Feature article

Best Skoda Cars Available in NZ: Buying Guide

Skoda has evolved from being niche, to one of the main car brands in NZ. So, what is the best Skoda for you?

Last updated: 6 June 2024

Skoda has evolved from being a niche brand in New Zealand to one that can be considered mainstream. This is on the back of a growing lineup of cars and SUVs, often priced competitively compared with other Euro brands. 

Skoda tends toward more practical designs, rather than being overly flashy. Practicality is at its core, Skoda vehicles often providing more interior space (usually with ample rear legroom) and cargo capacity than liked-priced competitors. The Czech brand likes innovative storage solutions too, these "Simply Clever" features include a handy umbrella holder in the doors and novel load securing features. 

Skoda has a range of efficient turbo-petrol engines powering its models, and also offer a few plug-in hybrid options. Its vehicles tend to offer a dynamic package tailored toward a comfortable and smooth ride. 

Skoda offers various models in New Zealand, from compact cars like the Fabia and Scala to larger wagons like the Octavia and Superb. And for the SUV lovers, it has the Kamiq, Karoq and Kodiaq along with the Enyaq iV.

In New Zealand these come with a five-year, 150,000km warranty, and Skoda offers service plans to allow owners to lock in their maintenance costs at the time of purchase. As to what is the best Skoda, try one of these for size. 

Kodiaq - the big Skoda

Kodiaq offers a blend of quality, value and versatility that more than meets the needs of Kiwi drivers wanting a large SUV. It offers a spacious and versatile interior accommodating up to seven passengers thanks to its three rows of seating. It boasts a generous cargo area, measuring in at 835L in the two-wheel drive model, and 765L in the AWD.

There are a few variants to choose from, starting with the Ambition at $53,990. 

This uses the small but capable 1.4 turbopetrol with 110kW and 250Nm. It’s a front driver, with fuel consumption rated at 8.3L/100km. 

If the budget allows, the better option is the Style variant. It has a larger 2.0-litre turbo with a more robust 140kW and 320Nm. It benefits from all-wheel drive and a better seven-speed gearbox, while fuel consumption is better at 8.0L/100km. And it can tow more too, rated at 2000kg.

For those that need to get the family places in a hurry, best opt for the RS. This is $78k but it nets you a more potent 2.0-litre turbo with 180kW and 370Nm. That’s along with sportier styling and improved suspension with adaptive damping. 

The Ambition has a pared back specification, whereas the Style is better outfitted with all of the safety assistance features (adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and automatic emergency braking) along with extra convenience and luxury items like leather, heated seating and a better multimedia system. 

With its combination of practicality, performance, and safety, the Skoda Kodiaq is a well-rounded SUV that caters to the needs of a diverse range of drivers.

View listings on Trade Me Motors: Skoda Kodiaq

Enyaq - the electric Skoda

The Enyaq is Skoda’s electric SUV option, offering a blend of innovation, performance, and practicality.

The $67,990 Enyaq offers up to 534km of range on a charge thanks to its 77kWh battery and efficient powertrain. The rear mounted 150kW/310Nm motor gives this smart looking SUV a smooth and responsive driving experience, the instant torque ensuring swift acceleration.

Fast-charging capabilities of up to 135kW complement this at a DC station, while the Enyaq can also tow up to 1000kg.  

The interior of the Enyaq is spacious, featuring nice materials and a solid build quality. The minimalist design sees a large touchscreen infotainment system on the dash. This controls all the interior functions, and while it’s not the most intuitive, it is feature rich with smartphone integration.

There are generous rear seat accommodations, enough for three kids to be seated comfortably thanks to its flat floor. You’ll appreciate the extras like retractable window shades and charge points. Being a Skoda, the cargo area is decent too with 585L of space, which expands out to 1710L when the seats are folded down.

Safety is a highlight with all the necessary assist features present, and all functioning as intended (rather than annoying you with constant alerts). 

It’s very easy to drive; get in and the Enyaq turns itself on, ready to go. And operation is very straightforward. Coupled with the refined electric power delivery, a controlled ride and an excellent turning circle, it’s a good choice for those city dwellers looking for a practical electric vehicle. 

View listings on Trade Me Motors: Skoda Enyaq

Octavia - the best Skoda?

The Octavia is Skoda’s best seller globally, and here it is available in the five-door wagon format, which gives it a commendable blend of practicality and efficiency. The $48,990 Style variant uses a 1.4-litre turbopetrol, which delivers good fuel economy, the consumption rated at 6.2L/100km. An easy 250Nm of torque and an eight-speed auto make for a refined and easy round town drive. Being a Skoda, it has plenty of boot space, rated at 640L, expandable to 1700, and it can tow up to 1500kgs. 

There’s also the sporty RS version, a close relative of the Golf GTI, at $56,990. This gets a 2.0-litre turbo producing 180kW and 370Nm, which is paired with a slick-shifting seven-speed twin-clutch. It’s a good drive too with nice steering characteristics and engaging dynamics.

Octavia offers plug-in hybrid options though they are quite pricey at $67k for the Style variant and $71k for the RS. Both use a 1.4 turbopetrol matched with an electric motor and battery, which gives around 60km of EV range. When both petrol and electric motors combine, the Style has 150kW and 350Nm, the RS is able to summon 180kW and 400Nm. Keep them charged up, and they will return low fuel consumption. The trade-off however is reduced luggage space, down to 490L due to the battery located under the floor.

Octavia has a five star safety rating thanks to the various assist systems with low speed auto braking when you're maneuvering about to help prevent car park dings. Adaptive cruise features traffic jam assist. 

The 10-inch touch screen features navigation and integrates wirelessly with CarPlay and Android Auto. It also gets a wireless charge pad and configurable digital instruments. 

View listings on Trade Me Motors: Skoda Octavia 


Kyle Cassidy
Kyle Cassidy
Editor NZ Autocar magazine - autocar.co.nz

Kyle has been reviewing cars since starting at NZ Autocar magazine in 2003 and has been editor since 2009. In that time he’s become an expert on what makes for a good vehicle while also gaining insights into the local automotive industry.