2003 Skoda Octavia Elegance 1.9TD


A really super car, well priced, quick and economical.


In nearly a year the only defect has been the rear screen washer. This stopped working and water leaked from under the tail-gate cover, indicating a pipe off or broken. This was fixed under the warranty without fuss.

General Comments:

This car is quick and economic, miles per gallon average out at 52 mpg. This is the true figure, not that from the trip computer which is optimistic by around 2%.

The climate control ensures comfort in all weather conditions and there is an electric sunroof, if the need for natural sunlight is felt.

At first the seats appear very hard, this is a Germanic trait, but one soon gets used to this and on longer journeys the firm seats actually add to comfort.

The instruments are very clear and controls fall easily to touch. The panel light is adjustable and there is a headlamp level control. The only drawback is the heater is poorly sited, not too much of a problem once you can remember where the controls are. Because the system is largely automatic the settings can be entered and forgotten, anyhow. The cigarette lighter point is also poorly sited and the left hand has to reach back to activate it.

The six Cd magazine works well and the sound from the 8 speaker stereo is superb. Automatic volume for speed differences is standard and is a 'set and forget' item.

Speed and handing are excellent, this car will out accelerate many petrol cars and cruises effortlessly at motorway speed. On a run 60 to the gallon is easily achievable, making it the most economic car I have owned.

The service interval, using fully synthetic oil, is 30,000 miles. This is the one aspect I am doubtful of, such a long service interval encourages neglect, in my opinion.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st July, 2004

19th Oct 2004, 05:40

I agree with you about that long service interval, it MAY be OK if you cover 30k miles in under a year, but otherwise it's a trick by manufacturers to pretend to be offering value. I always have an oil and filter change (use synthetic it is better) every six months on my cars regardless. Use your dealer to do the changes to avoid warranty quibbles, the car will run better and be more fuel efficient.

14th Feb 2005, 22:31

Don't be fooled by the service interval claim of 30,000 miles. the norm is that the car will call for a service around 20k and is certainly unlikely to exceed 21 or 22k. - very much depends on driving conditions. However, i gather that the condition of the oil is a significant factor for the sensors so I guess that an interim change at 10k - 15k could fool the computer into delaying the service call so you get the claimed 30k - Haven't put it to the test though. I have had my Octavia 18 months and its proved itself to be a really good car.

2003 Skoda Octavia vRS 1.8 20V turbo


Cheap and ugly, but fast



General Comments:

The Carpets being white, are very difficult to keep clean.

Octavias are a pain to reverse due to the crap rear view afforded by the high boot lid.

The plastics used in the interior have a nasty cheap feel compared to VWs. Why couldn't they have put more money into the styling of the car rather than waste it on things like over the top brakes and white carpets?

The car is fast, but wheel spins in 3rd gear which is good for impressing boy racers, but indicates poor traction even in the dry.

The handling is generally good, for a big barge of a car like this. It certainly isn't a sports car - more a large family saloon with delusions of grandeur and aspirations beyond it's means.

At the end of the day, Skoda have come a long way, but this car will always be a Skoda. It just fails to inspire. I regret buying this car because it tries too hard to be something it's not. You can modify it until you are blue in the face, but your mates are only impressed for a short time before they're secretly thinking "Yes, very nice dear, but why on earth did you buy a Skoda".

The Car represents excellent value for money, for a new car. But just think what £16K can buy these days - if you don't mind owning a three year old car for example.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th June, 2004

8th Jun 2004, 20:58

One question, where is Skoda made?

9th Jun 2004, 05:27

Since Skodas are based on VW's now, I disagree that the interior 'has a cheap feel compared to VW', especially since Skoda use the same plastics! It is interesting to read on this site that the more negative reviews of Skodas are the ones under VW influence. For example, the Estelle/Rapid/Favorit/Felicia have good reviews, but it seems the Fabia/Octavia etc seem to have reliability issues - VW reliability and build seems to be a myth.

"Cheap and ugly" - Why did you buy the car if you didn't like the look of it? Personally I think the Octavia VRS looks great.

"Octavias are a pain to reverse due to the crap rear view afforded by the high boot lid." - Surely this would've been evident on the test drive?