1999 Skoda Felicia GLX 1.9 diesel from Portugal
The car you can take to the end of the world... for less!!
When I bought the car, there were a lot of things to dislike with it.
Rust points, especially on the roof and near the rear window rubber.
Loose gear box (but still working perfectly).
Old tires that affected wheel alignment and brakes, causing a lot of vibrations at high speeds.
Bad maintenance, with the interior and exterior being not very clean and well treated.
I bought it to do a lot of trips. Since I had it, I add at least 1000 Km/week.
It was a cheap buy, only 2000 Euros, so I had some money to spare on repairs.
I bought second-hand Pirelli tires almost new for only 135 Euros. You can get them even more cheap from other makers (it uses 165/70R13 tires).
The loose gearbox feeling was caused by a broken gearbox connection. I've found a replacement for only 60 Euros (again in used parts), and now everything is perfect.
Metal and painting maintenance was also home-made, so I’ve only had to spend about 100 Euros on that.
With that all sorted, I could finally enjoy my piece of Czech-engineering. Mechanically it's great (VW-based) and it will go on forever.
Not a particularly racy car, but it has the needed torque to hold easily 4th or 5th gear in all conditions. I've achieved 180Km/h as a top speed, and acceleration is around the 15-16 second mark.
The stiff seats make it, strangely, very comfortable for long trips. High steering wheel position gives a strange feeling at the beginning, but you get used to it.
It's very cheap to run (5,05L/100Km since I’ve bought it), and as you can see, to sort out when something go wrong.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 8th October, 2008
The car has now 157 000km, so I've already made 10 000km in just 3 months!! Fuel economy still pretty much great and in long trips it can deliver less than 5l/100km. In the city it gets a little worse, but it will never go far then 6,5l/100km.
Meanwhile, I've noticed that when is cold the gear change gets a little difficult. I've also had a big problem with the alternator belt, which broke because the alternator's poly were loose and needed a new one which, in Portugal, you can only get in an official seller (it was still Skoda based), so it cost me a not very nice price of 260 euros.
Still, I'm pretty sure I've made a great option and as I get more confident with it, I realize the Felicia can even be a fun car to drive!!
It's nearly two years since the Felicia joined the family. It now belongs to my brother, who also continues to cover long distances every week with her, being now near to 200.000km.
The Felicia started developing some electrical niggles, but nothing very important. There were only two big issues: a light switch failure, which happened during a long trip overnight, having to travel only with the fog and presence lights, and an electric window malfunction, which, being in the car since I've bought it, lead now to a total failure during winter, making it impossible to close once opened. Both repairs weren't cheap, once again due to Skoda original parts (still had "made in CZ" sticker!!).
Also, the car has a very strange safety feature which caught me, my brother and my father already by surprise: the second key won't start the engine. You can hear the starter motor working, but the engine simply won't start. The spare key only allows you to get into the car and retrieve the original one so you can use the car...!
I'm still in love with her, but my brother doesn't have the same patience...! Hopefully it won't have many more problems from now on ;)