The new Skoda Octavia is one of our favourite cars. It's cheaper than a Volkswagen Golf and about the same size as a Ford Mondeo.
It has a comfortable cabin, huge boot and a good level of standard equipment. It's also fantastic value for money
Four engines – two petrols and two diesels – and three trims are available. Here's our guide to help you choose the best combination for your requirements.
Which engine should you go for?
The Skoda is powered by Volkswagen Group engines that can also be found in the Audi A3, Seat Leon and Volkswagen Golf.
There are 1.2- and 1.4-litre petrols, along with 1.6- and 2.0-litre diesels.
We'd recommend the 104bhp 1.2-litre petrol for private buyers. It's more than powerful enough to cope with the Octavia's bulk and takes it from 0-62mph in 9.9 seconds. It has impressive average economy of 57.7mpg, with CO2 emissions of 114g/km. Transmission is through a six-speed manual gearbox.
For company car buyers, we'd recommend the 103bhp 1.6-litre diesel. It's a little noisier than its counterpart in the Golf and more vibrations can be felt through the pedals, but neither is bad enough to cause serious irritation. It completes the 0-62mph sprint in 10.4 seconds, has average economy of 74.3mpg and emits 99g/km of CO2 – which means you'll pay no road tax.
All versions of the Octavia have a comfortable ride – even if it is a bit bumpier than the Golf's. There is some wind noise at motorway speeds, but road noise is well suppressed.
Which trim should you go for?
Whichever trim you choose, it will come with a host of safety equipment including seven airbags, stability control and electronic brakeforce distribution, which varies the amount of force applied to each of a vehicle's brakes, based on variables such as road conditions, speed and loading.
Entry-level S trim provides air-conditioning, alloys, Bluetooth and an infotainment system that includes DAB digital radio.
SE gets rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, front foglights and electric rear windows.
Range-topping Elegance cars come with sat-nav, leather upholstery, cruise control and automatic lights and wipers.
We think that S trim makes the most sense. It comes with everything that most buyers will need and ensures the Octavia remains superb value for money.
One of the Octavia's strongest features is its size. The boot is a cavernous 590 litres – bigger than a Volvo V70's – and the rear seats will comfortably accommodate six-footers behind front occupants of the same size.
Which options should you pick?
S trim gets everything that most people will need.
Private buyers: Skoda Octavia 1.2 TSI S
Company car buyers: Skoda Octavia 1.6 TDI S
Skoda Octavia 1.2 TSI S – £15,990
Skoda Octavia 1.6 TDI S – £18,040
What should you pay?
The Octavia is new in the showroom, so discounts are hard to come by. Although deals are out there, so it is worth looking around. We have given a What Car? Target Price of £15,531 for the 1.2 TSI S and £17,516 for the 1.6 TDI S, which is a saving of around £500 on both versions.
Our reviews are based on hard data and thorough testing in the real world.
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