1989 Skoda Favorit 136 LS 1.3 from UK and Ireland
The laughs aren't as cheap as they should be
The head gasket blew shortly after I purchased the car, it still drove OK for a day or two leaving a smoke screen behind it. I found this quite amusing until the smoke screen became a fog, the temp gauge went red, the heater went awol (mid winter) and top speed was about 20mph.
Dealer backup however was ace. A new gasket was instantly purchased for a tenner and fitted in an evening. The engine never missed a beat again and sunshine returned to the interior via the now working heater.
Equipment levels were quite good and reliable although some of the fuses for the lights needed an occasional squirt of WD-40.
I discovered Favs don't fare too well in crashes. While practising a little low speed road craft in the ice I hit a curb and buckled the wish bone at the front which holds the wheel in place when steering. This made the car only driveable in reverse as the wheel was catching the rear of the wheel arch.
Luckily I was within a mile of home. As I reversed home with the hazards on I got a few funny looks with the tyre scraping by.
The next day I picked up secondhand bone from the breakers and found it even more of a doddle to fit than a head gasket.
The comfort and build quality on the Fav was very acceptable given the purchase price of next to nothing.
The insurance wasn't as cheap as you'd think, but this may be down to the interesting handling.
You see Favorits aren't fitted with anti-roll bars which causes massive lean when cornering, but with a combination of skill, bravery, and experience they can be hustled around bends quite quickly.
The brakes are quite good although a well loaded car and lots of heavy passengers certainly put them to the test.
Performance was never great, but it can be improved. Simply removing the inlet pipe from the airbox allows the engine to breath more easily, and helps it to run better when cold.
The top speed I attained was a smidge over 85mph on the no doubt accurate speedo. The high speed handling was to weavey to try for any more.
The main downer for me with such a cheap car was the fuel cost, mine averaged less than 30mpg so when a better car came along that wasn't much dearer to insure, was faster and used less fuel it had to go.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 23rd July, 2002