2003 Skoda Octavia Elegance 1.9 TDI from UK and Ireland


Taxi drivers like them for a good reason


Nothing! Well the plastic under tray hangs down below the engine. No big deal, just needs tacked back up. Silly design though, could probably run without it, all it does is it's meant to protect the sump and belts from stones or anything else that may hit.

General Comments:

Excellent car, very reliable, had it two years now and never gave me trouble once. Best car I've ever owned in terms of reliability. Get the oil changed on time and make sure that timing belt is changed also on time, and you will have no problems with a well looked after Octavia.

It doesn't drive as good as a Passat or Mondeo, but you get used to it.

Comfort is average.

Performance is fine, and MPG is great - 54 MPG plus on average.

Looks OK - this is the Elegance model with alloy wheels; try to avoid the 'Classic' trim as it's very basic. This one has air-con, and electrics all round.

What more can I say, a great all round car, no wonder taxi drivers love them!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd April, 2015

2003 Skoda Octavia Elegance 4x4 1.8 turbo from Latvia


There were problems with the engine. But it was the fault of the previous owner, who did not change the motor oil in time. :(

The motor oil needs to be changed every 10k-15k kilometers.

General Comments:

This car is good choice for sport and economy driving. If you want, you can drive sporty, but not economical. But if you wish, you can switch to economical driving. It depends on your own driving style.

A good choice for young people for a first or second car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th November, 2013

2003 Skoda Octavia TDI Elegance 1.9 110 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


A good car, just a bit boring



General Comments:

This is a very popular car in the UK as a taxi, and it's easy to see why - decent interior space and very economical, 55 MPG plus through regular driving, town and motorway. Not fast, but not slow either, this is the 110 BHP diesel, better than the 90 BHP (which is still a fine engine), but this is a good balance of power and economy. Not had the car long and I've never had one before, but I've had just about every other car in this sector, which I would describe as decent sized family cars, for example, the Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Vectra, Volkswagen Passat and so on.

Heard it was based on a Passat or Golf floor plan, and the Volkswagen influence into this Skoda shows in quality, build and reliability. Refined it is not (more on that below), but to compare it to other cars like it, it's just as good, and is very capable, good looking car with a nice spec - Elegance model. Mine has alloy wheels so it stands out from the base models used as taxis with their wheel trims (though when people see you driving down the road, they still think you are a taxi!). Good level of equipment, electric windows all round, mirrors, air con, electric sunroof, all you would expect from a good trim level of a car of this type. No Bentley, but you get the idea.

So we have a car that's good to drive, very reliable and economical, not bad looking either, it's all good so far. So what do I not like? Well the problem with the car is exactly that - there's nothing to hate. It does everything just fine, not better than rivals or worse in any given department (maybe better economy out the diesel engine, that's about it) So it's just too boring. Average ride and handling, a bit too much noise. Not the most refined car. Comfort is fine, but the seats could be better and the armrest is just stupid - if you have it down it's awkward to pull the handbrake, but you get used to it.

If you're looking at a good low mileage example of these cars, with service history at a good price, go for it, you won't be disappointed if all you are after is a reliable family car. Just don't expect it to be anything special, because it is not; that's its only problem. A nice car, just boring. If you want a better driving family car, I'd go for a Mondeo, but to be fair, the Octavia is just as good if not better in all departments except driving pleasure. With that said, it's not a bad car to drive, just could have been better. I've heard the newer model is improved, I'd definitely look to buy another Octavia next, possibly the newer ones from 2005 onwards I think, but you still see this shape (98-05) on 2008 plates here in the UK, I guess they still kept making the older shape for a while. Also I think it's been replaced again for 2013 with a new model.

Overall, a good car that comes highly recommended. Not got much else to say about it; taxi drivers swear by them here, some are on 300,000 miles and still going strong! I don't know much about the petrol engine versions of this car, but I'd presume they would be a decent car as well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd May, 2013

22nd Apr 2014, 11:20

Original reviewer here, had the car a year now, time for an update!

My comments still stand - this is an excellent car and has given me no problems a year and over 15,000 miles later. Just a service and the usual consumables is all that has been required. Reading back on my review I was a little harsh - it's not THAT boring, it's OK to drive once you are used to it. If anything the predictable handling makes you more confident in taking corners at decent speeds, but being a family car I don't drive it fast anyway.