Skoda 105L Review from Finland

1989 Skoda 105L Super 1.0

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.0 Manual
Performance marks 3 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.8 / 10
Distance when acquired62000 kilometres
Most recent distance71500 kilometres
Previous carVolvo 244

Summary:

A cheap and bad car

Faults:

Front door lock jammed.

Driver door is very hard to open.

Rear door handle fell off after lock jammed open.

Trunk doesn't open without violence.

The hood doesn't stay open.

Door locks froze in the winter, the doors couldn't be closed.

Windscreen washer failed completely.

The driver's headrest fell off.

A side mirror broke with no reason.

The headlights died.

The doors freeze open in the winter.

The brakes shake.

Handbrake broke down.

The engine spills and burns lots of oil.

The engine jammed completely in the winter. (Well, it was -30 degrees.)

Incredibly huge gaping rust holes all over the car, despite of repainting, welding etc.

The whole rear end of the car deformed completely in a 5 km/h crash.

General Comments:

The car has terribly slow acceleration due to its small engine, and high speed handling is awful (especially in the winter) because of the swing axle rear suspension and rear engine.

The steering is light and very accurate, but the car has a bigger turning circle than a Volvo 244.

The interior is OK: seats are rather comfortable and easy to adjust, and the heater is very good. However, the soundproofing is minimal: the noise level at 80 km/h is nearly deafening. I had to actually use earplugs when driving on the highway.

The body panels are so thin that you can easily dent them by just pressing them with your finger. The doors rust so quickly, you can nearly see the metal flaking off.

Anyway, the car cost only 300 euro when I bought it, and the previous owner had just taken it to the inspection after spending over 200 euro in renovations, so it was a real bargain for the price. I still do not recommend a Skoda 105 for serious use, you never know what will break down next.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 19th June, 2003

10th Jul 2003, 15:14

After driving 1000 kilometers since submitting the post, the whole rear wheel (the brake drum and the wheel) fell off while I was driving at 100 km/h. The car slid on the road for 200 meters shooting sparks everywhere, before it finally stopped. The reason for the fault was very simple: the very thin metal pin holding the driveshaft bolt in place snapped, and the bolt opened in just a couple of seconds, letting the entire wheel assembly to fall off.

10th Jan 2004, 13:31

Problem with rear wheel is well known. It was caused during construction in some years. The most of other problems described in review should be repaired very easily (doors etc.)

In case of questions about Skoda cars (105,120,130) contact me at tom733@ick.cz (.cz like Czech republic).

31st Dec 2004, 09:16

Does anyone have any photos of these cars... this was my first vehicle and it was burned down together with my house & garage during the war in Bosnia. Since then I drove and owned dozens of all kinds of cars, but never did I feel the same buzz as when as a teenager I used to nick of to town with my polished 105l without my dad knowing! Thanks boys!

20th Sep 2005, 10:35

I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your Skoda (and your house)

I live in Belfast, Northern Ireland and am a proud owner of one of the last Skoda 130LSE left over here. I absolutely love the charm and characters of this car. And yes, it is surprisingly nippy for what it is. It's also been incredibly reliable except for a cracked head - a traditional weak spot, I guess having a cast iron head on an alloy engine block was always courting trouble.

If you drop me a line on thomaspreier@yahoo.com I'll send you a few pictures of my own and others I know. I'll even put on of my Wartburg in.

18th Jul 2006, 15:30

Not minding of the problems that they have, I would still be glad to see more on the Finnish roads!

23rd Dec 2007, 21:13

No "bob weight governor failure" this time? I liked your other eastern European car reviews; please write more. I hear Polonez has many parts that regularly fall off, much more than Skoda. Skoda was seriously probably the best Eastern manufacturer, and the only one which is successful today.

Average review marks: 4.8 / 10, based on 1 review