2003 Skoda Octavia Ambiente 1.9 TDI 90BHP
It does nothing badly and most things well
Air conditioning needed filling but was fixed under warranty.
Throttle body slightly sticky so it revs sometimes stay at 1,000RPM instead of 850-900RPM
Rear washer pipe detached filling boot with washer fluid. I fixed this while sitting in the huge boot.
The rear seat back was rattling but I fixed it with some sticky felt pads.
I can't think of anything this car does badly.
There have been niggly little problems, but nothing that has left me stranded. After 15,000 miles it is still showing no indication of requiring a service - absolutely remarkable!
It is comfortable, easy and relaxing to drive. It is easy to park with the reversing sensors too.
Space inside is excellent and the boot is enormous. It's so big you can sit inside it comfortably which was useful when I was fixing the rear washer pipe! The Octavia boot swallows 2 shopping trolleys full of stuff with no need to fold the rear seats. I've managed to get some 1.8m interior doors in the car with the rear seats down too.
The engine is slightly noisy at tick-over when the diesel clatter is obvious, but when driving it just makes a muted hum in the background. It is not as refined as the more modern diesels like the 130 BHP TDi PD. There can be some wind noise from around the front pillars, but it only becomes intrusive at higher speeds.
The gearbox (4 speed auto) is good most of the time, and kicks down quickly enough when needed.
The brakes are good and the handling is OK as long as you remember the car is more of a cruiser than a sprinter. If you push VERY hard you can provoke slides and understeer, but it is predictable and controllable. This isn't a performance trait, more of a safety one.
I'm averaging around 48 mpg and the car has used virtually no engine oil in 15,000 miles. The front tyres are about 50% worn and the back tyres are down just a few millimetres.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 24th February, 2005
At the end of the day, you have made an excellent choice. The Skoda represents real value for money. The marque has a century old tradition of manufacturing unique and technologically advanced vehicles. The latest batch of Skoda models are ALL winners.
I have an Octavia, it has done 80000 Miles plus and its still a master on the road. Any day better value for money than the civic. My friend had a head on with a truck and took a taxi home. This is when I bought it. Cheers.