Skoda is back with its biggest line-up for Singapore ever, and its biggest car. The aim? To have something for everyone
The Skoda Centre Singapore opens its doors for business today at the former aftersales area of the Volkswagen building at 247 Alexandra Road. What you’ll find inside are four Skoda models, ranging from a compact hatchback to a seven-seat Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV).
The brand has seven model lines (eight if you count the sedan and hatchback versions of the Rapid as two) but these four are the launch lineup. Volkswagen Group Singapore’s managing director Ricky Tay told CarBuyer the aim is to offer cars that are “relevant” to the needs of car buyers here, but that more models will come as Skoda re-establishes itself here. “There will be a real focus on strengthening our portfolio over the coming years,” he says.
For now, these are the Skodas on sale:
Skoda Rapid Spaceback 1.0 TSI 95PS — S$103,400 with Certificate Of Entitlement
The bottom rung of the Skoda pricing ladder is this, the Rapid Spaceback. It’s a compact five-door, five-seat hatchback that comes with a 1.0-litre turbo engine and twin-clutch, seven-speed auto.
Size-wise, it’s slightly longer than a Volkswagen Golf, but much of the space seems dedicated to cargo: the 2602mm wheelbase is shorter than a Golf’s by 18mm, but the boot is larger, with 415 litres on offer (against 380 litres).
Bargain hunters are bound to look here.
Skoda Octavia 1.0 TSI 115PS — S$109,400 with COE
An important new car for Singapore, and likely to be the brand’s best-seller, the Octavia is a Golf-based five-door liftback that could fill in the Jetta-shaped hole in VW’s Singapore line-up.
Its wheelbase is nearly 5cm longer than that of a Golf, and its boot is enormous, at 590 litres before you fold the rear seats.
But it’s the drivetrain that will help sales most; a tax-friendly 1.0-litre turbo with 115 horsepower drives the front wheels through a seven-speed, twin-clutch auto. That powers the Octavia to 100km/h in 10 seconds flat.
Skoda Superb 2.0 TSI 220PS Laurin & Klement — S$159,900 with COE
In some ways the Superb is a sort of “Passat Plus” — it’s nearly 10cm longer than the Volkswagen with which it shares its mechanical bits, and its wheelbase is almost 5cm longer. In fact, at 4,861mm in length and 2,841mm between axles, the Superb is one of the bigger players in the Camry class of executive cars.
The boot is gigantic, as well, at 625 litres. Fold the rear seats down at that expands to 1,760L, meaning it will haul more stuff around than a V90, Volvo’s biggest station wagon.
Skoda Centre Singapore is importing the upscale Laurin & Klement version (the label alludes to the two founders of the car company that was eventually folded into Skoda, and it’s applied to the brand’s top-spec variants), with a tasty 220 horsepower under the bonnet.
Superbs have always offered a literally huge amount of car for the money, but brand equity counts for a lot in this end of the market, so it will be interesting to see not just whether Skoda Centre Singapore can build a case for the car here, but whether it can do so without doing it at the expense of the Passat itself.
Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 TSI 180PS 4×4 Style — S$167,900 with COE
If any car embodies Skoda’s mission to provide more for less, it’s the Kodiaq. It offers room for seven seats and as much as 2,005 litres of cargo, and nicely complements the VW-Skoda range since there’s no Volkswagen SUV here with seven-seats.
The whole lot is drawn along by a 2.0-litre turbo engine and seven-speed, twin-clutch auto, which is enough to haul the Kodiaq to 100km/h in a creditable 8.2 seconds.
While the Kodiaq looks enormous, it’s not actually a formidably large car. The Superb has a larger footprint, with the Kodiaq measuring a reasonable 4,697mm bumper-to-bumper. Not that parking-phobes should worry, anyway: among the Kodiaq’s many features is an around-view camera that should help with the tightest of carpark spots.