2009 Skoda Octavia 1.6 TDI turbo diesel from UK and Ireland
Practical, comfortable, load carrier
Broken driver's electric window mechanism, 15,000 miles.
Another reliable car from Skoda with build quality on a par or better than VW. Driven carefully, this car is miserly with fuel, yet is a great load lugger. I have loaded it with over 15 cu' of oak boards, and this made no difference to the suspension or performance. At motorway speeds, it is quiet and refined, and the seats are comfortable for long journeys.
There are a few downsides. Firstly the heating and ventilation system is very slow to start up. It takes around ten minutes driving to get really hot air, and this means defrosting/demisting the windscreen is an arduous experience. In general I found that condensation inside the car was difficult to remove; perhaps the whole system just isn't up to dealing with what is a large car in estate form.
The only other problem is the gearing. Part of this is endemic to small engined cars nowadays, and that is a lack of torque at low engine speeds. The Octavia is easy to stall in first and second gear, and city driving is arduous because of this. A lower second gear ratio would help, but much of the problem lies with the small engine with little inertia.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 9th February, 2012