After what must be the best part of 20 years driving exclusively volvo, I never thought my brother would defect. But he has! He's bought a Skoda!
I think the pressure has been gnawing away from within the family network - not only did I defect from Volvo/Saab (I like my fast, swedish, quirky cars) to Skoda a few years ago, but so did my sister (at the same time and completely independently) and finally my mother recently, prompted by the UK scrappage scheme.
The leap on paper was big for me - not only from a 300bhp SAAB to a "lesser" badge, but a diesel car at that. But, I was too tempted by the alarming regularity of rave reviews, much lower all round purchase & running costs, capacious load carrying, and a fun pokey engine in the vRS - which is essentially a Golf GTI by another name and body shell.
I've never looked back. Thrilled by fun, low cost, high economy motoring, not a day goes past without the car putting a smile on my face. A spirited drive does not cost the earth, unlike that of my brother's volvo T5 - for which you have to take steps to arrange a bank loan before you give it a long blast through the mountains. And, should you care to chip your diesel vRS you can have 430Nm of torque propelling you past pretty much any line of traffic. Even my 300bhp saab only managed 400Nm.
So, spurred by Skoda's current "tax free" deal (i.e you pay list price before VAT is added, saving about £3500 on a top spec car) my brother has jumped ship - also to a diesel Octy vRS estate. He won't regret it. Not to be outdone, I'm changing mine too - for the same thing. This is the first time I've replaced a car with one the same - that's how much I love my Skoda.
It'll be interesting to compare cars - his is the manual, mine will be the DSG auto (with flappy paddles). Both will benefit from the new common rail diesel engine which allows a higher rev limit, and if my test drive is anything to go by, a smoother power delivery across the range. I was mightily impressed by the DSG - responsiveness, comfort and ease of use. I doubt I will go back especially once it's come into its own in all those M25 queues.
Roll on March - we've ordered them only 2 days apart and from the same dealer - so they may arrive together. That'll make a nice photo :)