Our cars: Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI - August

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  • The sun is setting on our time with the Octavia – we're going to miss the big no-nonsense Skoda

    The sun is setting on our time with the Octavia – we're going to miss the big no-nonsense Skoda

  • Excellent seat heaters come as part of the optional Winter Pack

    Excellent seat heaters come as part of the optional Winter Pack

  • The Octavia's heated windscreen employs very fine wire elements, and clears ice in seconds

    The Octavia's heated windscreen employs very fine wire elements, and clears ice in seconds

  • The standard stereo is pretty good, and although the upgraded system is better, it's not significantly so

    The standard stereo is pretty good, and although the upgraded system is better, it's not significantly so

  • Our Octavia's touch-screen system has developed a habit of freezing

    Our Octavia's touch-screen system has developed a habit of freezing

  • This Octavia Scout is good, but our standard model is the better bet in most ways

    This Octavia Scout is good, but our standard model is the better bet in most ways

  • The Octavia has been bashed by a mystery errant driver, but thankfully the damage is only slight

    The Octavia has been bashed by a mystery errant driver, but thankfully the damage is only slight

  • User-friendliness isn't a strength of the Octavia's touch-screen sat-nav system

    User-friendliness isn't a strength of the Octavia's touch-screen sat-nav system

  • Our Octavia regularly does more than 50mpg, and nearer 60 is pretty easy to achieve

    Our Octavia regularly does more than 50mpg, and nearer 60 is pretty easy to achieve

  • Rain water collects on our Octavia's sill, where it stays until the door is opened

    Rain water collects on our Octavia's sill, where it stays until the door is opened

  • The Octavia's numberplate is coming away from the metal, leaving it to rattle when the tailgate is closed

    The Octavia's numberplate is coming away from the metal, leaving it to rattle when the tailgate is closed

  • We still haven't found anyone tall enough to feel cramped in the rear seats

    We still haven't found anyone tall enough to feel cramped in the rear seats

  • Octavia's driving position is comfortable, and its steering, pedals and gearshift are light and precise

    Octavia's driving position is comfortable, and its steering, pedals and gearshift are light and precise

  • 'His and hers' climate control allows both people up front to keep their cool

    'His and hers' climate control allows both people up front to keep their cool

  • A photographer's gear holds no fear for the Octavia's massive boot

    A photographer's gear holds no fear for the Octavia's massive boot

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 August 29
Mileage 13,357
Miles driven this week 568


Read the full Skoda Octavia review


It’s been a busy few days for the Octavia. First was a Friday-evening dash from the outskirts of London to Devon, followed by the return journey the next afternoon. There were a few more motorway miles and a trip to the shops on the Sunday, while Monday was spent hopping from place to place in town.

As always, the Octavia was more than up to the job. The driver’s seat was comfortable on the long journeys, the car cruised happily on the motorway and the huge boot easily took everything I threw at it. The light and precise steering, pedals and gearshift came into their own on slower roads, while the windscreen wipers coped admirably with the torrential rain we had on Bank Holiday Monday.

Sure, the Octavia isn’t a car to get excited about, but when it’s such a good all-rounder and simply does what you need it to, it’s an easy car to admire.

By Barnaby Jones
Barnaby.Jones@whatcar.com




Week ending August 22
Mileage 12,789
Miles driven this week 99

My SE-spec Octavia comes with dual-zone climate control as standard, which is great because it lets my girlfriend have ‘her’ side of the cabin warmer than mine (I like to drive in cool surroundings).

I’m also glad I went for the optional heated front seats. It’s odd to say this in August (to be fair, the evenings really are getting colder), but a few seconds of the lowest heat setting is a grand way to start a late-night journey at this time of year.

By Barnaby Jones
Barnaby.Jones@whatcar.com




Week ending August 15
Mileage 12,561
Miles driven this week 203


The latest person to try the Octavia’s boot for size is What Car?’s chief photographer, John Bradshaw.

Not even his bulky camera cases, tripod bags and stepladders seriously tested the boot capacity. The large opening also made hauling all this kit into and out of the boot pretty easy. John did say, though, that he missed his Citroen Grand C4 Picasso’s slightly higher boot floor, because it means he doesn’t have to lean over as far when sorting through his photography gear.

Still, the Octavia’s 2.0-litre diesel engine easily shrugged off the extra weight in the back of the car so, all things considered, the Skoda is a cracking load-lugger.

By Barnaby Jones
Barnaby.Jones@whatcar.com




Week ending August 8
Mileage 12,358
Miles driven this week 112

Having jumped straight from our Mazda 3 SkyActiv long-termer into the Octavia, within a handful of miles our Skoda proved the antithesis of the Japanese family hatchback.

Unlike the Mazda, it was surprisingly firm, given the humble alloy wheel size and thick tyre sidewall. Other shortcomings in the Octavia are a lack of steering wheel-mounted controls and front armrest. This came as a shock given the car is in mid-range SE trim.

The Skoda makes up for these deficiencies with a hugely flexible engine. The 2.0-litre turbodiesel motor – in 148bhp form – is a delight and works in harmony with the precise and highly geared six-speed manual gearbox; changing gear is a pleasure. On the motorway at 70mph in sixth, its revs are just under 2000rpm. It really is a consummate cruiser.

However, while the interior panels and controls all have a solid, quality feel to them I did expect a bit more flavour inside – it’s just too ‘plain Jane’ for me.

By Aaron Smith
Aaron.Smith@whatcar.com

Our cars: Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI - July

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