IT used to be that Skoda owners boasted that their cars were part of the prestigious Volkswagen stable. Now the roles are starting to be reversed.
Skoda have become serial award winners and they have just hit the jackpot yet again with the Skoda Citigo being named as the Auto Express New Car of the Year for 2012.
The motor industry, of course, is very good at patting itself on the back and is liable to hold an awards ceremony at the drop of a hubcap. The Auto Express awards, though, are long-established and carry plenty of clout.
So Skoda’s achievement in winning no fewer than five awards, including the top one, is highly meritorious and continues the company’s astonishing success story of recent times.
It seems centuries ago that comedians made Skoda jokes. That was back in the old days before the Berlin Wall came down and when the cars that emerged from behind the Iron Curtain were invariably rubbish.
The Citigo is an outstanding example of what is nowadays known as a city car, which means it is small, manoeuvrable, economical, nippy and clean.
Auto Express editor-in-chief Steve Fowler said: “The Citigo offers small car buyers the space, quality and comfort normally associated with much larger cars, but at a fraction of the cost. It’s simply sensational value for money.”
The Citigo was also named best City Car, the Skoda Superb won the Best Family Car and Best Estate Car Awards and the brand also took the Driver Power Award for customer satisfaction.
Steve Fowler added: “These awards are proof that Skoda’s now a big league car maker – and in many ways it’s outshining parent brand VW.”
Further British success went the way of Land Rover with the Discovery winning a record eighth consecutive Auto Express award as it was named Best Large SUV. Last year’s Car of the Year, the Range Rover Evoque, was named Best Compact SUV for the second year running, too. Jaguar’s C-X16 concept car, previewing the new F-Type, won the Design Award, voted for by users of the website.
Other class winners included: Supermini, Peugeot 208; Compact Family Car, BMW 1 Series; Five-seat MPV, Ford C-MAX; Seven-seat MPV, SEAT Alhambra; Crossover, Mazda CX-5; Hot Hatch, Ford Focus ST; Convertible, Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet; Coupé, Peugeot RCZ; Roadster, Porsche Boxster; Pick-up, VW Amarok; Compact Executive Car, BMW 3 Series; Executive Car, BMW 5 Series; Luxury Car, Mercedes S-Class; Performance Car, Ferrari 458 Italia; Green Award, Vauxhall Ampera.