Our cars: Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI - September

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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

Week ending: September 26
Mileage: 14,198
Miles driven this week: 136


Read the full Skoda Octavia review


There’s a loud rattle from the Octavia’s numberplate whenever I close the tailgate. The middle of the numberplate is securely attached, but the ends are simply stuck with a couple of adhesive strips; these have lost their stickiness, so the edges of the numberplate are free to reverberate against the metal.

I’m sure this’ll be easy to fix with some more adhesive strips, but surely owners shouldn’t have to do this? The car hasn’t even done 15,000 miles yet.

Are any other Octavia drivers having the same issue, because I know colleague Euan Doig has suffered a similar issue on his long-term Fiesta ST.

By Barnaby Jones
Barnaby.Jones@whatcar.com



Week ending: September 19
Mileage: 14,062
Miles driven this week: 108

Ask me what the Octavia’s most impressive aspect is and I’ll say the amount of space it offers. Sure, it’s got an appreciably bigger boot than an equivalent VW Golf, but for me (and my passengers), the biggest difference is the amount of rear-seat space it offers.

There’s loads of lounging room back there, even for the tallest people. I’ve never heard a whiff of complaint about head- or legroom, and three six-foot-plus adults fit without moaning.

Even better, if you’ve got kids, they’re unlikely to be able to kick the back of the seats in front and, because the cabin is relatively wide, there should be enough room between them to avoid any ‘he/she’s elbowing me’ squabbles.

When it comes to transporting people in your car, space really is the ultimate luxury.

By Barnaby Jones
Barnaby.Jones@whatcar.com



Week ending: September 12
Mileage: 13,954
Miles driven this week: 85

Considering Skoda has effectively been making re-skinned Volkswagens since the 1990s, it’s taken a very long time for this fact to sink in to the minds of the great British public.

Twice in recent weeks I’ve been confronted by fine, upstanding and generally well-educated people, who have wrinkled their noses in displeasure at the mention of the name Skoda.

One was asking advice on which company car to buy, and from a list of rather predictable and ageing saloons, I thought the Octavia the most interesting. She was clearly having none of it, looking at me as if I’d suggested she offer a bottle of Liebfraumilch at an upmarket dinner party.

The other was a businessman looking for an economical city car for his wife to potter around their wealthy Surrey suburb. When I mentioned the Skoda Citigo, it was as if all hell had been let loose, with a derisive smile again suggesting I had lost my mind.

Such a pity that these attitudes still prevail. This Octavia once again convinced me this week that it’s a pretty perfect family car, being competitively priced, exceptionally roomy, and better to drive than most of its rivals, certainly any SUV-shaped one.

Only my wife, who wouldn’t know a Roll-Royce if it ran her over, let the side down by commenting on the cheap clang of the rear tailgate as it shut, and the rather sparsely equipped and low-rent interior.

She’s right, but don’t tell the other two! 


By Mark Pearson
Mark.Pearson@whatcar.com




Week ending: September 5
Mileage: 13,865
Miles driven this week: 508

With my final day at university last Friday and the impending big move out of campus accommodation, I cheekily called first-dibs on our Skoda Octavia long-termer.

I opted for the Skoda over any other car on our fleet, having previously experienced its colossal boot and hugely flexible engine. It certainly lived up to expectations.

With more than half of my life packed into the car, the Octavia swallowed everything with just one of the rear seats needing to be folded down. The Octavia seemed to be giving a dismissive cough as if to say 'Is that all you’ve got?'

Sad farewells and move completed, I then headed from Coventry to Weston-super-Mare for a friend’s birthday, settling into a motorway cruise and seeing an indicated 57mpg, car fully loaded.

Even though the interior trim is a bit plain for my liking, the Octavia’s breadth of abilities means, in 150 SE trim, the Skoda would be my default choice for load lugging – it was very difficult to hand the keys back.

By Aaron Smith
Aaron.Smith@whatcar.com

Our cars: Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI - August

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