Our cars: Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI - July

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  • 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

Read the full Skoda Octavia review

Week ending July 24
Mileage 12,256
Miles driven this week 205

I adore the practicality of the Skoda Octavia's big boot - like its regular custodian, Barnaby, I have been known to load it up with bikes and related detritus for a weekend away.

However, two things that I wouldn't be so keen to put into the Octavia's boot are my parents' dogs. It's not that they wouldn't fit because they have squeezed into smaller cars than the Skoda without complaint.

The reason I'm not letting Oscar and Caspar into the back of the Octavia is a seemingly very small one. Instead of a grab handle tucked into the inside of the boot, there is a large rubber dangling pull that sticks out into the storage area.

The dogs might not be puppies that chew absolutely everything any more, but the boot pull is a bit similar in look and texture to some of their toys for my liking.

Am I just being paranoid, or have other Skoda-driving dog owners had their boots modified by their pet?

By Tom Webster
Tom.Webster@whatcar.com

Week ending July 17
Current mileage 12,051
Miles driven this week 62

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



Week ending July 10
Current mileage 11,989
Miles driven this week 105

I’ve been having an interesting chat with fellow Octavia owners on the Skoda forum Briskoda.net for the past couple of weeks.

Everyone likes their Octavia for the amount of space and equipment it offers for the money, but a couple of 2.0-litre diesel owners were especially keen to point out how much they prefer their cars to the 1.6 diesel versions.

I wholeheartedly agree. For me, the 2.0-litre’s far superior performance (in any gear and at any speed) outweighs the 1.6’s lower purchase price and slightly cheaper running costs.

The 1.6 diesel isn’t a bad choice – far from it – but if you like to get to places even moderately quickly, you’ll think the extra the 2.0-litre costs over the 1.6 is money well spent. I certainly do.

By Barnaby Jones
Barnaby.Jones@whatcar.com



Week ending July 3
Mileage 11,884
Driven this week 221

I approached a couple of days with our Skoda Octavia with a feeling of mild trepidation. The last time I’d borrowed it, I was a little critical of it, and I feared the car might remember and seek revenge.

I needn’t have worried. True, the faults were still there – no armrest up front, no audio controls on the steering wheel, the heavy handbrake and the firm ride – but here’s the thing, I enjoyed my weekend in the Octavia, and came away forced to re-evaluate my opinions.

On day one I took it to the Goodwood Festival of Speed, hammering it down the A3, pottering through lovely villages, before eventually completing the 50-mile journey at an average (according to the dash readout) of 47.6mpg; it did 55.7mpg on the way back.

Not only that, the Octavia had masses of room inside for four Pearsons, plenty of punch from the engine, good refinement when the going was straight, and reassuring handling when the going got twisty.

Day two was another chance for it to excel, this time as a load-lugger. Removing the parcel shelf and flipping down the rear seats is the work of seconds, and the load area then presented is mammoth. Alas, it proved a little too shallow to swallow a child’s trampoline, but it took everything else with ease.

I came away from the weekend thinking the Octavia a very good family car indeed, at a very moderate price. In fact, if it weren’t for that stiff ride, I would recommend this Octavia without any trepidation at all.

By Mark Pearson
Mark.Pearson@whatcar.com

Our cars: Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI - June

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