2015 Skoda Octavia Elegance 1.4 turbo petrol 7 speed DSG
Yes it looks good and performs well, but Skoda won't back up this with any customer service!
Satellite navigation faulty (it has taken a 7 month battle from Skoda to have it replaced under warranty).
Wing mirror squeaks when it folds in and out.
Centre speaker on dash rattles and buzzes (I have the Canton upgrade).
Chrome on gear shifter peeling off (it was replaced under warranty), however I think this was because the service manager didn't want me to drive the car through their front window as I may have suggested I'd do, as I pretty much have had enough!
Driver's door failure (whatever that is).
Air-con temperatures all over the place (20 degrees blows hot and vice versa on other days).
Various trim pieces falling off (easy to put back on, however still not what I expect for a $40,000 car).
Rear tyre had a nail in it (this isn't the cars fault I know), but the tyre shop showed me that all 4 tyres are down to 5 mm of tread. The Conti tyres that Skoda have fitted to the car from factory are not designed for the Australian roads, the rubber is too soft and I got less than 10,000Ks out of them, replacement Conti tyres are approx. $380.00 per tyre! I have changed to Michelins, these are more reasonable at $250.00 a tyre and are more likely to last longer (or so I'm told). If I knew this to begin with I would have told the dealer to remove the Conti's and put Michelin tyres on to begin with (and also a wheel alignment as the car's aren't aligned from the factory).
Originally I had my heart set on the Ford Mondeo, purely due to the size of the boot, and the car looked like a sedan whilst having the added space of a hatchback. After months of research and reading reviews of the Mondeo, I decided to look at the other car in the review... the Skoda Octavia; on paper in comparison it destroyed the Mondeo, so I decided to take a look at the Octavia in the flesh and see what it was like. As I have owned VW products in the past, I knew that there would be some similarities across the brand when it comes to features I have previously had. The Octavia had a fresh feel of quality to it, whereas the Mondeo felt tired (as it has been on sale for 6 years).
The difference in price was also $15,000 (based on the Mondeo Titanium @ $55,000), and dollar for dollar the Octavia gives you more as standard.
Off the bat the Skoda dealership would give me the time of day (whereas I was never offered a test drive of the Mondeo or even got a hello are we shopping for a car?). The dealership I first went and visited wasn't the dealership I actually purchased from; unfortunately in Australia Octavias come over in limited numbers, and to get a trim level with the options you want is scarce, and to have one built to your spec takes too long (and I'm impatient). After looking through other dealers, I found one that ticked the boxes; right trim level, with the sunroof, upgraded wheels, Canton audio system, in a flattering colour that I can live with for the next 5 years.
The only thing I wanted to add was a reverse camera... BIG mistake there! I asked for the Genuine Skoda Reverse camera; what I got was a $50.00 heap of garbage strapped to the underside (yes the underside) of my car; clearly the fitter was too lazy to mount it on the tailgate! (I have been a car audio fitter for 10 years and it is an absolute no to fit them there... especially on a brand new car). I ordered the camera to be removed and the amount paid refunded.
On removal of the camera, the useless fitter smashed the GPS antenna, therefore the unit could not track properly. It has taken 7 months, emails and phone calls to the selling dealer, Skoda Australia and to Skoda Head office Global and visits to the service department getting me nowhere, but it was a letter from a particular current affairs television show that finally got a result and a replacement module.
Skoda's customer service in Australia is one of the worst; most of my hate for this car has come down to the way I have been treated (we have your money so we don't care!). I haven't bought the $21,000 Ambition model, I paid $40,000 for the Elegance and that is a big chunk of change, and it is a car I intended in keeping for 5 years. Skoda is a small company in Australia, and therefore should treat their customers with respect as it is the Skoda owners of today which can turn tomorrow's purchasers into Skoda drivers too.
Would I buy another Skoda?
No, at this point in time I will not buy a VW product, I have been a loyal VW customer for 7 years, spending a total of $140,000 on cars and vans (both business and personal); clearly this doesn't mean anything when it comes to customer service.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 24th November, 2015