Skoda Octavia long-term test: report 2

The Octavia has always been one of our favourite family cars, and this latest one promises to be more versatile than ever. Let's see how it fares in day-to-day use...

Skoda Octavia long term

The car Skoda Octavia 1.5 TSI 150 SE L First Edition Run by Allan Muir, managing editor

Why it’s here To see whether the latest Octavia can be more than ‘just’ an exceptionally practical family car that offers fine value for money

Needs to Be just as practical as its predecessors, comfortable in all situations, a relaxed motorway cruiser and relatively cheap to run

Mileage 1025 List price £25,150 Target Price £23,509 Price as tested £26,950 Test economy 40.6mpg Official economy 50.1mpg

26 February 2021 – Reasons to be chairful

My employers kindly agreed to let me borrow the ergonomic chair I’d used back in the days when we worked in an office, to help with comfort during the hours currently spent sitting at a desk at home. I could have had the chair delivered by a courier, but when you have a car with a boot as large as the Skoda Octavia’s at your disposal, there’s no excuse for not carrying out such errands yourself, no matter how awkwardly shaped the package might be.

Skoda Octavia long term

To be on the safe side, I removed my Octavia’s parcel shelf and folded down the rear seats – the latter easily done via remote releases inside the boot entrance – before setting off from home. However, I needn’t have bothered; the chair fitted easily into the long, deep boot even with the seats back up, with one corner of it just touching the tailgate when I closed it. 

Lifting the chair in wasn’t difficult, either, thanks to the massive opening created by the sloping tailgate, although there’s a bit of a lip to hurdle at the entrance and a step in the extended boot floor when the seatbacks are down. Given how practical the Octavia is in most ways, it’s a shame a height-adjustable boot floor isn’t available to eliminate the crags.

Skoda Octavia long term

Meanwhile, my car is proving annoyingly jerky if I jump in and set off without waiting for it to warm up. I live at the end of a meandering cul-de-sac with parked cars and smaller branch streets on both sides, so I always trickle out at a sedate pace for safety’s sake. Under these circumstances, with very light pressure on the accelerator pedal, the Octavia often bunny-hops along, only smoothing out when I turn onto a bigger road and build up some speed. 

I’ve heard of similar things happening with other Volkswagen Group models. To me, the engine feels like it’s being starved of petrol until it warms up, presumably for emissions reasons. Certainly, if I have to wait for the windows to clear on cold days and the engine has had a chance to build up some temperature, the problem isn’t as evident.

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