1991 Skoda Favorit LX 1.3L from Netherlands


This old Skoda is reliable, cheap and easy to maintain


The first owner of this Skoda had clocked up 100,000 Km. He then let the car stand in a field on his country property for two years (possibly longer). It arrived at the local second hand dealer months ago as a trader in. I found it where it had been standing, unwanted and banished to the darkest corner at the rear of the lot. The dealer was asking 250 euros. I paid 200.

A new battery had been installed, but had since lost it's charge. With an electric boost, the engine turned over four times, then started. I had not expected this. Perhaps it was the smell of mildew and that hideous moldy mat-green color which put me off.

This being my first car, I was trying hard to look past the leaves and straw that had blown in and were scattered all over the engine and seating compartments.

What I saw was under the hood was simple, if utilitarian. I've been driving and maintaining an old BMW Boxer motorcycle for the past ten years. Looking at the Skoda engine I recognized a familiar, open design. Everything is visible and within reach, there are no complicated (and costly) electronic components, just straight-forward workable engineering.

Unfortunately, the inside of the seating compartment negates all these good vibes. Many of the plastic rivets holding the paneling in place are broken. Consequently, the paneling is peeling off. Plastic housings for just about everything are broken, including seat adjuster components. The clock does not keep time. The steering wheel squeaks. The windows roll only three quarters of the way down and the driver's side door locks only from the inside.

The silencer had fallen off the rear end of the exhaust pipe and the exhaust systems' rubber suspenders had disintegrated leaving the pipe to rest on the rear axle. The exterior of the rear right hand wheel hub is corroded, as are all the break lines.

General Comments:

Starts first time, every time.

It is a little noisy on the motorway, but sails along smoothly enough.

First gear and reverse tend not to engage fully, but always do if care is taken. In second and third gear the acceleration is reasonable enough to make this a fun car to drive. During the test drive, I got this machine moving at 130 Km/h in fourth gear, and slowly crept up to 140 Km/h in fifth gear.

To certify this Skoda as roadworthy I need only replace the break lines, exhaust silencer and the bulb which illuminates the license plate. However, I have also renewed the basics: oil and air filters, engine lubricant and coolant, gear box lubricant and spark plugs.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th June, 2004

1991 Skoda Favorit LS Estate 1.3 from UK and Ireland


Forget about your preconceptions - it's better than you think!


Not a lot really gone wrong with the car, very reliable and always starts first time in any weather.

Mileometer stopped working at 48000 miles, seems to be a common problem, not bothered to fix.

Seats worn in places due to previous owners dog!

Rear interior door handle broke.

Snapped wires in tailgate, that caused the reversing lights, rear fog lights and rear wiper to stop working. Fixed by simply rejoining the wires.

Rust on rear arch and inner wing, seems not to be treated correctly at the factory, the opposite sides are rust free. It seems the early Favorits are not as well protected against rust as the later variants.

General Comments:

Very underrated car, I had my doubts at first at the prospect of owning a Skoda, but my preconceptions were misplaced. After previously owning an Austin Metro, the Skoda is in a different league, apart from cornering ability.

The 1.3 Carb engine is sufficient, with better performance than expected. Can often surprise people, who see a Skoda and immediately feel the need to pull out infront. The engine has a good use of power between 2500-4000rpm and 3rd gear is well placed for overtaking. However, the later fuel injected models have approximately 10bhp more, sure to make a noticeable difference. The clutch is extremely light, and the gearbox fairly precise, making town driving easy.

As regards as comfort the Skoda scores relatively well. The seats are large and comfortable with rear head restraints, but have little side support for holding you around bends. The interior uses some very cheap plastics, but this is expected due to the type of car. Again, the later models are better in this respect. Engine noise can become obtrusive on the motorway. However, there is a good deal of space in both the front and back seats, and the bootspace is excellent. The heater is also efficient, and decent ventilation means windows do not mist up often.

Handling is interesting. With no anti-roll bars the Favorit rolls around corners at speed. However, there is an extremely high level of grip considering the narrow 165/13 tyres - certainly a lot more than my previous car.

The LS model is also very well equipped for it's class. With alloy wheels, front fog lights, rechargeable torch, boot spoiler, and rear wash wipe as standard.

Overall, I'd sum the car up as being extremely good value for money. The Favorit is nippy, economical, reliable and cheap to buy - what more do you need?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th May, 2004