As a disgruntled owner of the Renault Megane 1.9DCI (120bhp), which was never out of the garage in the year I owned it, I needed a car that could offer me reliabilty and low running costs.
I bought the new-shaped Octavia in January and I have not been disappointed. Opting for the basic Classic model, which comes with the basics, I knew I couldn't go wrong. My Megane had all the extras, which proved to be its downfall, as they were forever going wrong.
The Octavia, however, fails to disappoint. It's well built, offers comfortable handling and a smooth, virtually noise-free ride. The 105bhp engine is also no slouch. The only downside is that it's an oil-guzzler and requires a top up around every 4000 miles, which at a price of £11.50 per litre, works out to be expensive.
However, the all-round performance makes up for that and its reliabilty is second to none. Just ask the taxi drivers. Their car of choice.
I have driven numerous cars lately and this is the best one I have tested.
The 2.0 TDI PD, with Sport Pack and leather is an excellent car. Plenty of punch from the diesel unit makes current diesels from Ford, Honda, Renault and many others feel a bit lifeless.
The build quality seems to be excellent, with the many toys on board set out very practically. The sport kit handling is very composed, however it may be too harsh for some. Paint quality and resiliance to chipping has certainly improved over the last generation of Octavias.
Overall a quick, solid, practical, comfortable, affordable, spacious and enjoyable car to drive. I would give it 9/10.
I have never been anti-Skoda, so the thought of buying one was never an issue. What was, however, was reliability and value for money. With the outstanding reputation Skoda has for these qualities, buying one is a sensible bet.
As a disabled driver, needing to drive using hand controls and an auto 'box, the new Octavia married to the DSG gearbox just has to be a winner. And it is! The gearbox is silky smooth with only the change on the rev counter giving away the fact that you've changed gear. Not only does this mean you get an outstanding ride, you also get a car that performs better than one with the manual gearbox.
There's no sacrifice in economy either. The DSG-equipped car not only drives smoother and accelerates faster, it's more economical too. All in all, if you want a great car at a great price that is going to make others in its class eat humble pie, go for the Skoda. You won't be disappointed.
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