Our cars: Skoda Octavia, Mitsubishi Outlander and Seat Leon

The years may be rolling on for Mark Pearson but our Skoda Octavia seems determined to take him back. Also, our Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV gets a whack and a Spanish arrival in the form of our new Seat Leon Cupra 280.

Every day, we take a look at a few of the cars that we are living with. Today, it's the turn of the Skoda Octavia, Mitsubishi Outlander and Seat Leon.

Skoda

Are you a good driver? Of course you are. Me? Occasionally, but my style is now middle-aged and languid, and although I’m always in a perpetual hurry, I don’t like to exert any effort.

This might explain a problem I have when driving the Octavia. After reversing the car, I’ll flick the gearlever out of reverse and ease it to the right slightly into what I presume is first. However, on many occasions, I haven’t exerted enough effort, or paid enough attention to the procedure, and ended up still in reverse gear rather than first. Luckily, I’ve been awake enough to sense that the movement is backwards, not forwards, and stopped the car before any serious trouble ensued, but the potential for disaster is huge.

Can we blame the quality of the car’s gearchange for this, or is it simply driver error? Regular Octavia driver Barnaby Jones hasn’t had any similar problems, and no one else has reported it to him, so sadly we’ll have to go for the latter. At all other times the gearlever and I get on quite well, but if you too are a little laid-back in your driving style it might be worth making sure you’re paying attention during your low-speed manoeuvres.

By Mark Pearson
Mark.Pearson@whatcar.com

Read all of our updates on life with our Skoda Octavia.


In the car park

Digital Editor Nigel Donnelly finds that it's not just range that can catch people out with plug-in hybrids and has to carry out an on-site repair to our Mitsubishi Outlander.

Content Editor Tom Webster finds the summer heatwave isn't all that's heating things up at What Car? Towers - the arrival of our new Seat Leon Cupra 280 has also turned up the heat.

Read more about our long-term test fleet.

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