Our cars: Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI - February

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  • 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!

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Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI 150 SE

Week ending February 28
Mileage 8129
Miles driven this week 497

Read the full Skoda Octavia review

Just like Skoda’s advertising says, the Octavia is ‘simply clever’.

The bag hooks in the boot are a prime example. They’re big and robust, so are ideal for keeping a couple of heavy shopping bags upright and in one place. They also stay tucked out of the way until you need them.

It’s the sort of thing that’s easy to miss when looking through a brochure or taking a test drive, but is genuinely handy day-to-day.

By Barnaby Jones
Barnaby.Jones@whatcar.com

Week ending February 21
Mileage 7632
Miles driven this week 478

Read the full Skoda Octavia review

Frustrating – that’s how I’d describe Skoda Octavia ownership at the moment. It’s all to do with a rattle coming from inside the passenger door.

The Octavia first went to my local dealer, Marlborough Skoda in Isleworth, in mid-January. They investigated and said that a new interior door panel was required, which was ordered and due to arrive two days later.

Sadly it didn’t turn up, and despite the parts supplier saying it would take another week, it was actually three and a half weeks before the replacement panel arrived.

This is where it gets really frustrating, though. The panel was for the correct door, but it was for a left-hand-drive car, which made it the driver’s side. There was therefore a round hole for the door mirror controls where there should have been a rectangular one for the electric window switch, so it couldn’t be fitted.

It turns out that the panel was for a Polish-registered Octavia, so I can only assume there’s a Skoda garage in Poland with the one for my car.

So it’s back to square one. A new door panel has been ordered and I’ll book the Octavia back in when it arrives. I’m not going to wait for another three and a half weeks, though – if I haven’t heard anything next week, I’ll chase this up.

By Barnaby Jones
Barnaby.Jones@whatcar.com

Week ending February 14
Mileage 7154
Miles driven this week 174

Read the full Skoda Octavia review

My Octavia has an odd equipment list, and I’m not the only person to comment on it. Let me explain: I went for mid-level SE trim, which comes with dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, a digital radio and a touch-screen infotainment system as standard.

That sounds like a lot, but there are some notable omissions. This is a car that feels designed for the motorway, so you’d expect cruise control to be standard. It’s not, but at £180 it’s not too expensive to add it. I didn’t and, to be honest, I can cope without it.

Likewise, I’m not fussed about automatic lights and wipers, but I’d expect them to be standard on a £20k family car (they’re a £440 option).

I do wish the car came with audio controls on the steering wheel, though. Now, I know it’s hardly a stretch to the centre console to twiddle the volume control or press the touch-screen to change the track or radio station, but it does get annoying on a long journey.

I’m not alone in thinking this, either, because several colleagues have moaned about the lack of wheel-mounted audio controls. The ‘missing’ cruise control gets mentioned, too.

If I had my time again, I wouldn’t bother with the cruise control or automatic lights and wipers, but I’d definitely spend the £150 to get those extra audio controls.

By Barnaby Jones
Barnaby.Jones@whatcar.com

Week ending February 7
Mileage 6980
Miles driven this week 752

Read the full Skoda Octavia review

Our Skoda Octavia is something of an economy champion. In fact, given a suitable number of gentle motorway miles, the figures are genuinely eye opening.

The previous two tanks of diesel have resulted in returns of 59.1 and 59.5mpg – that’s mightily impressive for such a large car with a 2.0-litre engine.

Our long-term average of 52.7mpg beats our own True MPG figure of 52.2, and because the engine feels so strong from low revs, it’s easy to make decent progress while not using much fuel.

I’m now determined to crack 60mpg, and so long as I can keep my eco-driving discipline, I’m sure I’ll manage it easily enough.

By Barnaby Jones
Barnaby.Jones@whatcar.com

Our cars: Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI - January

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