2004 Skoda Octavia Ambiente 1.4 16v petrol from UK and Ireland


Solid and reliable


Driver's window-winder mechanism had to be replaced in 2010.

General Comments:

Although a newer version came out in 2004, this is the older version.

It has been dependable for us, and is nice to drive. We'd expect to hold onto it for quite a few more years.

The long term average fuel consumption according to the onboard trip computer is approx 42mpg - more rural than urban driving. (I can get around 50mpg on long trips)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th December, 2010

2004 Skoda Octavia Ambiente 1.9 TDI turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


Idler bearing needed replacing at 124,000.

New clutch before I purchased it at 124,000.

General Comments:

Even though I have only just purchased the car, my family have had them for several years and proved to be excellent.

Typical VW engineering and performance, which I am very happy with. Currently getting over 50 mpg.

Pressing the horn switch on the edges is much easier than the middle (previous gripe on here from someone else), which is something I can live with.

Another previous gripe was the clutch, which is no problem in normal traffic, although I did find it a little uncomfortable in stop start traffic for more than 45 minutes.

The idler pulley was squealing when cold, but disappeared when warmed up. Quick and easy job to replace.

The vision all round is excellent with crystal clear rear view mirror and side mirrors, and the space in the rear is ginormous!

Gear changing is not as smooth as the VW's, but a split second longer in neutral before the next gear solves that issue.

Cold start is excellent, with only a second or two to wait before turning the key, which is much better than any other diesel I have owned.

Rear heating element does not seem to activate a light in the dash, which I need to look at.

There seems to be a "noise leak" around the rear passenger doors. Road noise is being transmitted at certain frequencies through the car, giving the impression the back doors are not closed properly, but I suspect this is a design flaw, not a fault.

Overall extremely happy with the car, but then I am comparing it to my previous 98 Renault Megane, which was easily improved upon.

Next purchase will be German diesel such as BMW, VW, Audi as French diesels are too fragile in my opinion. They win over interior styling and comfort, but their diesel engines just seem to break for the smallest reason, as evidenced by feedback on here and my own personal experience.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th December, 2009

2004 Skoda Octavia Ambiente 1.9 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


The car is proving to be a nightmare


Rear window wiper failed in January 2006.

Rear window wiper failed in January 2008.

Rear window wiper failed in December 2008.

A/M radio reception failed in August 2008.

Wiring corroded within floor due to leaks in body work.

General Comments:

This is now in the garage and is a costly repair. Skoda Autos have not been very helpful.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th January, 2009

2004 Skoda Octavia Classic 1.4 16v petrol from UK and Ireland


Don't believe the hype


Catalytic converter gone, and replaced at 12,000 miles.

Clutch became increasingly heavy, to the extent that I had to go to the doctor for a strain on the tendons behind my knee, I thought it was a skiing strain. After three visits, the doctor sussed it and I had to put a small cushion under my leg, as the front seat is very limited in terms of adapting shape. I am 35 and fit as a fiddle, so it's not me!

The engine fault lights comes on every month, then down to the garage who fix it; something to do with carbon build up. One month later back again.

The engine cuts out frequently when idling.

I have had it looked and serviced by a non dealer mechanic, who also couldn't figure out the problem.

General Comments:

My first car was a Skoda Felicia; it was superb and reliable. I wanted to get a Octavia for about 18 months, and when I passed the Irish driving test, I went down to the dealer and traded in my Opel Corsa, which was a fine little nipper for town, but I wanted a bigger car.

My car has been a disaster, and I am most likely getting rid of it this week in a good trade in.

In general though, the car is fairly cumbersome, the boot size is at the expenses of passenger room, the handling at speed feels precarious (at 80mph you think you were on ice), and the so called power steering is really heavy.

That said, I do feel that I got the equivalent of a bad pint, as a good friend has the same model and year, and it is like driving a different make of car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th August, 2007

3rd Jul 2009, 05:05

I have driven Skoda for the last 14 years, and have found them to be really good and reliable.

Currently I have an Octavia 1.9 diesel, which is excellent in all aspects bar one. I have pulled the drivers door handle apart 7 times in the last 2 years. This results in the electric window system falling apart, and the window is stuck either open or shut. Sometimes it is possible to manually press the microchip and at least use the window till I can get to the garage. The garage insists that this problem has never happened before, and I cannot believe that I have managed to do this 7 times. In 40 odd years of driving I have never pulled a door handle apart. Has anybody else experienced this problem, and if so how have they got round it?

4th Jan 2015, 14:26

I had this problem with my 2004 door handle; it boiled down to the microchip on the lock mechanism. The only way I got round it was to replace the door lock. The chip is not separate to the mechanism. This may not solve your issue, but it's a place to go for any ideas. It solved many of my auto windows up/down, lights on warning buzzer, and interior light issues. Hope it gives you a place to check.