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The Octavia is closer is size to a Ford Mondeo than a Focus, yet costs significantly less than a VW Golf.
Of the engines we’ve tried so far, our favourite is the 1.2 TSI. This entry-level engine gives an impressive blend of performance and economy, and keeps the price temptingly low. S trim gets you all the kit you’re likely to need.
Don’t discount the diesels, though, especially if you’re a company car driver. We’ve yet to test the super-frugal 1.6 TDI, but the 2.0 TDI is seriously strong and remarkably efficient.
The Octavia is built on the same platform as the Volkswagen Golf, so it strikes a fine balance between stable handling and a comfortable ride.
All materials feel solid, and the interior shames those of many more expensive models for its fit and finish. All models are very spacious, too, with more rear legroom than most rivals.
The exterior styling might look a bit staid, but the Octavia is very capable and comes at a great price to boot.