Product Type: Skoda cars
Newest Review: ... to sum up, if you're looking for a good value family sized hatchback, you could do a lot worse than the Skoda Felicia. And for those who... more
Nicer than you think
Skoda Felicia 1.3 55 HP
Member Name: MJohnO
Skoda Felicia 1.3 55 HP
Advantages: Extremely well built, very reliable, cheap to run, nice to drive
Disadvantages: unrefined engine, base models light on equipment, poor ventilation.
My wife and I bought this car as something to get her to and from work. We were looking for a new one rather than a used one, something that was good value for money but was a substantial size rather than a "city car".
We came across the Skoda Felicia which was about to be discontinued and replaced by the Fabia. We were attracted to it not only because it was only £6,000 for a new car (in 2000)but also because it came with a three year warranty, and was a full size five door hatchback with a reasonable amount of interior and boot space. We had also read that Skoda now had a reputation for making good quality (if not fashionable) cars.
Five years on, and we still have this car with no intentions of getting rid of it, for the following reasons:
It's extremely reliable. It has never once let us down.
It's extremely well built. The doors are really heavy and close with a reassuring clunk. All the interior trim is of good quality and the controls nicely weighted.
It has plenty of room. You can easily fit five people and a good amount of luggage in it.
It's cheap to run. It qualifies for the £110 tax rate, uses very little petrol (circa 37-40 mpg) costs less than £150 a year to service and costs less than £200 a year for insurance (for both my wife and I).
When a car provides this much value for money and quality it's very hard to part with it!!
Obviously the car is now discontinued so you'll have to buy a used one if interested. Expect to pay up to £3,000 for a good late model one from a main dealer, which is a good indication of how low the depreciation is on these cars!
To drive, this car is a lot better than you'd think. The engine is extremely responsive given it's only a 1.3, and the car is happy to cruise at 70 on the motorway all day with plenty in reserve. The only thing you'll have to get used to is the fact that because the engine is an old overhead valve unit, it does sound like a sewing machine! The only other point is that in really hot weather the ventilation fan struggles to keep you really cool - so an open window is called for.
The only point I'd be careful about is for the basic model (which we have) there's very little equipment - no airbag, no air conditioning, no sunroof, no CD player, no electric windows, no power steering. The last point is important. If you can find one with PAS, get it because without it the steering is incredibly heavy. Our view of this was it's just less to go wrong, so we're happy to live without these features!
So to sum up, if you're looking for a good value family sized hatchback, you could do a lot worse than the Skoda Felicia. And for those who have concerns about the badge remember the fact we discovered after buying our Skoda - in essence you're getting everything that's good about a VW - without having to pay VW prices!!
Summary: An extremely good value reliable car that's enjoyable to drive as well.