2003 Skoda Octavia vRS 1.8 20V turbo from UK and Ireland


Cheap and ugly, but fast



General Comments:

The Carpets being white, are very difficult to keep clean.

Octavias are a pain to reverse due to the crap rear view afforded by the high boot lid.

The plastics used in the interior have a nasty cheap feel compared to VWs. Why couldn't they have put more money into the styling of the car rather than waste it on things like over the top brakes and white carpets?

The car is fast, but wheel spins in 3rd gear which is good for impressing boy racers, but indicates poor traction even in the dry.

The handling is generally good, for a big barge of a car like this. It certainly isn't a sports car - more a large family saloon with delusions of grandeur and aspirations beyond it's means.

At the end of the day, Skoda have come a long way, but this car will always be a Skoda. It just fails to inspire. I regret buying this car because it tries too hard to be something it's not. You can modify it until you are blue in the face, but your mates are only impressed for a short time before they're secretly thinking "Yes, very nice dear, but why on earth did you buy a Skoda".

The Car represents excellent value for money, for a new car. But just think what £16K can buy these days - if you don't mind owning a three year old car for example.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th June, 2004

8th Jun 2004, 20:58

One question, where is Skoda made?

9th Jun 2004, 05:27

Since Skodas are based on VW's now, I disagree that the interior 'has a cheap feel compared to VW', especially since Skoda use the same plastics! It is interesting to read on this site that the more negative reviews of Skodas are the ones under VW influence. For example, the Estelle/Rapid/Favorit/Felicia have good reviews, but it seems the Fabia/Octavia etc seem to have reliability issues - VW reliability and build seems to be a myth.

"Cheap and ugly" - Why did you buy the car if you didn't like the look of it? Personally I think the Octavia VRS looks great.

"Octavias are a pain to reverse due to the crap rear view afforded by the high boot lid." - Surely this would've been evident on the test drive?

2003 Skoda Octavia Laurin & Klement 1.8 petrol turbo from UK and Ireland


Serious performance and luxury at a cut price


The rear windscreen washer pipe came adrift from the rear door spigot, meaning washer fluid in the inside of the tailgate and boot floor. Dealer fix in 20 minutes under warranty.

General Comments:

A Volkswagen Bora / Golf, Audi A3/TT, Seat Leon, for Skoda money.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd February, 2004

23rd Sep 2005, 12:11

Just updating my earlier review. I now consider the Octavia to be a (small, but super-reliable) Merc for Skoda money. I've done 45,000 miles with no problems at all. I keep looking at other cars, new models and - for the first time in my driving life of 35 years - I think, "I'm not bored, there are no problems, its still a superb car and I don't want anything else".

15th Aug 2014, 17:33

Can you please type some information about the automatic transmission?

Is it slowing the car a lot on acceleration, and how does it affect fuel consumption?

I am about to buy an L&K Octavia 1.8T and I generally want it automatic, but I am a bit scared that the transmission may affect performance and consumption too much.

Thank you in advance.

2003 Skoda Octavia PD (130) estate 1.9 TDI from UK and Ireland


A rose by any other name! Don't be put off by the badge


Faulty switch on tailgate causing door open warning light to come on whilst driving.

The above is just a minor new car fault. Based on the experience of several friends with Skoda's, I anticipate ultra reliable motoring.

General Comments:

Quite simply the excellent VW standard build quality and value for money stand out when you are spending your OWN money on a car.

The TDI engine happily ambles along in high gear with just a 1000 rpm on the tachometer in town. As soon as you want to go faster, block change down a few gears to kick in the turbo and the car simply surges forward with minimal effort. Whats more it is very quiet for a diesel.

Economy is 50+ plus mpg which I am reliably informed it will get even better once fully run in - Usually at least 10,000 to 15,000 for a VW diesel.

The front seats are excellent. I am tall, my wife short yet we can both get very comfortable settings. Rear seat legroom a little restricted, but acceptable.

The dual floor in the estate gives a level loading platform and space underneath to hid valuables and other belongings from general view.

The suspension gives a supple ride over speed humps and poor quality surfaces. - very comfortable - but may not suit a sporty driving style.

The car is full of clever features, but not in anyway flashy, just well thought out and functional. In other words it won't date either!

Dealer Service has been outstanding so far.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th September, 2003