I bought Skoda on the back of recommendations and now wish I hadn't.
On the face of it, you do get a lot for your money, and for a small family car there is good space. When it is on the road, the diesel engine returns 50mpg on average.
However, having bought the car, with 39,000 miles on the clock, from the Skoda dealer who sold it originally and carried out all the servicing, I was less than impressed to find myself having to replace the clutch and flywheel a mere 7000 miles later. As a 'wear and tear' item, with no warranty cover and definitely no Skoda goodwill, it was an expensive start.
Just before the end of the warranty period, the car developed intermittent power loss problems. The local dealer could not, even with Skoda Technical Services' support, get to the bottom of things after two prolonged attempts.
In the end, the engine failed completely (with three bent con-rods and one broken one) after the end of the warranty period and, despite a claim opened earlier, neither Skoda nor the Skoda Warranty Services company accepted any liability.
It seems that this kind of failure just happened and no-one can really assure me the underlying problems are yet addressed.
In 15 months of ownership, I have had about three months with the car off the road and am £3000 poorer (excluding servicing).
There are plenty of alternatives out there.
I own the new Octavia 1.9 TDi Elegance Hatchback and I am pleased to say I love it.
If you want quality, this is the car for you. So far (touch wood), I have had no problems other than the cruise control, which does not always want to work when requested.
This car has everything, and for about a month I was still discovering things this car could do, such as one-touch electric windows all round, cruise control, climate control, indicators on the wing mirrors, follow-me-home headlights, six-disc multi-changer CD as well as a CD in the cabin, auto-adjust rear view mirror (anti-dazzle), and wing mirrors which light up when you switch off the engine at night.
There are also front foglamps, and the car averages 50mpg even in mostly town driving. It goes up to 65mpg, and I get 38mpg towing a caravan. If you are a tight git, this is the car for you!
My car is black with blacked-out windows and looks the part. It's a total head-turner and you should see their faces when they realize they have just admired a Skoda!
I have owned a 1.9 TDi Ambiente for over three years now, having previously owned an Audi 1.9 TDI and was expecting the same sort of performance from the Skoda. How disappointed I was, there was no comparison at all.
I like to feel connected with a car when I drive it - I do not feel that with the Skoda and can only say that it is disappointing to drive. The steering always feel very vague and the gearbox has to be worked hard if you want to make any progress. In saying that, my wife uses the car a lot and loves it. It is a very practical, reliable car and returns good fuel economy.
The driver's seat could be more comfortable for long distance journeys, especially for tall drivers.
We have taken the car abroad on a number of occasions and it is always reliable. Servicing cost are very good indeed. The boot space is adequate.
If you lower your expectations, you will be rewarded with a car that is practical and reliable. Would I buy another one? Yes, I would, but be very clear what you want from the car in the first place. This is particularly true if you are moving from one of the more upmarket brands.
If thinking of buying a 1.9 Ambiente, make sure you take the car for a long test drive that includes driving on motorways.
I have owned the Estate, 2 Fabia Comfort Estates 1.9TDi and now two new Octavia 2.0 TDi and a Superb 2.5V6 Tdi All of which are fantastic, running costs low, fuel efficiency high and very high levels of aftersales satisfaction from dealership just south of river Clyde.
DO NOT HOWEVER CONTRACT HIRE FROM VWFS AS THEY HAVE GIVEN ME NO END OF GRIEF WHICH MAY END UP IN NATIONAL PRESS, CERTAINLY IF I HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT AS THEY ARE SPOILING WHAT IS AN EXCELLENT BRAND.
THEY HAVE OVERCHARGED ME WITH THEIR END OF CONTRACT ASSESSMENT, CHARGING ALMOST WHAT THE VEHICLE IS WORTH TO RETURN CAR TO ITS ORIGINAL SHOWROOM STATE, WHICH IS FRANKLY FARSICAL.
I SHALL NO LONGER BE DEALING WITH SKODA AUTO FINANCE (vwfs) AND SHOULD SKOD THEMSELVES NOT STEP IN TO ASSIST THEN THE SIX CARS I HAVE HAD THE PLEASURE OF HAVING SHALL BE SOLD AND I SHALL TAKE MY CUSTOM TO A MAKE WHICH REWARDS LOYALTY TO IT'S BRAND.
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