Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI 150 SE
Week ending December 20
Miles driven this week 110
I had the pleasure of a weekend spent with the Octavia, and in truth there were few surprises. I expected the Skoda to feel solidly put together, I expected strong performance from the 150PS diesel and I expected it to sip fuel over the course of the couple of days I spent with it. All proved to be the case.
There were surprises too though. I didn’t expect the boot to dwarf that of my regular ride, the Volvo V60 hybrid. In fact the boot is so big that I struggled to reach my laptop bag when it had slid to the back during my ride home from work. In fact, shorter drivers might need a step ladder to access the furthest reaches of the Octavia’s cavernous load space. Certainly if wet knees from leaning against the bumper are to be avoided.
What impressed me however was the very compliant nature of the in-car entertainment system. The touch-screen set-up responds to a light touch, is intuitive and feature packed. What wowed me beyond measure however was the gentle nudge to pick up your phone before leaving the car. Sounds stupid, but as a serial phone forgetter, that little pointer could save me a lot of pat downs, curses and return visits to the cabin to retrieve my handset.
Week ending December 13
Miles driven this week 388
I swapped my Mazda 6 for the Skoda Octavia earlier this week, to see what the smaller Skoda is like.
First impressions were good. It’s built like no Skoda I’ve ever driven before, and certainly feels different from my granddad’s Skoda Rapid coupe that I used to go on holiday in about 30 years ago.
Interior quality is excellent and the materials feel like they’re strong enough to last the course.
The Octavia seems to do everything with no fuss or bling, which is what you expect from a Skoda. The controls are simple and everything from the sat-nav to the heated seats is easy to use. The seats are comfortable, too.
Yes, the exterior styling looks tame compared with that of my Mazda 6, but that won’t bother the people who will buy this car. After all, they’re buying the Octavia because it’s big and functional – and it certainly does that very well.
By Stephen Hopkins
Week ending December 6
Miles driven this week 736
Read the full Skoda Octavia review
My girlfriend and I visited her parents in Devon last weekend, which was the perfect opportunity to put the Octavia’s long-distance comfort to the test.
It did pretty well. Getting out of town didn’t take too long on the Friday evening, and once we’d got onto faster roads, the Octavia effortlessly covered the 180-odd miles to the South West.
Now the tyres are set to the correct pressure for a couple of people and some bags – rather than a full load – the ride is better, too. It’s still not as settled or supple as I’d like, but it’s not uncomfortable or irritating.
Road noise on coarse surfaces apart, the Octavia was also pretty quiet, even when the roads were deserted and we ‘pushed on a bit’.
The Octavia was good at the shorter journeys over the weekend as well. The light controls, good visibility and powerful diesel engine made light work of everything from narrow country lanes to steep hills. The heated seats and heated windscreen were also fantastic when we left a friend’s house late on the (freezing) Saturday night.
We then did the Sunday afternoon journey home with just one quick stop, and got back feeling decently fresh.
Best of all, the Octavia did the trip on a single tank of fuel and managed almost 50mpg.
By Barnaby Jones