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Spotted: a Skoda Favorit

October 20, 2023

In 1985, the apk for passenger cars was introduced in the Netherlands. This was necessary, because too many people were driving around in barrels with life-threatening defects. Their cars, of course, did not pass the MOT and they had to look for other transportation. Lada especially benefited, with brand new but cheap cars of reasonable quality. Skoda also managed to get another piece of the pie, with the brand new Skoda Favorit that became available in the Netherlands in 1989.

Skoda Favorit was very modern

For the brand, the Skoda Favorit, introduced in 1987, was a particularly modern car at the time. It was the indirect successor to the Skodas 120 and 130, compact sedans with the engine in the rear. The Favorit followed the now successful Western European concept: a compact five-door hatchback with transverse engine in the front and front-wheel drive. Bertone, no unknown name, ensured that the design of the car was also modern. The Favorit was only available with 1.3-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, with outputs from 40 kW (54 hp) to 50 kW (68 hp) depending on the version. All Favorits had a five-speed manual transmission.

Skoda Favorit: familiar name

The only thing that was not new was the name. In fact, from 1931 to 1941 Skoda also supplied a Favorit, which otherwise had nothing to do with the modern hatchback. By the way, did you know that the later Skodas Octavia and Superb also have reused historical names?

New variant: Skoda Forman

In 1990 (1991 for the Netherlands), the Skoda Favorit lineup was expanded to include a new body variant: a compact station wagon. Depending on the market, this model was positioned as a Favorit Estate or as a separate model under the Forman name. In the Netherlands, Favorit Estate was first used, only to switch to the Forman name toward the end of production. Less well known and never delivered in Western Europe is a two-door pickup version. A four-door sedan and a two-door “coupe” version were already fully designed, but still did not make it to the production stage.

Acquisition by Volkswagen

In 1991, Skoda was purchased by the Volkswagen Group, which immediately made a number of improvements to the Favorit. Engines received new catalytic converters, interiors improved in several ways, a number of new equipment levels arrived, and the Skoda Favorit underwent a subtle facelift. Another subtle facelift followed in 1993, after which the model gave way to its all-new successor in 1994.

Successors of the Skoda Favorit

The Skoda Favorit was succeeded by the Skoda Felicia, which again was available as a five-door hatchback, compact station wagon and two-door pickup. Some additional variants were supplied in some countries, such as a van version and, in limited numbers, a convertible. The Felicia in turn gave way to the Fabia, a model line that is still running.

The spotted specimen

The one we came across is a 1991 Skoda Favorit 135 LS, which has only been in the Netherlands since February. As mentioned, the Favorit was once quite popular in the Netherlands, but by now it had been a long time since we last encountered a Favorit. Let alone one in such nice condition. Given the recent import, this example is undoubtedly in the hands of an enthusiast who continues to cherish this once-important model for Skoda.