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Weasy

Skoda!

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Weasy   

I just spent a month in Slovakia for an exercise with our NATO state partner, the Slovak Air Force.

As a Master Sergeant I had to rent a car, and the car that was assigned to me was a Skoda Rapid.  Fun little car with a 5 speed manual transmission...pretty quick too!  It took me back to our Skoda racing days...lol.  One of my buddies was driving a Skoda Octavia, just like the ones we used to race, except it was an automatic transmission.  We went sight seeing to a few castles, and up to a mountain for a hike to a cave, and all the while driving the switchbacks around the mountains all I could think of was the Nurburgring.  Scared the guys in my car a little when I was following another one of our cars and was glued to his bumper through all of the twisties...lol.  They felt a little better when I pulled out my SCCA racing license.  ;)

Kind of wish I could own one, but they're not for sale in the USA.

 

Skoda front.jpg

Skoda rear.jpg

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paf   

Owned a Skoda Octavia till last year.

I loved it, had all the things you need, much room and great reliability.

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nhill40   

That's a cool little car. :)

I do have to make a bit of a cynical commentary (aka rant!) on American car culture though:  a reasonable facsimile of this car is available in the states, but it's not anything that any self-respecting, middle-age/middle-income American male would be caught dead driving, because everyone would be wondering why you were driving a "kid's car".

Looking at the specs for a Skoda Rapid, this thing is basically a Ford Fiesta or a Honda Fit.  Take it from someone who, until a few months ago, drove a Honda Fit - people will ask you why you drive a car "like that".  It's not a full-size truck, crossover SUV, 4000-lb cement-cracking family sedan, or a sports car, so a lot of people assume there must be some kind of embarrassing reason to be driving a car like that (assuming you're not a young person).

I loved our Fit - we had the sport model which adds (in addition to a bunch of extra plastic trim) an extra rear ARB to help with handling balance.  It drove really, really nice.  I had some decent tires on it and pushed it a few times and it had really nice cornering balance - it's amazing how pleasant a car drives when it doesn't weigh 2 tons!  Certainly not a "fast" car by any measure, but it also got damned near 40 mpg...

Anyways, sorry for the rant.  Weasy, I want to make sure I say I'm not picking on you in any way - my beef is with American car culture and that I can't drive the equivalent of a Skoda Rapid without having friends/neighbors/coworkers trying to puzzle out if I'm having financial trouble (or a death wish - that's the other thing I noticed, a lot of people thought I would be a goner in an accident).

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Weasy   

NHill, I get where you're coming from.  My daily driver is a lifted Jeep TJ Sport 4.0L with big tires, and my wife drives a Grand Cherokee with the 5.7 Hemi in it.  These are both pretty cool vehicles, but we both drive 30 minutes one way into work every day and the gas mileage really sucks...lol.  Driving a smaller car isn't as bad as you make it out in the US though.  There are many people who commute pretty long distances to work and most people understand the fuel savings so it's not really looked down upon quite as much as it used to be.  In Slovakia we stayed in a town about 20 miles from the airbase and I drove it every day, plus sight seeing, and only had to fill it up after driving it for over two weeks.  The second time a week and a half later I only had to pump in a quarter of a tank just so it was full for the rental car turn in.  :)

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