Skoda: 2014 Yeti City TSI V Yeti Outdoor TDI

September 15th, 2014 by Robert Barry

For 2014 the two model Skoda Yeti range has received a revamped front end and mildly modified tailgate to bring it into line with the new corporate exterior design as worn by the all-new Rapid, all-new Octavia, and revamped Superb car line.

Thankfully the unique spirit of the Yeti has not been lost in its rejuvenation. Continue reading “Skoda: 2014 Yeti City TSI V Yeti Outdoor TDI” »

Skoda: 2014 Octavia RS TDI wagon review

May 30th, 2014 by Robert Barry

DSC_0057Many years ago, I used to give the Skoda management team a bit of grief about all of their press vehicles being black, which is one of the most difficult colours to photograph and challenging to keep clean and shiny .

Now we have a different team (yet still friendly and helpful) of people at the helm of Skoda NZ and the press cars of late have tended to be white ones. Continue reading “Skoda: 2014 Octavia RS TDI wagon review” »

Skoda Rapid 1.4 TSI 2014 review

April 24th, 2014 by Robert Barry

DSC_0065 One of my first press drives more than a decade ago was a first generation Skoda Octavia hatchback and I was impressed by the overall quality of the car, as much as the generous space it offered, not to mention the competitive price tag for a European car. Continue reading “Skoda Rapid 1.4 TSI 2014 review” »

Skoda Octavia vRS hits 325 km/h at Bonneville

August 17th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Last year Suzuki took a modified version of its Kizashi sedan to Bonneville in a big to break the 200 mph (321 kph) barrier and this year Skoda has done the same with its Octavia vRS.

In standard form the Octavia vRS sports the VW Group’s turbocharged 2.0 litre TSI engine producing around 150kW. This was never going to be enough so engineers from the brand’s UK team, along with partners REVO Technik made modifications including a Garret turbocharger to dial up around 373kW from the same motor.

Other modifications to the car included a high-octane race fuel supply, a full safety roll-cage, several aerodynamic aids, and a ride height that’s been lowered by more than 3-inches.

With the engine’s displacement unchanged the vRS was able to compete in the ‘2.0-litre production car’ class. The hot Skoda achieved its goal and reached a top speed of 202.15 mph (325.33 km/h) during the Bonneville Speed Week. Continue reading “Skoda Octavia vRS hits 325 km/h at Bonneville” »

Skoda Superb TDI 4×4 Combi 2011 Review

July 29th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

For most kiwis looking to buy a comfortable and practical family wagon the name Skoda doesn’t immediately spring to mind. But why not? Is it because buyers are still stuck in the eighties when Skoda wore the brunt of naff jokes about quality? Or perhaps because folks know Skoda is European and worry about durability and value for money? Whatever the reason, for many wagon buyers the Skoda Superb isn’t even on their radar. But it damn well should be. Skoda’s med/large size wagon has many of its competitors beat in some key areas and build quality is certainly one of them. With a frugal diesel engine and a four-wheel-drive system the Superb can travel to remote locations and it won’t cost a lot to get there. So does this fringe player deserve a new place as a major force in the wagon market? Car and SUV thinks so, and after spending a week with the newest addition to the Superb range – the 4×4 Combi, we’re ready to tell you why.

Exterior Design
It may not be the sexiest wagon to ever pick up the groceries, but the Superb has everyman elegance and a sleek low look despite its generous proportions. It’s nicely balanced for a wagon without too much rear overhang and a tightly tapered hatch that gives few hints to the expansive cargo space within. It has a neutral face with chrome trim surrounding the corporate grille and acting as teardrops under its wrap around headlights. Bright fog lamps flank a wide lower air intake and a scalloped bonnet line leads into the raked back windscreen. Continue reading “Skoda Superb TDI 4×4 Combi 2011 Review” »

Skoda to push Octavia vRS up to 320km/h

June 13th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

We’ve all heard the jokes about Skoda’s reliability issues and while we all laughed, these gags are no longer true and Skoda is out to prove this – however it can. The latest avenue for the Czech brand to change perception of it’s product is hitting the salt flats for some high-speed runs.

Few things will shut up the doubters faster than a couple of 300+ km/h runs at the legendary Bonneville Salt Flats and Skoda is using the vehicle pictured above to do it. Based on the Octavia vRS this speed merchant has had its standard 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder boosted all the way up to 441kW giving it a solid chance of hitting the magic 200 miles per hour (321km/h) mark.

Turning the spanners on this special Skoda is tuning firm Revo Technik. They fitted the Skoda with full KW suspension, a limited-slip differential and special rolling stock. The modified sedan will hit the salt flats at Bonneville Speed Week in August. The occasion is to celebrate 10 years of the marque’s vRS performance badge. Continue reading “Skoda to push Octavia vRS up to 320km/h” »

Skoda Yeti TSI 2011 Review

May 27th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Skoda’s Yeti was first spotted on New Zealand terrain last year and was offered only in diesel engine/manual transmission form. Some were at first frightened by its unusual looks and segment-bridging body shape, but soon enough we all began to accept it. Quickly, people in the know went from accepting to admiring, and very soon the Yeti was scooping up nominations and awards both domestically and internationally.  Now for 2011, a second Yeti has reached our shores to form a two-strong Yeti pack with its diesel-powered pioneering sibling. This new Yeti is a full $10k cheaper and while it offers slightly less than the diesel model, its practicality and driver-friendly nature are shared.  Car and SUV was very impressed during its first Yeti encounter last year and again after a fresh sighting of the new-to-NZ petrol model. Now we can answer the questions of curious kiwi motorists.

So what the hell is it?
Good question, the Yeti is a small crossover vehicle or you could think of it as a high-riding hatchback. It shares its platform with the Volkswagen Golf and uses a 1.2-litre TSI engine that also has service in the Golf, Polo and the smaller Skoda Fabia. Continue reading “Skoda Yeti TSI 2011 Review” »

Skoda Fabia vRS 2011 Review

March 25th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Why is Skoda’s Fabia vRS hot hatch so angry? Is it because the ‘v’ in its name is lower case, or perhaps because it’s overheard too many Skoda jokes. Who really knows, but one thing’s for sure – it’s a little car with a big temper. At least that’s what Skoda’s ‘Made of meaner stuff’ ad campaign would have us believe. Advertising aside, the vRS has the honour of being the fastest Fabia built so far and it certainly meets expectations. The vRS thrives off a clever twin-charged drivetrain that when combined with the Fabia’s relatively low weight (1313 kg) delivers a seductively cheap thrill. Car and SUV spent a week strapped into a rally green, black roofed vRS to bring you the results.

Exterior Design

The Fabia body shape doesn’t allow itself to be turned into a hot hatch easily; it’s tall and quite narrow. That said, the vRS bas been dropped 15mm and Skoda has worked the front styling nicely with a bespoke front bumper with recessed fog lamps and a large low air dam that creates a gaping mouth. 17-inch black alloys look purposeful and fill up the guards with red painted brake callipers chomping away underneath. With the A-pillars also in black the vRS has a sporty floating roofline that is lengthened at the rear by a high mounted hatch spoiler. Down below, twin exhaust tips poke out from under a tough plastic rear diffuser.

There are also plenty of options to personalise your vRS, the roof and side mirrors can be painted in silver, black or white with the alloy wheels colour matched. Optional equipment includes LED driving lights, electric sunroof and tinted glass to keep low-key.

Overall, the design is very distinctive, very European and while it’s not overdone the vRS will still stand out on NZ roads. Skoda has done well to pick exactly the right areas on the Fabia body to show that the vRS is more than just a small hatch runabout. Continue reading “Skoda Fabia vRS 2011 Review” »

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