Our cars: Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI - April

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  • Our Octavia is easy and effortless to drive, which makes it a pleasure to commute in

    Our Octavia is easy and effortless to drive, which makes it a pleasure to commute in

  • There's concern that this boot pull will appeal to chewing dogs

    There's concern that this boot pull will appeal to chewing dogs

  • One Octavia driver is finding it tricky to select first gear from reverse

    One Octavia driver is finding it tricky to select first gear from reverse

  • Whatever the gear, whatever the speed, our 2.0-litre diesel Octavia feels far faster than the 1.6

    Whatever the gear, whatever the speed, our 2.0-litre diesel Octavia feels far faster than the 1.6

  • Octavia was good at family transport on a trip to Goodwood on Saturday...

    Octavia was good at family transport on a trip to Goodwood on Saturday...

  • ...then good at transporting unwanted family stuff on the Sunday

    ...then good at transporting unwanted family stuff on the Sunday

  • Our SE-spec Octavia's standard alloy wheels look good and are easy to clean

    Our SE-spec Octavia's standard alloy wheels look good and are easy to clean

  • Octavia was impressively economical on holiday to Belgium, if not outstanding as a taxi

    Octavia was impressively economical on holiday to Belgium, if not outstanding as a taxi

  • Huge Octavia was hugely useful as cycling holiday transport, as was friend's Vauxhall Zafira

    Huge Octavia was hugely useful as cycling holiday transport, as was friend's Vauxhall Zafira

  • A punchy 2.0-litre diesel engine and a six-speed gearbox equals excellent economy

    A punchy 2.0-litre diesel engine and a six-speed gearbox equals excellent economy

  • Amundsen sat-nav system is good value at £550; it's simple to use and has clear graphics

    Amundsen sat-nav system is good value at £550; it's simple to use and has clear graphics

  • This 4x4 Octavia rides better than our front-wheel-drive model, but it's still not quite supple enough

    This 4x4 Octavia rides better than our front-wheel-drive model, but it's still not quite supple enough

  • The oil temperature display is invaluable – or at least we think it is

    The oil temperature display is invaluable – or at least we think it is

  • Unlike those in some modern cars, the Octavia's glovebox is usefully large

    Unlike those in some modern cars, the Octavia's glovebox is usefully large

  • The Octavia's rattle has finally been fixed by Marlborough Skoda, Isleworth...

    The Octavia's rattle has finally been fixed by Marlborough Skoda, Isleworth...

  • ...even if the door panel wasn't to blame, as originally thought

    ...even if the door panel wasn't to blame, as originally thought

  • The Octavia is superb bike transport...

    The Octavia is superb bike transport...

  • ...not least because my bike fits in whole

    ...not least because my bike fits in whole

  • The ride is fidgety and picks up on too many bumps, but it's far from unacceptable

    The ride is fidgety and picks up on too many bumps, but it's far from unacceptable

  • Our 2.0-litre diesel Octavia is great at making motorway miles melt away

    Our 2.0-litre diesel Octavia is great at making motorway miles melt away

  • Standard touch-screen system reacts even before you've touched the screen – clever

    Standard touch-screen system reacts even before you've touched the screen – clever

  • Driving Mode Selection button doesn't make much difference to how the car feels, so is hardly used

    Driving Mode Selection button doesn't make much difference to how the car feels, so is hardly used

  • We wish we'd spent £150 for audio controls on the steering wheel

    We wish we'd spent £150 for audio controls on the steering wheel

  • Readout is probably optimistic, but still better than Ed managed in a 1.6 TDI version

    Readout is probably optimistic, but still better than Ed managed in a 1.6 TDI version

  • Bag hooks are big, sturdy and useful – a prime example of our Skoda being 'simply clever'

    Bag hooks are big, sturdy and useful – a prime example of our Skoda being 'simply clever'

  • The wrong door panel was delivered, so the original (rattling) one is still in place

    The wrong door panel was delivered, so the original (rattling) one is still in place

  • On a gentle motorway run, our Octavia is nudging 60mpg

    On a gentle motorway run, our Octavia is nudging 60mpg

  • Open wide: Octavia's boot is so big, we had to photograph it from far away

    Open wide: Octavia's boot is so big, we had to photograph it from far away

  • New passenger door panel is needed to fix the rattle; it's been ordered, so all should be quiet soon

    New passenger door panel is needed to fix the rattle; it's been ordered, so all should be quiet soon

  • Octavia's underfloor boot storage space is handy, if rarely used

    Octavia's underfloor boot storage space is handy, if rarely used

  • The Octavia's £495 Race Blue metallic paint hides the winter dirt well

    The Octavia's £495 Race Blue metallic paint hides the winter dirt well

  • Octavia did us proud over the Christmas break; Dartmoor views weren't bad, either

    Octavia did us proud over the Christmas break; Dartmoor views weren't bad, either

  • Friendly nudge to not leave your phone on display

    Friendly nudge to not leave your phone on display

  • Cavernous boot space is a stretch to get to the back of

    Cavernous boot space is a stretch to get to the back of

  • The Octavia's quality and 'honesty' impressed colleague Stephen Hopkins

    The Octavia's quality and 'honesty' impressed colleague Stephen Hopkins

  • Octavia was fine transport for weekend trip to the Devon countryside

    Octavia was fine transport for weekend trip to the Devon countryside

  • A bit of tyre pressure tweakery has improved the ride

    A bit of tyre pressure tweakery has improved the ride

  • Maximum seat heat should be used only in extreme winter conditions

    Maximum seat heat should be used only in extreme winter conditions

  • The Octavia getting the thumbs up from my family

    The Octavia getting the thumbs up from my family

  • Our Octavia (on the left) has replaced our Rapid

    Our Octavia (on the left) has replaced our Rapid

  • The Octavia offers loads of space for a very reasonable price

    The Octavia offers loads of space for a very reasonable price

  • Our 2.0-litre diesel model in SE trim is £20,140, before options

    Our 2.0-litre diesel model in SE trim is £20,140, before options

  • Interior looks and feels classy; it's got plenty of equipment, too

    Interior looks and feels classy; it's got plenty of equipment, too

  • Boot is massive – and there's extra storage beneath the floor

    Boot is massive – and there's extra storage beneath the floor

  • The 2.0-litre diesel engine is strong, smooth and pretty quiet

    The 2.0-litre diesel engine is strong, smooth and pretty quiet

  • The ride is a bit unsettled, especially on urban roads

    The ride is a bit unsettled, especially on urban roads

  • Plenty of seat and steering wheel adjustment, so it's easy to get comfortable

    Plenty of seat and steering wheel adjustment, so it's easy to get comfortable

  • Octavia handles neatly and has nicely weighted steering

    Octavia handles neatly and has nicely weighted steering

  • There's loads of space back here, even for the tallest adults

    There's loads of space back here, even for the tallest adults

  • Octavia is generally hushed, apart from road noise on coarse surfaces

    Octavia is generally hushed, apart from road noise on coarse surfaces

  • Apple-specific audio connection is £100, then it's £50 for the lead!

    Apple-specific audio connection is £100, then it's £50 for the lead!

/

Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI 150 SE

Week ending April 25
Mileage 9867
Miles this week 74

Read the full Skoda Octavia review

The Octavia was used as bike transport this week – and jolly good it was at it, too.

There was no need to take the front wheel off my bike, and the bike fitted in easily enough through the large boot opening. It’s a shame that the rear seats down fold flat, but there’s so much space that it hardly matters; the bike simply lies on a slight slope.

To cap it all, after a few hours huffing and puffing up and down hills in the Surrey countryside, the Octavia’s light pedals didn’t make my aching legs any worse on the drive home.

By Barnaby Jones
Barnaby.Jones@whatcar.com

 

Week ending April 18
Mileage 9793
Miles this week 182

Read the full Skoda Octavia review

Last week, I wrote about how good the Octavia is at covering long distances – I was particularly glad of its abilities, considering I’d driven it 300 miles in a day.

The thing is, this is despite the ride not being as good as I’d like it to be.

Now, I kept the standard 16-inch wheels and their chunky tyres specifically to make the ride as comfortable as possible – larger wheels and lower-profile tyres usually harm comfort. It’s a shame, then, that the Octavia’s ride never really settles. It also picks up on too many lumps and bumps around town, and although things are better on faster roads, you’re still aware of what state the surface is in.

That’s not to say that the ride is unacceptable or hard to live with, though – far from it. In fact, some people who have driven the car don’t have a problem with the ride at all, whereas others do, so it really comes down to how much importance you – and your passengers – put on comfort.

Still, the ride isn’t enough to seriously detract from the car’s appeal, and it’s not enough to stop the Octavia being a fine choice when it comes to doing a lot of miles in a short amount of time.

By Barnaby Jones
Barnaby.Jones@whatcar.com

 

Week ending April 11
Mileage 9611
Miles this week 572

Read the full Skoda Octavia review

Talk about a full-on day. Last Friday, the Octavia was tasked with taking my mum, my sister and I from Surrey to a funeral on the south coast and back, which it did suitably smoothly, quietly and discreetly.

Once we’d got back at about 7pm, I then dashed across south London to my flat to pick up my girlfriend, load the boot with a weekend’s luggage and drive to her parents’ house in Devon.

I expected the journey southwest to feel like an arduous one, but the Octavia is great at covering long distances, so I hardly noticed the miles slipping away. This also meant I didn’t feel too tired – and therefore grumpy – on the way, much to my girlfriend’s relief!

We got to Devon after midnight, and having driven 300 miles in a day, I got out of the Octavia thankful for its ability to make long journeys feel like much shorter ones.

When you’ve got a lot to do in a day, a 2.0-litre diesel Octavia is right up there with the best £20k cars for the job.

By Barnaby Jones
Barnaby.Jones@whatcar.com

Our cars: Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI - March

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