Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI 150 SE
Week ending: September 26
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
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
Week ending: September 12
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
Week ending: September 5
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