Skoda Octavia (2004 – 2013) Review

Skoda Octavia (2004 – 2013) At A Glance

4/5

+Well thought of by owners. Huge boot. Spacious and comfortable cabin. Reasonable to drive. Efficient Greenline TDI models.

-Drab interior. Early TDI PD engines noisy. Plastic timing belt pulleys can fail early on 1.6-litre engines. ABS/ESP brake sensor problem. Air con problems common. Timing chains fail on EA888 1.8 and 2.0TSIs from 2009 to 2012.

Insurance Groups are between 7–30
On average it achieves 97% of the official MPG figure

Forget the badge on the bonnet, the Skoda Octavia is an accomplished mid-size hatchback and quite good value for money. Although on price it competes with hatches like the Ford Focus, the Skoda Octavia is similar in size to larger cars like the Volkswagen Passat and has a cavernous boot that can carry more than the latest Ford Mondeo. There's plenty of space in the cabin too, which has a solid feel to it.

Volkswagen owns Skoda and as a result the Octavia is well built and drives well too. It has decent road manners, a smooth ride and is refined at speed, making it great if you spend a lot of time on the motorway. It also gets good standard equipment with even the basic models getting climate control and electric windows while the top of the range models are lavishly kitted out and still reasonably priced.

The Skoda Octavia was facelifted in early 2009 and given a more upmarket look with new headlights the most noticeable change. The interior was revamped with a much more sophisticated feel but the big changes came under the bonnet. The noisy 2.0 TDI PD engine was replaced by a smoother TDI CR engine (the CR stands for common rail) while a great little chain cam 1.4 TSI with water cooled turbo was also introduced.

These combine to make the Octavia an even better value proposition, but if you're looking to really keep running costs down, then the Greenline model is the one to go for. Thanks to an efficient 1.6 TDI it can average 64.2mpg while CO2 emissions of just 114g/km mean it's cheap to tax too.

Skoda 10 Years V RS

Real MPG average for a Skoda Octavia (2004 – 2013)

RealMPG

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

97%

Real MPG

25–70 mpg

MPGs submitted

1708

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

When should a cam belt be changed?
"The official recommendation by Volkswagen for a cam belt change on the Polo 1.2 TSI is 60,000 miles or at five years, a cam belt inspection. Nowhere does VW advocate a change at five years. When I point this out to the dealers they just say we recommend a change at five years. How does this reconcile with your five year recommendation? This was also the case on my 2012 Skoda Octavia."
Almost all cam belt failures (we hear about) happen after five years and/or 60,000 miles. An inspection may identify a frayed belt. But lots of cam belt failures are linked to pulley and tensioner problems that may be less obvious to the eye - that's why it's important to have the whole lot replaced. You would usually replace the water pump, too. But I'm fairly certain it is located at the opposite end of the block to the cam belt and doesn't have a change interval - but check this with your local mechanic.
Answered by Dan Powell
I want to replace my Ford C-Max soon - what Estate do you suggest?
"I'm thinking of replacing my Ford C-Max next year. The contenders are a Volvo V50, Skoda Octavia Estate or VW Passat Estate? What are the pitfalls of purchasing a high mileage vehicle (75,000+ miles and around 10 years old.) I need an estate with enough room for a large dog crate and comfortable enough for someone with a bad back."
Provided they've been serviced regularly, you'd probably be better buying a high-mileage diesel than a low-mileage one. Diesels are best suited to regular motorway driving to clear the diesel particulate filter. I'd be worried about buying one with low miles that's mainly been used for local journeys around town. Bear in mind that a 10-year-old car with 75k on the clock will only have covered 7500 miles a year, which is pretty low. Out of your shortlist, the Octavia represents the best value for money.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What's the best used estate for £4000?
"My commute is a 100-mile round trip per day (four days a week) and I am looking for a utopian estate car or similar that is reliable, economical, costs under £4000 to buy and can tow a trailer for runs to the dump (large trailer) at the weekend as well as seating three children and two adults for longer runs. If on top of all that it could be a reliable automatic diesel then great but will accept a manual! The last part of my commute is in stop-start traffic in London so the auto would be great but I can't find any that don't seem to break at 100k miles which is probably where my £4k brings me in. I am genuinely not that bothered by type of car/luxuries on board, etc; it just needs to keep going and do the job reasonably well!"
As you're probably finding, that's quite a big wish list for £4000. Any car that you look at for this price is likely to have high miles and could produce some big bills - especially with a diesel engine and automatic gearbox. A Skoda Octavia might be a good choice - they're popular with taxi drivers for a reason, but they're not without their issues. I think I'd be hunting out a Volvo V70. They have lots of space and, again, they're not without problems - but we've not had too many reports of faults. Alternatively, a Honda Accord or Toyota Avensis would be a good option, but finding a good one might be difficult.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What's a good diesel to buy on a £3000 budget?
"I'd like to buy a used diesel family car within the £3000 limit. I need it for commuting so needs to be good on fuel? Any ideas and what mileage is best for the age?"
A diesel at this price has the potential to be problematic. You want one with reasonably high miles and extensive service history - it's better to find a diesel that's done lots of motorway journeys rather than one that's been used around town. I'd be tempted by a Skoda Octavia. They're popular with taxi drivers, which is a sign that they're pretty reliable, but look for signs that it might have been used for private hire. Also consider a Toyota Avensis for the same reason.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

What does a Skoda Octavia (2004 – 2013) cost?