Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Review: What’s the problem with the Skoda Yeti?

Or just the fact it is a Skoda.
Now I’ve driven this beast and I loved it. But before I drove it, before I got behind the wheel, I was a sceptic based purely on its parentage. Talk about prejudice! But I’m not the only one.
Only the other day I was happily chatting to a mate who said following my almost evangelical zeal in selling the Yeti to him before Christmas, he’d gone for a test drive himself. I asked how he’d liked it and he looked at me ruefully: “The problem is,” he said, “it’s a Skoda.”
Now this is just silly. There is nothing wrong with the Yeti – it’s built well, there’s great attention to detail, it’s fun to drive and it’s good value for money. I mean what is there not to like – bar the badge.
It got me thinking about snobbery in particular, brand snobbery and it’s led me to do a bit of navel gazing. And I reluctantly admit I am a brand snob - possibly even a proper snob but that’s another post.
I mean look at me! When I had to finally let go of the Land Rover Discovery, I was wet. No, I wouldn’t have a cheap car – hellloooooo! What did I mean by cheap? Ford, Peugeot, Nissan – I am sure they all have cars I could never afford in a million years. So based on nothing other than my own narrow minded perceptions I restricted my potential car pool to a few select brands I considered acceptable.
Acceptable to whom? Acceptable to the motor mechanic in me? It’s not as if I know anything about cars bar changing spark plugs, oil and making sure the water is kept topped up. I know very little about the mechanics of a car. Therefore, the acceptability has to be aesthetic – that’s like saying you’ll only be friends with people because of their looks and basically that’s pretty shallow.
But it’s more than that isn’t it? Buying a car says something about you and how you want people to think of you. You can make as many excuses as you like about car safety, because basically that is the only thing that seems to separate one car from another these days that’s of any importance. And, if you would only admit it, with such tight rules and regulation that’s a pretty weak argument.
So there we have it, buying a new car is down to what it looks like and what it says about you. DEEP huh!
I know people will stick to certain brands Ford, Land Rover, Volkswagen, BMW, Peugeot etc and, like banks will NEVER change. In fact it can get generational. There’s a bit of loyalty going on there – but heck these guys ain’t going to be loyal to you, they’ll sell their cars to anyone – honest!
It’s not as if you get a discount because you already drive a Ford and you are buying a new one – though manufacturers out there this is an INTERESTING POINT TO NOTE and you heard it here first!
If we were all thinking logically then we would opt of the cheapest car around all things being equal, but the marketers (yep you guys again) like to be divisive and have been brainwashing us the gormless public for years.
In years gone by it was because the new car really was better than at least one other model on the road but lately it’s more about a perception rather than a reality. I mean look at VW’s latest advert on the TV regarding the iconic Golf. I am not saying the Golf is not a good car it is I know I’ve got one and I love it, but is it better than say a Skoda? Is it better value for money? In this day and age that has to come tops and why I’ll probably be seriously considering a Skoda next time. (Don’t forget VW own Skoda…)


Potty Mummy said...

Having driven a skoda for 6 years, I totally agree. It's all about the snob value. Interestingly, most people who say that a skoda is a fine car always finish off with - and you know, they're owned by VW... As if that makes it better...(which, apparantly, it does!)

Heather said...

the art of branding, eh? I have heard nothing but good things about the new skodas.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

In the extremely unlikely event of my buying a new car any time soon , I promise to be egalitarian and consider every car on offer purely on its merits .
And then I'd buy a Ka .

Tattie Weasle said...

Potty - Do you know I think it does! That is until there is a groundswell of opinion and poor old Skoda won't have to deal with it's Eastern European legacy! But seriously I do feel a bit of a twit for not even looking at Skodas before I bought the Golf...
Heather - Having now driven one I would say they are brilliant and they have some really clever touches too like being able to take all the aseats out fo teh Yeti in the back seriously useful esp if you try to put sheep in there...
SmitoniusAndSonata - why thnak you and BTW I love the Ka such a beautiful shape!

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