies!

Arild
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

I had a Skoda Fabia as a rental car for five days a couple of weeks ago. The Fabia is a very small and cheap car and I guess it was okay when I take that into consideration. But I can’t even describe how good it was to get back into my 9-5. 🙂

Procyon
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Procyon
5 years 7 months ago

I drove Octavia once, it’s quite a good car for its money. It seems to me steering is not as sharp as 9-3 has, but otherwise it’s a really good car.

robert P
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robert P
5 years 7 months ago

It’s a good car… nothing more, nothing less. It’s a tool to get you from A to B.

Tompa
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Tompa
5 years 7 months ago
Skoda… The first marque is sold when starting my career as a salesman in -99. It was a fun time. Skodas are a wee bit cheaper, larger and more practical VW´s built in the czech republik. Contrary to what many think, Skoda use the same tech that VW does and today insulation etc is on par with it´s german sybling. The days of Skoda being “lesser” than VW is gone. Skodas are great cars, but they have no soul at all. Sitting in a Skoda is sitting in a car and nothing else. It does what it is supposted to… Read more »
theSandySaab
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theSandySaab
5 years 7 months ago

Tom +1
I had a Fabia Kombi Elegance 1.9 TDI PD 2001 – a great transportation tool, actually rather fun to drive due to the torque and relative low weight. Mechanically sound and not a single squeak or rattle. Still, a bit boring, lacking the mentioned soul.
It replaced a leased Golf GTI 2000, also a good car, but with plenty of troubles.
I think the czechs build skoda better than the germans build VW – and so does AM&S germany… Then there is the design issue…

ivo 71
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ivo 71
5 years 7 months ago
Actually, there are modern Skoda’s that do have a heart as well as a soul. Funnily enough, they are called the ‘Laurin & Klement’ and boost a very beautiful leather interior as well as all the goodies you’d want in a luxury car. They exist as both the Octavia and the Superb. The latter name, by the way, is a resurrection of a very luxurious and powerful thirties’ Skoda Superb which boasted 12 cylinders, no less. The L&K brand was one of Europe’s oldest automobile manufacturersr. The luxury cars you refer to were license-built Hispano-Suizas. After the merger with Skoda,… Read more »
Tompa
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Tompa
5 years 7 months ago
This is My view and nothing that is a fact or something anyone has to listen to. To make up ones Own mind is key when writing about something that so clearly subjective: I can´t see anything interesting about the L&K models. There is no more soul in a car because of a high level of equipment. The RS versions, especially the diesels in the Fabia, are fun but the lack of “coolness” is significant. Compare an RS to a GTI and the GTI has the “it” that is absent in the RS. Just like a Fabia does not become… Read more »
Sandy
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Sandy
5 years 7 months ago

This one I find funky, almost cool, being so different:
http://new.skoda-auto.com/com/model/roomster/look/Pages/look.aspx

nsb
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nsb
5 years 7 months ago
In Denmark we have a lot of Skodas, because of 180% Tax on cars. Over the last years Skoda had won reliability compares with Audi, VW and Seat! One of the new Seats is actually a Skoda Fabia, clone. So, to be honest – we don’t laugh of them any more. But, when that is said – we come to the reality. Cheap plastic, noise and so on, typical VW. There 3-cyl diesel is a weird thing and every time one drives by my house, I start looking to the sky for a Huey Helicopter. But, again it has good… Read more »
SteveW
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SteveW
5 years 7 months ago
I bought a new car last July and I REALLY wanted to buy a 9-3SC. Yes I really, really wanted to buy one as I have had two Saabs in the distant past and want to own one again (I still do as I have great memories of my 99 and 900 turbo). However I had back to back test drives of the 9-3 and a Skoda Octavia Combi diesel in elegance trim. What did I find? 1. The Octavia had more passenger space, the rear of the 9-3 is very cramped in comparison. 2. The Octavia’s boot was huge… Read more »
Ralph
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Ralph
5 years 7 months ago

4. Looking at used examples of the 9-3 I saw that the leather seats go baggy very quickly.”
Unless you’ve also looked at used examples of the Octavia and their leather seat quality, that’s no argument 😀 😉

SteveW
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SteveW
5 years 7 months ago

Ralph

1. Saab proffesses to be a premium brand at a premium price – the leather should not go baggy and creased but it does (and with not many miles on the clock).
2. The Octavia is only a mainstream product but I can confirm that I have seen secondhand examples with leather seats that look great after many miles.

This is something that needs fixing ASAP.

Ralph
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Ralph
5 years 7 months ago

Even though I was just teasing, there’s also the maintenance-factor. Any leather needs maintenance and it could be that Skoda owners/sellers are more disciplined in that area.

baas900i
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baas900i
5 years 7 months ago

agreed, my old 9-5 arc had much better quality leather than the current 9-3 range, ventilated seats too… when it had covered 130,000 k’s under the harsh Australian sun the leather was in brilliant condition, the rest of the car was in good condition too except for the headlight lens plastic which had begun to breakdown.

Barbapappa
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Barbapappa
5 years 7 months ago
SteveW, everything you have said so far is in favor of the skoda. So according to you the saab is a worse car on all levels. You even failed to write one single good thing about the saab when you compare the two. It makes me wonder why you are even hanging around on a saab forum when you clearly do not even think the saabs are better than skodas. If you would have REALLY wanted to buy the saab, as you first claim, you would have bought the 9-3 without even comparing it to anything else. That is what… Read more »
Phoenix
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Phoenix
5 years 7 months ago
Most of the things you are mentioning are obvious things that many use for argument about Skoda. What you se is what you get is not always true because you don’t see everything. Somethings you notice after a while somethings you never notice. If the only thing you want is a huge boot and passenger space then Skoda is a good choice. But does that mean that nobody will choose BMW or Audi either? Much more expensive, less space, less equipment.. Just a small thing as gas dampered hood, you don’t get that with the Skoda. If your only arguments… Read more »
SteveW
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SteveW
5 years 7 months ago
I totally understand what you say – that’s why I want a Saab and I want it bad!!! What I am saying is that even though I wanted it that bad I couldn’t make a logical decision to buy it because of the poor space (old design – hoping new 9-3 will be better packaged) and poor interior. At the moment I would have to go for a 9-5SC which is a) not available yet and b) out of my price range. What I would say is don’t judge the Octavia unless you have tried a very recent Elegance, L&K… Read more »
GerritN
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GerritN
5 years 7 months ago

Get a used 9-5 or 9-3, they’re good cars and (unfortunately) rather inexpensive.

GerritN
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GerritN
5 years 7 months ago
“you will never end up in a Saab and probably not a BMW or Audi either” Hm, I partially agree with you. Luckily many people are buying cars with their heart (or balls for that matter), otherwise the roads would be filled with carbon copies of ‘sensible’ cars. However, many Saab owners like the luxury feeling and solidity and are willing to pay a premium for that. A lot of that luxury and solidity feel is coming from superficial things like the choice of leather, plastics and how well everything fits together. In the last 10 years under GM management… Read more »
SteveW
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SteveW
5 years 7 months ago
You are correct the perceived quality gap has closed between mainstream and premium brands. that’s why I won’t accept baggy, stretched, creased leather from any manufacturer. The reason so many people buy Audi, BMW and MB is the snob/badge appeal – Sheep! I actually like the left field choice of a Skoda or a Saab, in fact I would never go with the sheep. Some people actually see sense re the Audi/BMW/MB nonsense though take a look at IMHO a Saab is way different from all of the above and has soul and character. If it’s packaged better and has… Read more »
SteveW
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SteveW
5 years 7 months ago

whoops, messed up the hyperlink but it does go to where I meant! 🙂

Phoenix
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Phoenix
5 years 7 months ago
Of course you should expect overall high quality with a premium car including the interior. I’m not a fan of the current 9-3 interior and I think it look old (even though many will scream to get it back when the new 9-3 arrives) but it is well built. I have a pretty long relationship with both recent 9-3 and Skoda Octavia Combi with DSG (Yes Steve, Elegance 😉 ) The Skoda interior is ok..like a VW Golf but not as well put toghether, you will feel that when you press on panels in the Golf compared to the Skoda.… Read more »
baas900i
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baas900i
5 years 7 months ago

the vRS model is a goodie

Bravada from GMI
Guest
5 years 7 months ago
In spite of all the rave reviews of the Skodas, I find them very underwhelming. I drove both Fabias and Octavias and neither has impressed me, to the very contrary. Apart from the cheapness of the cars (you CAN feel the difference inside between them and the Saab 9-3, unless you go for high-spec versions which cost about the same as the Saab around here), there is the rather important issue of handling. I have found the cars to handle rather terribly, have vague steering and unresponsive controls. Operating either car was a chore for me, and having driven the… Read more »
Oskar
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Oskar
5 years 7 months ago
We have in the family a SAAB 9000 and a Škoda Fabia. I like both brands, for their respective qualities. The Fabia is for pootling around the city and for my parents to drive, but it can also be fun with a tidbit of modification to the suspension. The 1.9TDI engine from the previous vRS in the lil’ hatch which can be bumped up to 160ish HP and loads of tourqe with a bit of chip tuning is great fun. That said, I’m running a 100 HP guzzoline engine in the Fabia. Škoda offers cars that are good value, reliable… Read more »
Marco
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Marco
5 years 7 months ago
Why can’t the Saab dealers do like this dealer in Sweden : Rent a Saab and have a really comprehensive test drive of the new 9-5… If I could do that here in Finland I would really consider it for a longer journey especially in the winter time… This would be one way of getting people to drive Saab. I know there are issues with stock and such but this is just an idea for the dealers with that possibility… The week price here SEK3795 is now around €435 and USD590… Seems to have unlimited miles etc. Also per day… Read more »
Peter Jones
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Peter Jones
5 years 7 months ago
when I was choosing my first car I had the choice of: used: Mini 1000, Austin Metro New: Panda 750, Skoda 105L (Estelle) and Yugo 45/55. Despite the rear-engine in the 105 it was tremendous fun to drive, but my mum hated it. It was miles better than the Yugo. I got a metro in the end. My girlfriend has a Golf Iv which is the same as Octavia Mk 1 underneath. Very good cars but they don’t stir emotions – not terribly exciting. Those complaining about 9-3 quality – mine was totally reliable for 6 years before trading it… Read more »
J Fan
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J Fan
5 years 7 months ago

Here’s why I like the Skoda: €17,435. That’s the base price for a Skoda Octavia 1.2 TSI in Ireland – and that’s before any haggling or scrppage deals. It’s in the cheapest tax band too. I sat into one in the showroom a couple of months ago and, although it was dark inside, there is an air of quality. Also, by all accounts the 1.2 TSI engines goes pretty well – the turbo providing some good flexible torque.

Which engine have you got?

Phoenix
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Phoenix
5 years 7 months ago

Do you also like the Skoda because it only has a 4 star EuroNcap rating?

J Fan
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J Fan
5 years 7 months ago

Yes, yes I do.

nb. See how I side-stepped your remark and took the high-ground?

xlx
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xlx
5 years 7 months ago

Skoda is cold and without soul. AFAIK VW – the owner has a brand strategy : Seat – sporty, Skoda – lowcost and basic, VW – somehow semiluxury, Audi – a level higher. That is why you will probably feel cheap inside. VW will never cannibalize its Golf/Passat market with Octavias. We had 2 Octavias for some time. Both were lazy, loud and far from to be somehow unique (that is what we like on Saabs as well). The only advantage was the huge boot space.

Thylmuc
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Thylmuc
5 years 7 months ago

Space wise, the smaller models from Volkswagen and GM are beating Saab with their own arguments. Despite being shorter, they offer the same or even more room because the engine bay is smaller, just like it was in the 9000. Not only seems the Octavia bigger than the 9-3; the same also holds for the Opel Astra wagon, and I would not be surprised to learn that the Astra offers as much space as the Insignia. if you want to have a V6, you will have to pay in space.

Sandy
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Sandy
5 years 7 months ago

crumble zones…???
takes space, yes?

Dean
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Dean
5 years 7 months ago

This does seem to be an important point. For me, and I guess for many people who choose a Saab, safety trumps what the leather seats look like after a few years.

SteveW
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SteveW
5 years 7 months ago

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Other brands do not have that problem.

GerritN
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GerritN
5 years 7 months ago

Smaller engine bays usually mean that the engine is really crammed in there. Talk to your favorite tech and he or she will show you his or her scraped knuckles. Modern day engines are a disaster to work on, not to mention all the bloody plastic covers they put on top just to make them look ‘nice’. I fondly remember the Saab 900 engine bay where you could basically stand next to the engine in the engine bay.

Peter G.
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Peter G.
5 years 7 months ago

I drive the company octavia from time to time and I’m really happy when I get back to my 9-5, cause the seats in Skoda are totally killing my back. But I can say 2 good words about Octavia:
-the cars are driven by up to 10 different drivers (with most of them driving in “it’s not my car” mode), but still work after 200-300.000km
-the avg. fuel consumption is ~6L on 1.9 diesel engines (despite the “it’s not my car” driving style mentioned before)

Max
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

I totally agree about the seats, experienced that in various Skoda Octavia from our company car pool. Nothing extra, definitely not something I’d want to drive in for 1500 kms.

Golfhunter
Guest
5 years 7 months ago

Have a nice week end too Swade .
Mes amitiés à Madame .

albert
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albert
5 years 7 months ago
Hi guys, Why are we making noise about Octavia’s and Fabia’s? Nice cars (I almost bought a Fabia for my wife), but an Octavia does not give you the Saab-feeling. But I ‘ll tell you now that when I had to buy a new car today, I would seriously take Skoda into consideration. Not the Octavia, but the Superb. For the money that I have to pay for a 200 hp 9-3 Sportscombi, you can also have a nicely equipped Superb 2.0 TSI station . Just as powerfull, has a six speed DSG. Looks great inside and out. Only drawbacks:… Read more »
Phoenix
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Phoenix
5 years 7 months ago

I thought people who likes Saab cared about design 😉 But of course, you get a lot of car for the money. But personally I don’t like the design in any way.

Max
Guest
5 years 7 months ago
I forgot to add one comment, as my brother-in-law owns a Skoda Octavia Combi from 1999, same year as my 9-5 2.0t Estate. He used to drive my car on various occasions when I hadn’t yet my driving license and my wife was pregnant, and he always expressed the utmost satisfaction when going from his Octavia to my Saab, either in comfort, silence, performance and overall quality. My own experience of his car was that its’ a workhorse car, convenient, solid, but the old model (99) definitely lacks any kind of appeal compared to a Saab, and at this time,… Read more »
mike900
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mike900
5 years 7 months ago

Hmmm…. It occurs to me that rental car company presence could be a great way of getting non-Saab drivers to test drive Saabs.

I mean like if Hertz or Europcar had a big fleet of 9-5s and 9-4s available to rent.

GerritN
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GerritN
5 years 7 months ago

Unfortunately the current depreciation of Saabs doesn’t make it an attractive choice for a rental fleet.

max
Guest
max
5 years 7 months ago

I really do not understand why are you saying Skoda is a cheap car…
Here in Poland a basic version of Octavia combi with 140 HP diesel costs ca. 22 000 Euros. And it’s a top seller… I just don’t get it… a Mitsubishi Lancer with the new Mitsubishi diesel engine 1.8 150HP costs less…

J Fan
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J Fan
5 years 7 months ago

I think the Skoda’s are developing a bit of a ‘no-nonsense motoring’ fan club, i.e., no fancy stuff!

BengtP
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BengtP
5 years 7 months ago

Please stop this disscussion. It is Ok to like other cars but I don’t kbps

PT
Guest
PT
5 years 7 months ago
Good post Swade. FWIW I like Skoda – or at least the idea of them, I’ve never driven one. They look well-specced and spacious for the money but are modestly powered I guess. Perhaps I’ve watched too many bike races and I’m falling victim to the relentless presence of Skoda on the pro-tour. Apropos of that::: remember when there were SAAB 93 S/C Mavic Service vehicles in the Tour a few years ago. You posted on the topic I recall swade?……… When I comes to rentals, I get quite a buzz from taking whatever they give me, no questions asked… Read more »
Markac
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Markac
5 years 7 months ago

Swade, pity it’s not a Skoda Superb with the “twin door”. That’s a direction I think Saab should be looking at with the NG9-3, well at least on the five door. The three door coupe could be a pure hatch. I’m sure Saab could do it much better than Skoda too.

SteveW
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SteveW
5 years 7 months ago

Hi Barbapappa
I don’t think that’s quite fair. I didn’t want to ramble through all the good and bad points on both cars (the Saab had plenty of good points too) like some sort of amateur review. What I did was focus on the two most important things that affected my decision to not buy the Saab. Two things that can be, and hopefully will be, fixed on the new 9-3.

SteveW
Guest
SteveW
5 years 7 months ago
Hi again Barbapappa Love? Cars? Marry in haste repent at leisure. You might have the hots for your girlfriend for instance but are you compatible for a long term relationship? Perhaps this is why so many people get divorced because they choose to close their eyes to problems and think everything will be fine. Then spend years nashing their teeth. I have had 2 Saabs, so I think I have every reason and right to be here whatever you may think. Now here’s the important bit …. I am 1. A past owner 2. Someone who does love the brand… Read more »
SteveW
Guest
SteveW
5 years 7 months ago
Thanks Swade. When I get a new Saab, and I’m sure I will, i want it to move me like my 99 and have the power and space of my 900 turbo. What the company has done in so little time is nothing short of amazing and I’m sure they will deliver what I need. I guess if the new 9-3 is still too small I could go for a secondhand NG9-5SC in a couple of years 🙂 BTW thank you so much for the part you played in saving Saab. It wiould be a big blow not to hear… Read more »
Thylmuc
Guest
Thylmuc
5 years 7 months ago

Summarizing the above, I think two things are important:

-Many potential Saab buyers are really independent thinkers, they also give consideration to cars they find interesting and don’t care about “premium” image.

-Skoda got better over the years, while Saab decreased (in 1998, it took me five minutes of personal inspection to delete the Octavia from my list of potential cars; now that would evidently not be as simple).

SteveW
Guest
SteveW
5 years 7 months ago

You have hit the nail right on the head. I totally agree the Skoda is an independant thinkers choice in the same way as Saab. I would never buy Ford/Vauxhall/Hyundai/Kia/Anything French at one end of the spectrum or Audi/BMW/MB at the other.

If I had the money I’d have room for both. My ideal garage if the new 9-3 is available in such a format.
Saab 9-3 3dr hatch with a bit of grunt
Skoda Octavia L&K Combi 140bhp Diesel

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