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Skoda badge snobbery - Happy Blue!

Crazy that there are still people out there who won't buy (or even consider) a Skoda.

People are happy to buy a Hyundai - a brand with no history at all, Mercedes - a brand that Hitler seemed to like, Japanese cars - a race who murdered British solders with remarkable cruelty and yet refuse even to consider Skoda, a noble badge from a pleasant little country that was overtaken first by teh Nazis and then by the Communists.

I have three clsoe friends, all highly paid professionals currently driving a Volvo S80, Hyundai Santa Fe and Subaru Outback. All three are in the middle of buying top of the range Skoda Superbs. As far as they are concerned, they are reluctant to buy flash German cars but want a large, comfortable luxury car without paying for the badge. The Superb's only competitoin is the S80 but thats not as good.

If fact the Superb sits in a class that used to be occuped by the Ford Granada, Vauxhall Senator.

Why are people so blinkered?

Skoda badge snobbery - the_bandit
Round here Skoda's are more often than not used as private hire taxi's.

I don't fancy being hailed every two minutes so would give them a wide birth for that reason.
Skoda badge snobbery - RT

Skoda's history is the reason why many won't buy them !!

Buyers should be using current values to decide which car to buy, not historical and often out-dated reputations.

I've had a Subaru Outback and now a Hyundai Santa Fe - they're a much closer match than most people think - I'd have considered a Skoda but they don't make one with 200mm ground clearance - of course there's now talk of a Skoda "Touareg" which I'll look at if/when it happens.

Edit - my Subaru Outback was built in the same factory that built Nakajima fighters that wiped out my father's squadron in 1942 and forced him to endure 3+ years as a Jap PoW -- but -- the workers at Subaru didn't fight in the war, they're far too young.

Edited by RT on 03/07/2012 at 14:13

Skoda badge snobbery - unthrottled

the workers at Subaru didn't fight in the war, they're far too young.

Quite. Saddling today's generation of Germans/Japanese with the culpability for transgressions of two-three generations ago is, frankly, rather silly.

I've had a Subaru Outback and now a Hyundai Santa Fe - they're a much closer match than most people think

Most cars within the same class are more smiliar than most of us would like to think. Fewer and fewer key parts being designed and built in house and most of the 'goodies' (fuel injection equipment, turbos, pistons etc) being bought from specialist companies.

This is why I always try to get people to consider what they really want from a car rather than agonising over the differences between an Astra vs a Golf or a Focus

Skoda is not a Czech company in any meaningful way. They are Volkswagen. VW bought Skoda and threw all their tooling in the skip. They installed VW toooling and build VW designed cars using cheaper Czech labour rather than expensive German labour. Seat exists for the same reason. It is dressed up as 'investment' because to blatently open a VW factory in the Czech Republic or Spain would incur the wrath of German unions.

Skoda badge snobbery - gordonbennet

Daresay there's nothing wrong with the Superb, huge car with massive rear leg room, makes an excellent taxi.

However it looks like hell, ungainly, ill proportioned with lights that belong on another vehicle type altogether, like an obscure Indian built van.

I really could not have a car as ugly as that to have to look at on my driveway, whatever badge it wore.

Similarly i couldn't own an Auris or latest Yaris despite being an admirer of almost all Toyota products, my jury is still out on Avensis though Tourer doesn't look too bad in the right colour...pity about the idiot handbrake.

Ugly duckling gold medal must go to Audi A1 though, even Fabia looks better...no i'll rephrase that, the Skoda doesn't look quite as bland.

Skoda badge snobbery - Collos25
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I could not agree more with Gordon the Superb is absolutely ugly.
Skoda badge snobbery - oldroverboy

Personally i think the Skoda is ugly, but who am i to say anything, I have an epica!

On the subject of the transgressions of the grandfathers in both the cases of germany and Japan, my first mother in law was one of the few who escaped from the concentration camps (got out, was sheltered by a french family for more than 4 years,) spoke fluent german and had no grudges against them, without doubt i wish i was a tenth as forgiving as she was!

There is a time for forgiveness, ( I can remember the protests in N.Wales when I was a child and the german army came to do a bit of training.)

Before we judge, let us remember who rounded up the families of the boers in south africa many years ago...

Sure, remember, but forgive too!

Happy motoring to all.

Skoda badge snobbery - gordonbennet

''Sure, remember, but forgive too!''

Absolutely right ORB, who decides the cut off date for such things, certainly not dishonoured politicians or their chums, i don't suppose the surviving civilians of our bombers in deliberately targetted German residential areas thought too much of us either.

As regards the good looks or not of your Epica, i like it, and Aveo Hatch, Cruze Saloon and all Lacetti, and i also like the last of the Hyndai Sonata's and i really like the last Kia Magentis would have loved an estate version of either of the last two.

Lots of badge snobs would turn their noses up at any of that list...stick a Audi or BMW badge on them though and they'd be salivating.

Skoda badge snobbery - RT

If we allowed prejudices based on historical nationalistic wrong-doing to cloud our buying decision, I doubt there's a car brand any of us could buy. The only sensible way is to be hard-nosed and buy the most suitable vehicle for your needs.

I've long been a reverse badge-snob - I won't pay for "image" because I'm not bothered whether others like my choice or not - the vehicle has to suit me, not them !

Skoda badge snobbery - Avant

In three years of Skoda ownership I've never once come across anyone disparaging Skodas or even politely questioning my choice. For what it's worth, the 'image' is nowadays of a sensible choice of car which in some cases (vRS models and anything with the 2.0 170bhp TDI) has a fine turn of speed.

Compared with my Octavia vRS estate, a similarly-engined Golf GTI costs £4,500 extra, and an A4 Avant £9,000 more. A high price to pay for 'image'.

The Superb hatch is ungainly, I agree - but the estate is far better proportioned and personaly I think it looks good.

Edited by Avant on 04/07/2012 at 00:08

Skoda badge snobbery - RickyBoy

I concur with the learned gentlemen but wouldn't limit that criticism to just the Superb as I find the look of the whole range of models rather dated and bland these days.

For the past 14-years I've run two Octavia's (an SLX for 5-years and the current VRS hatch for 9) and fully 'bought-in' to the Skoda brand, it's VfM,0% finance/free servicing deals & reliability, etc. and can't fault them on any of those aspects.

However, as much as I love the performance (delivered effortlessly when required) of the petrol VRS (I've never thrashed it/I repect it/I'm not too pre-occupied by MPG return figures) I certainly don't want my next motor to sport a rear spoiler (I could ask for it to be omitted?) and it (latest shape) just looks too 'boxey'.

The Fabia is too small for my overseas travelling requirements and that new Rapid looks, at first glance, like a dehydrated Octy. As for the Yeti, Roomster and Citigo, well... plainly not for me!

There's no badge stigma whatsoever with the marque as far as I'm concerned, in fact, I've been laughing all the way to my saving's accounts for years – yeah, right, but you get my drift.

So, Skoda, just employ someone in the Design department who has a thing for 'curves', not right-angles and I may well return to the fold in the future?

Skoda badge snobbery - bear807
Personally I think skoda is good superb hatchback does look quite nice but not the sedan. It is a very sensible brand, for anyone who want to join the vag group bandwagon. What you get is some vw group parts put together solidly and sure to last for long time when proper maintain 10 years down the road will still be desirable for certain group of people. Only downside is the green bird batch not as flashy as audi and vw. I think smart people buys skoda, because they can overcome the undesirable batch, other than that everything is top notch just like other vw group product.
Skoda badge snobbery - mikem004

Skoda was originally an arms manufacturer. I expect one of their biggest customers was Germany.

Skoda badge snobbery - barney100
Just as bad as badge snobbery is inverted badge snobbery, I don't care what other people drive, its up to them. We all have our own preferences so live and let live. On the German / Japanese subject my father in law who is 92 seems to have no grudge against the Germans but will not tolerate anything Japanese. My own father towards the end of WW2 guarded German pows and he said the ordinary German soldier was just like us...called up with little option but to do as you were told.
Skoda badge snobbery - Hamsafar

I wouldn't buy one because of the latest bizarre advert featuring a couple of odd-looking ponces and a cup cake.

Skoda badge snobbery - RT

I wouldn't buy one because of the latest bizarre advert featuring a couple of odd-looking ponces and a cup cake.

So advertising has an effect on you, positive or negative ?

Skoda badge snobbery - Buster Cambelt
Just as bad as badge snobbery is inverted badge snobbery, I don't care what other people drive, its up to them. We all have our own preferences so live and let live.

I agree totally. Why is it that someone is called a "badge snob" because they choose to drive an MB, BMW or Audi? Or, just because you don't want a Skoda you are prejudiced? Or...

Frankly, I don't want a Skoda because I had one and it was hopeless. The dealer service was even worse. I don't get the "excellent customer service" that is trotted out on the basis that dealers are so helpful when you have to see them. I'm much happier when i never have to see a dealer so 100% reliability is paramount for me. Some folks seem to like talking to their dealers all the time, I don't.

So will I insult Skoda drivers? No, their choice, I happen to think they are wrong but who am I to sit in judgement?

My wife drives a FIAT. These are, of course shoddy and unreliable and will fall apart in 10 minutes. Except, it's beautifully built and totally reliable. We've met the dealer twice since the car was collected - both times for servicing. That's what I want.

The war was over 67 years ago, never forget but please move on. The Japanese, German and Italian folks around today have nothing to do with what happened then. Just as most of us don't.

Edited by Buster Cambelt on 06/07/2012 at 18:15

Skoda badge snobbery - 659FBE

I run a big Skoda. I needed a big galvanised Euro III diesel (pre DPF).

Forget the war. The only decent car-sized diesel engines are made by the French and by the Germans. A big car has a lot of electrical devices - the French are not to be trusted with electricity.

So - a big German diesel gets the job. Most are over priced but there's a value version, screwdrivered elsewhere.

Having owned the thing, it's fine. The engine betters the maker's fuel consumption figures and the performance is excellent. Reliability is good if you correct the design defects such as rain water ingress.

The dealers are lousy and know nothing. The great advantage of this brand is competition.

VAG are the largest European producers and their cars are mechanically the same size for size. The dealers are so poor that there are loads of excellent Independents around who are honest and competent.

Competition extends to spare parts pricing too. Look how many (genuine and pattern) VAG spares are listed on eBay - more than for any other make. This keeps the price well down - but, obviously choose with care. No Chinese bits for me.

Product fine, engine excellent, dealer competence and trading integrity not in line with my expectations. Know these limitations and deal with them - easy.

I don't give a toss about the badge.

659.

Edited by 659FBE on 06/07/2012 at 18:40

Skoda badge snobbery - akr

I have a Mk6 Golf GTi. A colleague at work has an Octavia VRs. Both petrols and essentially the same car. I'll have paid thousands more than him so I'm the mug aren't I?

I bought the Golf because I just think it's a far nicer looking machine and that is my only beef with Skoda. I find their products either dull (Octavia) or plain ugly (current Fabia, Superb). Similarly, I think the SEAT Leon is ugly which is why I dismissed that too.

VW group products are pretty much all the same as cars and, in my opinion, are therefore, becoming increasingly bland for it. Very few of their products attract me anymore for this reason. And even though the GTi version of the Golf usually looks the part compared to the normal ones I doubt I'll be buying another one cos by that point it'll be nudging £30k and that's just plain overpriced - let's hope the next Octavia is a bit prettier then.

Skoda badge snobbery - gordonbennet

Excellent summary AKR, you have it exactly right.

It would take a very unusual thought process to pay so much money for something like a car, then have to spend the next few years wincing every time you lay eyes upon the thing.

Apparent good value can only go so far if you hate the looks.

If Skoda models looked better than the more expensive then its quite obvious what the result would be, so styling and desirability has to refelect the ascending price scale.

Toyata/Lexus is an obvious parallel, even so far as dropping Camry...if American Camry was sold here then i doubt but a handful of Lexus IS models would be bought.

Edited by gordonbennet on 07/07/2012 at 09:37

Skoda badge snobbery - Avant

I too like the Golf GTI - but I need a bit more space and prefer to pay less, so a vRS estate is the answer (I'm not too worried about looks - being able to see out of the back is more important, and to my eyes at least, both Octavia and Superb esatates look better than the hatchbacks).

Our priorities are different, AKR - so that's why both cars sell well. Actually I think VAG's badge engineering is a lot more sensible than British Leyland's or Rootes's were in the 60s and 70s - although I can never quite see where SEAT fits in.

Skoda badge snobbery - unthrottled

although I can never quite see where SEAT fits in.

No! I expect it might have something to do with Spanaish labour costs...

Skoda badge snobbery - 659FBE

I can't see the point of SEAT either - two "value" brands is overkill and the Skoda builders in the Czech Republic do an excellent job. There is a huge disparity in their respective sales where I live.

Reading through this thread, I suppose it depends on whether a car has any emotional attachment for its owner - as it obviously does for the gentleman with the expensive Golf.

For me, it's a washing machine job - do the work properly for minimum overall cost. There really isn't a huge difference between cars of similar size and weight for a given power unit.

I can become emotionally attached to an animal - dog, horse - and even to a treasured musical instrument, but not a car for heaven's sake.

659.

Skoda badge snobbery - RT

VAG's original intention was to position SEAT in the style/flair sector to balance the somewhat staid approach of Skoda/VW/Audi - doesn't look as though they changed the designers though.

Skoda badge snobbery - Engineer Andy

Even though I've only ever bought Japanses cars in the past, I would always consider any make if the "whole package" met my expectations (including the ownership experience). I think "badge snobbery" makes more of a difference financially if you are the sort of person who only keeps their car for 3 years or less, i.e. you get a premium for German marques second hand, which tend to hold their value (percentage wise at least) more than those from other countries.

I'll be soon looking to replace my Mazda 3 saloon, and am considering the "Saloon hatchback" Skoda Rapid and its sister car from Seat, the Toledo. In this case, I happen to think the Toledo is slightly better looking (I much prefer the rear light arrangement of the Toldeo, but that's all) - I would look at the overall package, including price and the after-sales experience before making any choice.

Saying that, I would ONLY consider these cars if the apparent problems with the VAG TFSI timing chains and other reliability issues were sorted out - other than safety, reliability is the one area I would never compromise on.

Skoda badge snobbery - grimep

Off on a bit of a tangent maybe, those ugly, weird looking "Mini"s on steroids ("Countryman" is it?) are getting more common around here, and I would hand on heart honestly rather be seen in a new Fabia than one of those things. The Skoda is an honest decent good car with no pretensions - the Mini is some awful contrived pretentious and expensive style exercise. What does each car say about their owner?

Skoda badge snobbery - RT

Off on a bit of a tangent maybe, those ugly, weird looking "Mini"s on steroids ("Countryman" is it?) are getting more common around here, and I would hand on heart honestly rather be seen in a new Fabia than one of those things. The Skoda is an honest decent good car with no pretensions - the Mini is some awful contrived pretentious and expensive style exercise. What does each car say about their owner?

It says about BMW - we have no idea on styling cars so we're just copying from 50 years ago but we have turned the zoom up on the drawings!

Edited by RT on 08/07/2012 at 08:55

Skoda badge snobbery - Buster Cambelt

So everyone who buys a MINI buys one because they are pretentious and if they were sensible they'd go and buy a Skoda? What's that if it's not some sort of badge snobbery?

When I last looked people in this country still had the freedom to decide where they spend their hard-earned.

BMW have managed to build a car that people buy, that's what business is about. I wouldn't have a Countryman myself but the MINI hatch Cooper S that I drove a few months a go was a scream, expensive for a small car but easy to see why people buy them - very rapid, fantastic handling and really well built.

Skoda badge snobbery - RT

At this point in time, the BMW Mini is the car of choice for posers - I'm sure it has some good dynamic qualities but that's not the reason many owners buy one.

Skoda badge snobbery - Buster Cambelt

At this point in time, the BMW Mini is the car of choice for posers - I'm sure it has some good dynamic qualities but that's not the reason many owners buy one.

.... and that is based on? Aren't we back to badge snobbery, or badge anti-snobbery?

Like most consumer products there will always be trends, consider the BMW 3-series in the late 80s. It was tainted with the "Yuppie Car" tag and I'm sure many bought it for that reason. but a reason to taint every owner with the tag?

I only know three MINI owners and none has mentioned "posing" as a reason to own one. hardly conclusive but maybe you have access to better data than me.

Skoda badge snobbery - grimep

Uh huh, I've driven a Cooper Works and ridden in several MW Minis, a fun car but very expensive and I couldn't quite see the point of it.

Skoda badge snobbery - Avant

I'm on my second Skoda and SWMBO has just ordered her fifth Mini, so this is nothing to do with snobbery, anti-snobbery, posing etc - indeed it;'s a small minority who buy cars for this reason, as Happy Blue who started the thread has recognised.

The main reasons for buying Minis are (a) they are fun to drive, and (b) although they seem expensive to buy, each of them has been worth 80 % of cost after two years. They are hopelessly impractical, partlcularly her current Convertible - but if you have an Octavia estate in the family, who needs the second car to be practical?

 

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