I received a serious ribbing from friends and relatives after buying the GLXi Silverline Estate, but I am now a serious Skoda fanatic, and it is only those who need to drive an "image", not a car, that would slate post 1993 Skodas, as VW's involvement really paid off. The later Favorits are damn fine cars!
If you're looking to buy a '93-onward model, check the Air-filter cover for the Volkswagen Audi Group symbol. If it's there, it was built under VW's early involvement. And trust me the changes are clearly visible!
The car drives superbly, and handles surprisingly well considering the skinny tyre and 13" wheel combination (although they are 5-spoke alloys, possibly to bring out the boy-racer in me!) and being a Silverline model, it gets a sunroof, a boot spoiler and front splitter, and little black flairs on the rear wheel arches.
Rear space is phenomenal; the Estate's boot is cavernous and has incorporated a fortnightly shop for my wife, our 3 children and myself, and a fortnightly shop for my parents also, with still enough room to house our toddler's pushchair.
The performance is what I would describe as "quite ample". It isn't blisteringly quick, but then anyone looking for reliable, cheerful and above all cheap family transport, are ultimately not seeking a 150mph, £30,000 "image" to impress the other shoppers at the supermarket, or get stared at on the school-run. I'll leave that to people who enjoy being in debt.
It will cruise merrily at 70mph, and it will keep up with much flashier machinery easily around town, much to their aggravation. And the Favorit's ability to blast off at the lights has amazed many a hot-hatch driver!
The stopping power is equally as ample as the going power, and brings the car to halt quickly if need be, but a lack of ABS can be scary in bad weather conditions at times, as it is quite easy to lock the front wheels up on this car if you are even slightly heavy with the brake pedal.
OK, so the "image" that the Skoda Favorit wears, is it's usually found being driven by elderly gents and ladies that buy them for one reason - loyalty. They need a dependable, reliable and comfortable friend, a car they can trust to get them to the local shops or the bridge club in any weather. And a Favorit is the car for the job! Mine has been supremely reliable, starts in any weather, first time (which annoys a lot of people, when their expensive, flashy, often financed cars fail to start on that frosty morning).
The cabin is a little dreary, lots of black, slab-faced plastic, but the instrument panel is great. It reads clearly, does its job and everything operated by a switch in the car has a designated light on the dash, so no fiddling around with cluttered switches wondering whats on and what isn't; it even beeps at you for leaving the lights on after you have turned the engine off and opened the door! No electronic windows, cruise control, air conditioning or climate control, which to me means less to go wrong, so I'm happy about that! It is much more amusing to other motorists to watch you having your electronic window stick halfway down in the pouring rain than it is to watch Mr. Anonymous’ shoulders gyrate as he winds his window up or down manually in a traffic jam.
I absolutely love the Favorit, and I have owned quite a few cars in my driving years, and the Favorit has been one of my best so far, if not THE best with regard to reliability and plain, no-frills practicality and usability! I intend to keep this car for a long long time. No one is getting their hands on this gem!