2012 Skoda Octavia Elegance TDi 1.6 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland
Best used car on the market
Various wear and tear - brakes, suspension, etc. Serviced on time. Timing belt changed - can be expensive (around £200-£250), but well worth doing.
No major faults, only small cosmetic things, and some plastic buttons/trim feeling loose here and there.
Having previously owned an older 2002 Octavia that ran to over 250,000 miles, my next car was an easy choice for me - the newer Octavia. This 2012 model is the last of the updated shape before the all new model came in 2013, which currently are still a bit expensive to buy used, but no doubt I'll get another Octavia next. Why? Simple really - this car has been very reliable and cheap to run. Which is why I believe it makes a perfect used buy that you simply cannot get better for the money in the UK's current used market.
Economy - you can expect 60MPG average if you drive carefully, more on a long run. This was an improvement on my previous car's already great 55MPG. This is the main reason you see so many Octavias as taxis in the UK and elsewhere.
Comfort - interior is spacious if a little dull. Controls are logically laid out, and easy to reach. Climate control is fiddly - as per modern car, but you get used to it. Seats are not the best but are comfortable enough - I'm about 5'10 and can sit anywhere in this car just fine, though if you are over 6 feet tall the rear may be a bit cramped.
Driving - acceleration from the 1.6 TDi is fine with around 100BHP - no racing car, but moves when it needs to. Handling is boring - does the job and no more. Grip levels good and understeers if pushed as per front wheel drive car with predictability. Suspension is a bit too soft and bouncy for some, but it's bearable for me; I've been in much worse, though it's not the most refined car - noise levels are average.
Overall this is a perfect all round car that does everything good. The "Elegance" model is the one to go for - lots of electric equipment. Avoid the base "Classic" models; you do not get much with them. I would recommend this car to anyone looking for a good economical used car with enough room for the average family.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 31st January, 2019
8th Sep 2019, 14:22
Update by original author; still have the car and loving it, however was recently hit with my first big repair on a serious issue - the car went into limp home mode and mechanic diagnosed a faulty injector.
Cost in excess of £500 to repair! Apparently this is a common fault on modern diesel engines with common rail injectors. Just hope I do not have any more problems, such as DPF issues or other typical diesel faults. To be fair it is not just Skoda; all modern diesels seem to have these problems. Makes you wonder if it's worth it.
Still like the car and I would recommend it, however only if you do a high mileage - to save on fuel and justify the expensive repairs, otherwise get a petrol one if you do not drive much to avoid problems like this.
8th Sep 2019, 18:20
Many modern petrol engines now have direct injection, which has high-pressure fuel pumps and injectors. So, no escaping the repair costs of modern technology.
10th Sep 2019, 10:40
Yeah I heard. I guess the only advantage of petrol over diesel now is they are still ultimately quieter and smoother, and no Diesel Particle Filter (DPF) to deal with at least.
10th Sep 2019, 18:28
Uh, not... quite. New petrol cars are now coming out with particulate filters. I know new VW group cars do. But from what I have read, petrol engines run hotter than diesel so will be less vulnerable to the DPF problems. If not, it’s back to horses for us.