31st Jul 2002, 08:53

What ever you do, don't buy a Seat Leon because the same thing will happen to you again.

The built quality is so poor you would be better of with a Lada and customer care is something other car makers do.

9th Jul 2015, 22:04

VWs are very overhyped. Take a look at the 2000-2001 Passats on this site for example. Lots of parts on the Octavia are built by VW/Audi, it is stamped on the spare parts boxes.

12th Jul 2015, 13:27

First negative review and comments I've read about the Octavia EVER. I notice the review and comments were written a long while ago (over 10 years) when these cars were relatively new and Skoda had still not shaken its bad image by then. Nowadays, you only have to look at the UK taxi industry to see just how many of these cars are used as taxis. That shows they are quality cars and built to last. I don't see how the original reviewer can say they feel cheap.

Interestingly though, mines has lots of squeaks and rattles now, but it is over 10 years old and has 100,000 miles plus on it, but still nothing has broken. To me, a true test of a car's quality is if it is still going after over a decade and many miles, which this car can handle fine.

13th Jul 2015, 09:42

I find there's still too many badge snobs these days. I know some VW and Audi drivers that won't touch Skodas or Seats, even though everyone knows they are quality cars.

13th Jul 2015, 19:47

The reason why they do is because although mechanically similar or identical, VW decides to withhold some critical things from the Skoda or Seat badges.

The dashboard plastics are not as good as a VW, let alone an Audi, the rear suspension of the current Skoda Octavias are torsion beam (or whatever it's called) and only become multi-link on models that have a high engine output, whereas the equivalent Golf is multi-link from as low as 122 BHP (1.4 TSI). Ditto sound insulation and hence overall refinement.

It isn't just mechanical that matters when owning a car for several years, used day in, day out - the little things do matter. But yes, open the floodgates and don't withhold anything from Skoda and Seat vs. the equivalent VWs, and Skoda will get even more popular than it already is.

14th Jul 2015, 08:51

Ah yes I see now, refinement is the key word here. Agree with your comment, I had a Passat back in the day and it was quiet and smooth - the Octavia is not. Mind you, I do get used to it, and I still wouldn't pay a premium for a tiny bit more refinement. The Octavia is noisy, but not the worst car I've had for overall noise. I guess it all comes down to what one wants from a car. If I wanted a whisper quiet car, I'd buy a 7 series BMW or Mercedes S-class. I find the Octavia is the best "all round" car I've ever had though - jack of all trades - does everything good, but nothing brilliant and nothing badly.

14th Jul 2015, 19:46

I didn't realise how much of a difference refinement meant, until I was in the market to change cars. About 17 years ago, I had a used 1986 Audi 80 GTE, and felt it was time to update my car to something newer, probably safer. I drove a 1993/94 VW Golf 1.8i, and the first thing I noticed: It was noisy inside. May not matter in many countries, but here in NZ, we have coarse chip paved roads, and the drone transmitted into the cabin can fatigue you on long drives (through winding mountain roads, not straight and level motorways). So was I going to upgrade from an 8-year older car to one which was, in this case, worse than what I had? No. I ended up with a 1992 Audi 80 2.0E at that time. I suppose it's a different matter if you're buying new, in which case it's really a matter of what your funds can afford, but buying used, it does give you a bit more than what you'd usually afford in amenities, sacrificing mileage or age in turn.

15th Jul 2015, 17:14

Correct my friend - that's something else to consider, the roads. I live in the UK and we have rough roads as well, despite what you might hear about us having "good standard roads compared to anywhere else in the world".

Interesting choice of cars, I considered an Audi 80 as well many years ago in 2001 when I had a 1991 Passat 2.0 petrol. It couldn't offer me much more than the Passat, though it was a nice car when I test drove the Audi. There cars were worth about 1000 UK pounds when I had them at around 10 years old. But you are right, fuel prices and road conditions are other things to consider when buying a car at any age, but I still stand by my comments that the Octavia is a good all rounder.

Mind you, if I lived in NZ or Australia, I would love a Holden Commodore / Ford Falcon :) Always fancied one of those, wouldn't consider anything else. And over here they would be classed as "executive/luxury cars", but over there they are just ordinary day to day cars.

16th Jul 2015, 02:04

My choice of (used) cars has been greatly influenced by my first year in NZ (originally from the Philippines) in 1994, I had a 1981 Mitsubishi Mirage, and driving to Wellington 800km away, and almost dying on the roads maybe 4 times, I concluded that I needed a car that had a solid body, much more power than 52 BHP, and that handled very well. In the mid-late '90s, Holdens were still expensive used (and often stolen), Japanese cars were reliable but underpowered and flimsy (the age most people could afford as used cars). Audi at the time had no real cachet (it was an "odd" car, like a Lancia or Renault), so they were cheap enough, and Japanese used import Audi 80s were nearly half the price of a BMW 3-series or Merc 190E because they had no status in Japan, and could be bought cheap there. Falcons and Commodores are robust, not as guzzly as you think, interior plastics are bettered by Kia or Hyundai, and they're comfortable tourers.

16th Jul 2015, 21:21

Nice one mate, it's always good to hear of other people's experience with cars all around the world. Carsurvey is great, and is not as busy as it used to be years ago with people commenting and reviewing cars.

Not to get too far away from the point though, I've just noticed the original reviewer's car we are commenting on is petrol. The Octavia I have is diesel, and apparently is more reliable. I didn't think they sold Skodas and other such cars in NZ, and I'm pretty sure the USA don't get them, and with their fuel prices, a diesel would probably not be needed.

I also find it interesting to note as an example that back in the 90s you could get a BMW 5 series in the UK with a 1.8 petrol engine (518i). In the USA, they didn't even market that version, they started with a 2.5 six cylinder petrol (525i). We did get the higher power engine cars of course, but you paid a premium, if buying new anyway. I don't know about Audis, but probably a similar story in regards to engine sizes and equipment marketed for certain areas of the world.

We also got a Vauxhall Carlton/Senator/Omega, which were based on the Holden Commodore (all General Motors I think); those were great cars here, but again most were 2.0 petrol 4 cylinders, not the straight sixes.

To sum up, I think the cost of motoring here is the main reason cars like the Octavia appeal. Good all rounders, and a car that may not be a big luxury saloon, but it shows you can have a good sized economy car that doesn't have to be a small city car.

I'll need to get a review of my car up on here soon :)