**Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI 150 SE
Week ending December 19
Current mileage 17,006
Miles driven this week 304
The Octavia goes back to Skoda next week, and I admit I’ll be pretty sorry to see it go. I’ll certainly miss the massive boot, while my passengers will miss the huge amount of room in the rear seats. I’ll also miss the effortless mile-munching capabilities, the powerful, economical engine, the simple touch-screen system and the good stereo.
The Octavia isn’t a car to get excited about, and the overly firm ride is an annoyance, but it does a great job of being a hugely practical, spacious family car that’s good value for money and effortless to live with. As I said, I’m going to miss it.
By Barnaby Jones
**Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI 150 SE**
Week ending: December 12 Mileage: 16,702 Miles driven this week: 280
**Boy, am I glad I went for the optional Winter Pack on my Octavia.
It includes a heated windscreen (a brilliant labour-saving and safety aid that I think all cars should come with) and heated washer nozzles, but of most use recently have been the heated seats.
Unlike the seats in some cars that get uncomfortably hot in seconds (the Ford Fiesta and Jaguar XF’s are prime examples), even the Octavia’s hottest setting is more ‘toasty warm’ than ‘derriere scorcher’. Also, when it’s merely chilly outside, the lowest setting is perfect for keeping things comfortable until the heater starts to pump out enough hot air to warm the cabin.
The Winter Pack is £430 and, if you love being warm and hate scraping a frozen windscreen, I’d heartily recommend it.
By Barnaby Jones
Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI 150 SE
**Week ending: December 5 Mileage: 16,422 Miles driven this week: 143
I've spent two nights in Barnaby's Octavia, commuting in the miserable weather around south London. Unsurprisingly for such a competent machine, the Octavia has done everything I've asked of it, but it has exceeded expectations in a couple of areas.
Firstly, the infotainment system is a pleasure to use – simple, intuitive and responsive. Considering the price of the car, I can't think of a better system.
Also, the way the 2.0-litre 148bhp diesel engine delivers its power is quite impressive. First gear feels a little stifled, but second and third deliver a sizeable punch, making nipping in and out of traffic a doddle. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's a wolf in sheep's clothing, but the Octavia's conservative styling gives no hint that it's so dynamically capable.
By Tom Langan