02 TDi Elegance Estate - Any good? - M.M
In my search for a Focus diesel the car I've liked most is actually a Skoda Octavia TDi Estate with Elegance trim. It's a late 2002 in mint condition with a lowish 63k supported by dealer history.

Seems we stand a good chance of 45-55mpg and with a car serviced to date reliability should be fine as far as you can ever say.

I note the dealer has serviced it at 20k intervals though... is that right? Haven't yet asked about the timing belt... ought this to have been done at 60k? Will this be a PD engine.

Any info/experiences appreciated.


Edited by Dynamic Dave on 05/12/2008 at 21:04

02 Skoda Octavia TDi Elegance Estate - Any good? - woodster
Won't be a PD. Normal driving should get you an easy 50-60. To be absolutely sure you should check with a main dealer the recommended cam belt change interval. VW seem to have different rules all over the place, but I think that one is at 60k. Personally, I wouldn't drive it off the forecourt without being absolutely sure it's done. Overall though, I think you'll find a lot of support from contributors on here for this car/engine. Cab drivers love 'em too.
02 Skoda Octavia TDi Elegance Estate - Any good? - bazza
I've run one for nearly 5 years, an 03 reg Elegance. It's a fine, refined car, (once it's warmed up!), especially good for long distance work. Handling is safe rather than entertaining, the heavy TDi motor can make it a bit nose heavy at times, but never any drama. A Focus will run rings round it in the twisties.
No major reliability issues to date, I had the cambelt done at around 50K, currently on 63K. The change interval is 60K so haggle for that as it's not cheap. It's the old non PD engine. Skoda changed to PD with the new shape in 04.
Tyre life on the front is a bit on the low side, I'm a gentle driver and struggle to get more than 17 to 20K. I'm still on the original pads and discs at 63000.
Fuel economy is fantastic, average 54 to 56mpg, 60 mpg on a gentle long run. Boot space and comfort all excellent.
I don't know what to replace it with when the time comes.
02 Skoda Octavia TDi Elegance Estate - Any good? - Alby Back
Had one of these on hire 2 or 3 years ago. Did over 1000 miles in it in heavy duty winter weather. Really liked it, felt very safe. Noisy though. Would buy one but would specify free ear plugs as deal clincher !

Edited by Humph Backbridge on 05/12/2008 at 20:49

02 Skoda Octavia TDi Elegance Estate - Any good? - M.M
bazza. Very encouraging info thanks. Although in theory this car is for the good lady to replace an old TD Xsara we do tend to swap and take whatever suits the use that day so it will also get used in place of my 2002 Mondeo Ghia Estate (petrol). The Mondeo was a bargain buy earlier this year and I only have one complaint really... the fuel consumption. While in theory they will get to 37mpg (I've seen that once on a long motorway run) on my daily use I see it dip below 30mpg.

So the slightly vocal diesel will be no problem compared to the Citroen and less than pin sharp handling is OK as we are usually on straight Fen roads.

I will check out the timing belt situation and insist on it... this is a Network Q car and with their claims of preparation being so detailed I will not allow them to brush aside the timing belt issue.

Does yours have remote controls for the stereo (wheel or stalk?), outside temp gauge/frost warning, auto dipping rear view mirror?

Interesting that you don't know what to replace yours with. Until earlier this year I'd run a Xantia TD for many years and also didn't know what would replace that. To be honest the Mondeo has no specific thing I don't like and is a well equipped motorway mile muncher but in truth I mostly prefered the Xantia for day to day use. Perhaps the Skoda will be a nearer match??

02 TDi Elegance Estate - Any good? - vtecfan
it's kinda noisy in the interior, more than VW Golf or (especially) an Audi with the same engine. If you don't mind this you get a car that's safe, reliable and has a huuge trunk. My friend owns one (tho it's a L&K, not Elegance) and he's very happy with it, he even chip-tuned it (from 110HP to 142HP). Overall - it's a good family car.
02 TDi Elegance Estate - Any good? - TonyJ
I have an 04 TDi (90bhp) Mk 1 (put 28K on it so far) & previously a W reg one (put 74K on that). Both have been reliable & not too thirsty. W reg gave average of 51mpg over the 74K & 04 has given 53mpg so far. Both pulled a caravan so mpg will be skewed down due to the ~30mpg doing that.
Service intervals are 20K on the 04 but were 10K on the W. The 04 has just had cambelt @60K & new discs (1st change in its life). The 04 is the runout model (SE) for the Mk 1 so has a few extras (cruise, 6cd changer) & computer display options are certainly more than the W - but cant really remember by how much! No auto dip though on either. Hope this helps a bit.
02 TDi Elegance Estate - Any good? - bazza
Does yours have remote controls .......
No, it's got climate, multi CD changer, frost warning, Traction, and that's about it. The climate controls are a little fiddly even now, and to be honest, the standard fit radio is distinctly average but good enough. It all still works though and the interior is as good as new, despite 5 years of a family of four! The handling isn't that bad, it's just not as sporty as say a Focus. Very safe and predictable, with decent ride. I service it every 10K max, and try to do an oil/filter in between. We drove down to Spain in the summer and it performed faultlessly over 2500 miles, fully laden, over the Pyrenees, in high 30s temperature, didn't miss a beat. Don't think you can go far wrong, like others say, it's not quite as refined as an Audi or VW cousin but mechanically the same.
02 TDi Elegance Estate - Any good? - MGspannerman
I have an 04 tdi 90 bhp hatchback. it is the Ambiente SE like the one mentioned above and has the "leather pack" - leather rimmed wheel, gearknob, cruise and steering wheel controls. All very nice and handy to use. I have done 10k since buying it 4.5 months ago with 27k on the clock and it has not missed a beat. yes a bit clattery on start up but not particularly noisy in my view when motorway cruising. It feels solid and reliable and was great VFM. Over the last 1k+ miles it has averaged 52.3 mpg but does about 2 mpg more in the summer when used for rapid, long distance commuting (114 mile round trip). I have just had the cambelt done, I was told 4yrs or 80k miles, which together with a full service was £500, well over £700 at the main dealer. My trusted local garage says the best thing to do is to check the engine code as there are so many variants and slightly differing recommendations. The Octavia recently came top out of 100 cars in an Autoexpress 2008 poll apparently, so my Mercedes owning chum tells me, his car came 3rd! If you can get a good one, I think they are excellent cars. I am delighted with mine and actually enjoy driving it.

02 TDi Elegance Estate - Any good? - M.M
Thanks for the extra feedback. Good to hear enthusiasm for the model and after a test drive I can see the benefits but sadly not for us. Liked the engine, steering, brakes, clutch etc but the overall refinement was less than expected. Wind noise, hardish ride, firm seats and ride noise transmitted into the cabin were all greater than we'd expected.

We really had gone with a view to buying it so bit taken aback as to what to consider next.

Spoke to a Skoda dealer who had offfered a 2003 TDiPD at similar money and he immediately said he understood the feeling we'd got from the car and that a Passat would probably suit us better?? He was also trying to punt a Skoda Superb at a very attractive price but we need a hatch or estate.

02 TDi Elegance Estate - Any good? - Avant
I wonder what annual mileage the car is going to do, MM - in other words, do you need a diesel? You might get a newer petrol Octavia for the same price or one of similar age for less money. With diesel up to (a scandalous and unjustifiable) 16p more than petrol at the moment, the arguments for petrol are getting stronger.

A Golf estate might suit you - if you do need a diesel and the VAG TDI engine is too loud (bear in mind that the Golf 1.9 TDI was a PD from about 2000 onwards), then maybe go back to your original thought of a Focus. Or another Citroen? French diesels seem quieter than VAG.
02 TDi Elegance Estate - Any good? - Cabusa
Bit of reverse research here as I am thinking of Skoda to replace a Focus 2 2005 1.6 TDCI estate - nice car but too noisy for me.

Noise is basically caused by low frequency reverbs excited in the un-deadened body shell - partly by the over-size 205x55x16" tyres. I recently changed the tyres AND wheels to 195x65x15" on recommendation of HJ and this has improved the situation a bit, but not a total solution.

Focus 2 is a delightful car to drive on short journeys, but hell on a motorway after 30 mins or so, it is so lacking in refinement. And so CRAMPED inside - you cannot put the rear seat squabs down without pushing the front seats forward - and even then they don`t go flat - on an ESTATE CAR???!!!. Same thing with a child seat - the whole configuration is biased to the front, so you have to slide the front seats forward to get a child seat into the back. Then the driver is stuffed for leg room.

Sorry to bang on a bit - but I feel the motoring media have mis-represented the Focus - it`s actually quite a small car, overweight, unrefined, and badly configured. This does not mean it`s a bad car - for those without children, short distance commuters, and lads with an obsession with fast cornering, it has much to offer. Also it`s a Ford - and I have found that has advantages of it`s own.

My last car (Yawn, Yawn) was a 1992 Ford Sierra 2.0 EFI Ghia 4X4 Estate. Ok - nobody ever heard of it - least of all the motor press - it`s a Sierra ain`t it?

Yeah - OK. But I kept it for 11 years (it was 4 years old and 80,000 up when I bought it) - it was MUCH better configured (and equipped) than my Focus - a breeze on long journeys ) and you could get 40 mpg if you wanted - I never did, so 30) - and bog relaible - best car I ever had. Handling, courtesy of Sierra Cosworth, very good indeed.

Still looking for a replacement.

On the other hand, the Peugeot derived 1.6 TDCI engine in the Focus is a gem - if not as refined as HJ claimed, it`s OK up to 3000 rpm and you never need to go much above that (get`s ¬Orrid and Noisy if you do!) - because it has so much bottom end grunt.

Makes nonsense of the Focus 2.0 TDCI I tried at the same time. I get 38-43 mpg (32 mpg on 2.0 TDCI I tried on test) - and it slightly out-drags the `06 Golf 2.0 TDI which I followed uphill on the A1. (Yes He WAS trying!)

Hope this is usefull - interesting website

02 TDi Elegance Estate - Any good? - bazza
Well, Cabusa, an interesting post, as I ran a Focus 2 petrol 1.6 for a year in parallel with my Octavia. I sold it because I couldn't stand the road noise any longer. On anything other than a billiard table-smooth road, it was completely unacceptable. Also the boot was ridiculously cramped for a so-called family car. I'm glad someone else feels the Focus is vastly over-rated.
02 TDi Elegance Estate - Any good? - M.M
Avant you are probably right about the overall cost of petrol vs diesel for our modest mileage... about 30k/yr split between two cars. However you can make a logical case on paper the heart still is pulled towards a medium sized car that will do 50mpg plus.

To be honest I'm OK with the refinement of the TDi in the Skoda... it was the car itself that seemed too harsh in all other respects.

I must admit the Golf GT Tdi I've driven never seemed unrefined.

I've only driven Focus petrols (1.6 & 2.0) but had expected the diesel to be OK after liking the refinement of a Mondeo diesel we were taxi'd in around Blackpool last weekend. I'm due to drive a 2003 Focus TDCi that a local Skoda dealer takes in PX next week.

All food for thought.

02 TDi Elegance Estate - Any good? - Avant
Interesting, Cabusa: I'm staggered that a Ford estate has rear seats that don't fold flat. That really is stupid of Ford, particularly as the humblest Anglia and Cortina estates of the 1960s had huge uninterrupted flat floors if you folded the seats down.

With VW and Skoda estates you have to remove the headrests to fold the seats down: not a problem for me as we don't often have people in the back - so the headrests live in the boot. Mazda have a one-movement folding mechanism on the 6 estate which may be worth a look if this is an important plus-point for you.
02 TDi Elegance Estate - Any good? - M.M
Oddly enough the seats do not fold fully flat in my Mondeo III Estate. I thought this was daft when we first bought it but to be honest it is so large anyway it has never been a problem. We used it to move house earlier this year (1 mile up the road) and it still eats loads despite the seats.

Interesting further food for thought Cabusa.


Edited by M.M on 06/12/2008 at 23:10

02 TDi Elegance Estate - Any good? - Alby Back
You can get the loadspace flat in a Mondeo lll Estate. You have to take the head restraints off and lift the seat squab to do it but it will fold like that albeit a fairly fiddly process. I like you, have never bothered because as you say, even with the seats just tipped forward the loadspace is vast.
02 TDi Elegance Estate - Any good? - M.M
HB I'd sussed it might be possible to lift the Mondeo squab as you mention but on mine rather than any proper hinges it seems to rely on bendy metal going boing so I gave up.

I really liked the Skoda loadspace with the underfloor storage. Great place to put all the rubbish I carry but never use.

02 TDi Elegance Estate - Any good? - Alby Back
Funnily enough, I nearly sold my old Mondeo estate yesterday. A friend who has been sniffing after it for a while was here and made me a very fair offer for it. I was very tempted given the way things are and indeed because we have three cars at present despite only needing two.

Couldn't do it. It's too good and useful. It will of course now fail catastrophically I suppose.
02 TDi Elegance Estate - Any good? - mattbod
If you can find one, the very last Octavia 1 L & K came with the 130 bhp PD option. A very good engine:loads of power and same economy as the 110bhp. Still a bit noisy though.


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