I am a part-time Uber driver and my 1.9-litre TDI Octavia was approaching Uber's 10-year limit, so I was looking for a budget alternative. I figured on buying a Kia Cerato base model with auto and touchscreen as a replacement, as it was under the $20,000 tax write-off amount, and had a 7-year warranty. When I was researching the Kia, I read the comparison between the Kia and the Skoda and it then became a no-brainer! In 12 years of motoring, nothing had broken on the old Octavia - even the battery had lasted 7 years. So I hunted down a demo 92TSI Rapid with the 7-speed DSG.
The dealer was kind enough to swap the black alloys with the base model silver alloys that have more sidewall.
This car has now done 75000km, primarily as an Uber Taxi in Perth. I have absolutely no issues with it, and like the Octavia before, nothing has fallen off. It just goes in for routine servicing every 15000km.
The overall average fuel consumption long-term is 5.8 litres per 100 kilometres. I drive it assertively, but some running is on the freeway to the airport from Duncraig, and I avoid the peak hour and CBD if I can.
All riders are generally unfamiliar with the Skoda brand but are usually highly complimentary of the clean styling and quality of finish.
With the 92TSI engine it is surprisingly and unobtrusively quick off the mark, but when you remember that this engine and transmission is also in a Golf, it makes sense - considering this package is also lighter.
Although narrow, there is a lot of leg room in the back, even when the driver's seat is right back (I am 190cm).
This car has very clean lines inside and out and is easy to clean.
A lot of reviewers are critical of the DSG transmission which is a double-clutch gearbox that operates automatically. When you understand that it is, in essence, two manual gearboxes, it is easy to drive without the jerkiness or snatch off the mark that the reviewers complain about.
This car has stop-start technology, which I found disconcerting at the start (and I used to always override) but now I am fine with it - I control it with the brake. If I want to make a quick dash across an intersection, I ease the pressure on the brake pedal so that the engine starts, remembering that before you accelerate hard you have to wait for the clutch to engage, such as you would when feeling the bite or friction point on a manual clutch.
My car has a touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which I don’t use - but the interface is excellent. A cute touch is that when they're imported, the pictures of my favourite contacts from my phone are displayed on the screen. It also has an SD card in the glovebox, on which I have downloaded my own playlist.
This car does not have the really solid feel of the diesel Octavia but it is definitely much more lively and agile.
I am happy with it? Yes.
Would I buy another? Without hesitation!
In fact, I love driving it.
Although I would maybe swap it for an Audi S3.