Our cars: Skoda Octavia, Mitsubishi Outlander and Seat Leon

The years may be rolling on for Mark Pearson but our Skoda Octavia seems determined to take him back. Also, our Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV gets a whack and a Spanish arrival in the form of our new...

Our cars: Skoda Octavia, Mitsubishi Outlander and Seat Leon
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What Car? team
18 Jul 2014 13:58

Every day, we take a look at a few of the cars that we are living with. Today, it's the turn of the Skoda Octavia, Mitsubishi Outlander and Seat Leon.


Are you a good driver? Of course you are. Me? Occasionally, but my style is now middle-aged and languid, and although I’m always in a perpetual hurry, I don’t like to exert any effort.

This might explain a problem I have when driving the Octavia. After reversing the car, I’ll flick the gearlever out of reverse and ease it to the right slightly into what I presume is first. However, on many occasions, I haven’t exerted enough effort, or paid enough attention to the procedure, and ended up still in reverse gear rather than first. Luckily, I’ve been awake enough to sense that the movement is backwards, not forwards, and stopped the car before any serious trouble ensued, but the potential for disaster is huge.

Can we blame the quality of the car’s gearchange for this, or is it simply driver error? Regular Octavia driver Barnaby Jones hasn’t had any similar problems, and no one else has reported it to him, so sadly we’ll have to go for the latter. At all other times the gearlever and I get on quite well, but if you too are a little laid-back in your driving style it might be worth making sure you’re paying attention during your low-speed manoeuvres.