2000 Skoda Felicia LXi 1.3 MPI
A basic, reliable, economical and likable car
Hydraulic headlight adjustment mechanism failed at 20.000 km (the replacement mechanism has been working flawlessly since then).
Thermostat failed at 70.000 km, had to be replaced.
For the equivalent of about 8.500 euros, it would have been difficult to find a better new car in my opinion. It was by far the cheapest estate on the market.
For this price, the equipment list included central locking, immobiliser, 4 speakers, and some other goodies. However, "luxuries" such as air conditioning, power steering, air bags, or ABS were only available as extras.
It has been very reliable, and service is reasonably priced even at Skoda dealerships.
The cabin is fairly roomy, offering as much passenger space as many models in higher categories (possibly at the expense of safety - no official crash test results are available). The boot of the estate version is large enough even for long camping trips (447 liters).
The large windows and mirrors provide excellent visibility for the driver, which is an often overlooked aspect of active safety.
Most of the interior is made of low-cost plastic, but the overall design is pleasant. The controls (including the pedals) are ergonomic and easy to use.
I found the seats to be comfortable even on long journeys. The rear seats are split and can be folded forward, but can also be removed entirely, making it possible to carry a lot of stuff.
Performance is only adequate (acceleration of 14 sec. from 0 to 100 km/h), which can make overtaking an exciting experience, but there is sufficient power in most situations.
The gearbox is a little sticky when shifting down into second, but the five gears are well distributed, making the car suitable for city driving as well as motorway cruising.
The brakes - disks in front, drums in the back - are reliable and effective, but need a firm foot if you need to stop quickly.
Handling is accurate, with some body roll in tight corners.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 1st April, 2005
3rd Dec 2005, 12:43
I have a 2000 Classic, the run out model 1.3. It cost £6500 inc three years maintenance.) Brits are ripped off)
It has performed adequately with minor irritations, central locking needed a solenoid after three months, rear wiper motor after six months, all under warranty.
Door lock broken after 5.5 years.
It seems to be very well built, better than my Escort and repairs are easy to do.
The fuel injection has given no problems and it still has original battery.
Quite underrated for a budget car.
25th Jun 2009, 15:57
I bought a 1998 GLX 1.3 mpi 5 door, from a salvage site catD for 105 GBP.
It needed only a headlamp and front bumper, which I replaced for 25 GBP. I have run it trouble free for just over 3 years.
The only parts ever replaced were 2 drive shaft gaiters, rear exhaust section, and the original battery. It only failed an m.o.t. once due to the rear brake balancer needing a drop of wd40. I was a motor engineer before I retired and worked on all sorts of vehicles.
I must say in all fairness, I have never, ever owned such a cheap, reliable, dependable, car as the Felicia. It's so cheap to tax, insure, run, and fettle, it puts my sons 07 Mondeo costs to shame, 80 GBP per hour, for filling the washer bottle and checking the oil levels at the main dealer. I have now purchased another Felicia from the same salvage site.
It's a 2000 model estate with a damaged drivers door and a slight crease in the rear door. It flew through the M.O.T. with no advisories, such are these tough little troopers. It's a shame they have stopped making them now, it means I will have to make it last another 10 years.