2003 Skoda Octavia Classic 1.9 turbo diesel
Faulty brake light switch.
Battery + alternator and pulley.
Water pump + timing belt.
Brakes and suspension all round, centre and back exhaust replaced.
Basically general wear and tear and all oil changes done at around 10,000 mile intervals. The door handles felt very loose at the end of its life, but they did get a lot of use.
This must be one of the most reliable cars ever made and it's no wonder that here in the UK you see lots of them as taxis. I bought this one for myself to use privately, not to be taxied. It was an estate Octavia in silver, nothing fancy, but I thought it looked OK, especially once I replaced the dull wheel trims with alloys. Very comfortable seats and the rear luggage space is huge, but try going for an Elegance model - the Classic spec should be avoided to be honest - the interior is pretty dull and it has wind up windows - pretty bad for a 2003 car; even some middle of the road Ford's I had in the 1990s at least had electric windows.
The 90 horse power diesel engine is adequate for everyday driving, but it is not a fast car. But considering you get over 50 MPG on average, you buy this type of car for economy, not to race, and just as well because the cost of some repairs were a bit expensive for a Skoda I thought, but it more than returns that with good fuel economy and general solid reliability. The above "Faults" mentioned I would say is mostly wear and tear expected of age and mileage, and was all carried out at MOTs and services, so it never left me stranded by the side of the road.
My previous VW Passat felt a little more nice and refined inside, but the Skoda was on par with that car's ability and reliability, which is interesting as VW were apparently above market in comparison to Skoda. I would love either car again, and only sold this one on because let's face it, after over 200,000 miles it was not going to last forever. I have since replaced it with the more modern Octavia from 2005 onwards, which I hope will prove just as reliable as the old one. But I and many others will always remember the Skoda Octavia (98 - 04) model as being one of the toughest cars ever made.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 10th January, 2018