1999 Skoda Octavia SLXi 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland


An excellent vehicle spoilt by comfort issues


Nothing has gone wrong with the car in the short time I have owned it. The air con works, though it needs recharging and that`s about it.

General Comments:

This is a well equipped car: PAS, ABS, traction control, air con, electric sunroof, electric windows front and rear, electric mirrors, alloy wheels and an excellent 8 speaker Grundig sound system.

Fuel economy is astounding, especially when considering this silky smooth 20V engine is allied to an automatic gearbox. I have regularly seen 40+ mpg. Front head room and leg room is good and the boot is truly vast. Rear leg room is very poor though.

The major Achilles heel - resulting in me exchanging this otherwise excellent vehicle for a Volvo V70 XC - is comfort. Both my wife and I have found this vehicle to be the most uncomfortable we have ever owned. The seat squabs are very short and we`ve both sat on softer park benches! The lumbar suport seems to make the problem even worse. If you are well over 6` with an extremely long inside leg (like me) you will likely find the driving position uncomfortable on long journeys. Not the fault of the vehicle, but worth bearing in mind.

To summarise: an excellent, under-rated, smooth, fuel efficient, powerful saloon available for a bargain price. If you are under 6`, like firm seats and have small or no children, this vehicle should be on your short list.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th November, 2002

6th Mar 2003, 13:33

I'm thinking of buying a nearly new Skoda Octavia and comfortable seats are an issue for me, as I currently own a Rover coupe which I can never get comfy in! I'm way under 6' tall, so is it likely I won't have a problem? It's very difficult to predict how comfortable a long journey will be after a short test drive.

24th Jun 2003, 10:24

I'd very much like to buy one, but my experience of several is that the front seats let them down for the reasons stated. They're beyond the extreme end of 'firm' and the squabs are far too short to be comfortable (and I'm well below 6').

13th Jul 2003, 09:48

I have driven over 100,000 miles in my SLXi 20v including a lot of motorway driving. I find sitting in the driver's "armchair" very comfortable on a long run. There's also somewhere to put your left foot - a great innovation.

I have a "bad back" but find the lumbar support and multitude of seat positions very useful. The steering wheel adjusts as well.

Another little gimmick - the small sun visor that folds down to cover that annoying bit between the passenger and driver visors above the rear-view mirror.

1999 Skoda Octavia GLX 1.9 TDI 90 bhp from UK and Ireland


An economical, reliable workhorse


Heated rear screen element damaged on delivery. Replaced by dealer.

Ignition lock sometimes failed to engage the immobiliser when removing the key. All locks replaced by dealer.

Slight water leak (I hadn't noticed it, the dealer picked it up during the 40,000 mile service and replaced the water pump under warranty.

Wipers started behaving erratically - going very slowly or occasionally stopping completely. Entire mechanism (linkage, motor etc) replaced by dealer under warranty.

General Comments:

The dealer from whom I bought the car was an absolute disgrace and soon ceased to be a Skoda dealer - thank goodness. The dealer I then went to for servicing has been exemplary. Well done Riding & Co., Preston!

The car itself is almost faultless. The fuel economy is incredible. If I drive carefully, I can get just over 80mpg (yes, I did say EIGHTY!) on my daily journey to work (just under 30 miles, mostly motorway with a bit of town centre crawling at each end)

The seats are comfortable even on long journeys and the adjustable steering wheel means that it's easy to achieve a good driving position.

The boot is enormous - maybe a little too big. Perhaps my only real criticism is a lack of rear leg room. If the boot space had been reduced by a few inches, it would have made for a much more comfortable journey for rear-seat passengers.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th September, 2002