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We were taken over to Prague by Skoda UK in order to view some up and coming new models and model revisions.
The first model that is completely new to the Skoda range is the A-entry car. Reading between the lines the car shares its physical size and perhaps floor pan with the Volkswagen UP and the Seat alternative. All three models are as yet not in production.
The presentation was given by the head of design for Skoda. He has previously worked for Audi, and perhaps more famously was responsible for the design of the Bugatti Veyron Supercar.
The new baby Skoda looks well-proportioned and features the trademark new Skoda “face”. Available in 3 and 5 door it should combat the likes of the KIA Picanto and Hyundai i10 and will perhaps even be targeted at the Fiat 500 amongst other similarly sized rivals.
Next up was the new mid-size sedan designed to fit between Fabia and Octavia in the current model line-up. The new car is again quite striking and very similar in size to a Volkswagen Jetta whilst having a silhouette not dissimilar to that of a Seat Toledo! The one key benefit of the car will be in its design. Although designed to look like a saloon car, it will feature a hatchback style tailgate which vastly improves practicality.
The current Octavia and Superb are due a face lift in the near future and will feature a revised front end amongst many changes and different swage lines running down the side of the vehicle.
Perhaps the most noticeable change for Skoda is the Brand image. The current green that is found in the Skoda badge is making way for a more reserved Black and chrome which somehow portrays an image of quality. When combined with the new look of the cars we saw, this really does make the new look Skoda product fresh and it should appeal to a wider market.
This is a big step in the process that Skoda has undertaken in recent years in an attempt to shake off their old image. Yet another step in the right direction
The used car market has slowed over the last couple of months. The downturn is due to the upcoming holiday season and the uncertainty caused by over stocked auction halls.
Looking in from the outside it looks like the auctions are just not selling cars. There is a reason for this- a lot of the stock is untidy and un-loved. The good clean cars are still selling. If you are in the market for a used car - now is the time to buy.
If you’ve been put off buying an Audi Q5 recently due to the long lead times then it’s worth re considering. If you are persistent and fairly open on specification, then there’s a good chance that you could be driving your new pride and joy within a couple of weeks.
Over to Stuttgart with Mercedes to see a few new models that are due to hit the market over the next 12 to 18 months. There are some vast improvements over their current line up and the new models should keep them right up there with their competitors.
We were invited by Peugeot to join them over in France to try some new products. Recently we have seen Peugeot really upping their game with the quality and looks of their models.
We drove the new 508 Station Wagon through France. The car oozes quality and is very comfortable. The 200bhp 2.2 in the GT variant is remarkably economical and still delivers plenty of performance when it needs to. After a long drive we were still refreshed due to the car’s comfort.
This car is a match for the competition from Germany that Peugeot are attempting to compete with. The problem that they are sure to come up against is the “badge snobbery”. A lot of people will always aspire to park a BMW or an Audi on their drive but not a Peugeot.
Bugatti have sold the last Veyron of 300 units built over a 7 year period. The soft top variant is still available to order until all 150 are gone.
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