Skoda is further improving in style, sheer quality and performance, and clearly shows this with its new Octavia line. We drove a true friend for families and businessmen, who appreciate roominess, practicality, quality and smoothness and refinement, offered in an attractively priced package. This Skoda has it all, and has certainly won our hearts...
Hans Knol ten Bensel
We can only congratulate the Skoda engineers and designers who have done a very good job with creating the present Octavia. This Skoda has timelessely good proportions, pleasing styling details, impeccable finish and is made of quality materials, both inside and out.
Also the Combi version is very well proportioned and again the designers have succeeded in creating this extra roominess the make has become so famous for. What do you think of a truly cavernous luggage compartment which holds 610 litres with the rear backrests in the normal position. This luggage space is extendable to 1740 litres with the rear seats folded down.
Well finished and refined
We were again very pleased with the very high level of finish and the quality of the materials used in building the Octavia. The design is also timelessly classic and - as said- well proportioned, in tune with what the VW group stragegists have in store for the Skoda brand. We also particularly like the Skoda instrumentation, with nice round dials and classic lettering. The controls are also familiar - in many instances very similar to VW products.
The same can be said for the mechanics. Under the bonnet runs the velvet-like 1,4 litre TSI, delivering here 140 hp. Developing ample torque of 250 Nm, you hardly need to rev it hard to obtain brisk performance.
And it is frugal too, with an average test consumption of 5,7 litres during our (wintery) drive. The engine develops a subdued and healthy throb, never getting obtrusive however. We like this efficient unit, its willing character, its perfect manners. The same can be said of the six speed gearbox. Slick, with precise movements, ideally geared.
Stable road behaviour
Although the Octavia does not invite to be thrown around corners, it certainly has a positive feeling with predictable handling and quite good steering precision and feedback. True drivers can really enjoy taking this Octavia for a spin, and it certainly is an entertaining experience. Good straight line stability and absence of wind noise and good tyre roar insulation make this Octavia an excellent motorway cruiser, which it is also meant to be. All these good properties are of course also the result of the adoption of the MQB platform used throughout the VW Group.
Performance of the 140 hp Octavia is quite brisk, with less than 9 seconds to 100 km/h and an impressive top speed of more than 210 km/h. Plenty of oomph to be abreast of many traffic situations, we would say.
The relatively low kerb weight of some 1170 kilos also helps here. We said already that despite this good performance, consumption is quite reasonable as higher revs are avoided, and this also results in honest CO2 emission figures of 121 g/km, according to the manufacturer.
It is hardly surprising that this Octavia Combi is one of the best selling station wagons on the European market, as it combines quality with roominess, economy, timeless looks and quite entertaining performance in this 140 hp TSI version and good road manners.
We found it very hard to fault, and, to be frank, quite endearing. Add to this the good value for money, the longevity and low depreciation, and there are virtually no reasons why you shouldn't take a long hard look at this Octavia when you consider buying a practical medium size estate...
There are also more rugged, outdoor versions of the Octavia Combi, like the Scout. We are certainly looking forward to a test drive of this car, as also the new Fabia...
Hans Knol ten Bensel