2001 Skoda Octavia Elegance Estate 1.9 110bhp TDi from UK and Ireland
VW design and build quality for much less
Central locking went intermittent shortly after purchase, but fixed itself two weeks later!
Loss of power under hard acceleration on the motorway 21 months after purchase was traced to a faulty air mass sensor - fixed under guarantee and no problems since.
The Octavia estate replaced a much-loved BMW 730 which was costing me an arm and a leg; the wonderfully squashy BMW leather seats also gave me serious backache, which I've never experienced in a car before.
My research suggested that an Octavia diesel estate met the bill for a largish car; one test drive and I was hooked. The driving position is perfect for me and the seats have never caused me the slightest niggle. The clutch and gearbox action are the best I've experienced in 43 years of motoring and the ride, while firm, swallows bumps effectively.
Overall mileage is composed of town driving or fast motorway work and averages 45.6 mpg - some 5 mpg better than our other car, which is a 600cc Smart coupe!
Downsides? Well, as most people point out, the rear legroom is pretty tight - the penalty no doubt of using the Golf platform with a longer rear overhang. But the load space is fantastic, increased by removal of the false floor (and there's more secret storage in the spare wheel well underneath).
Would I buy another one? Definitely, were there not a new Octavia coming out later this year. I'll wait for that and hope it includes an automatic diesel in the range...
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 2nd March, 2004