The Octavia is exactly what you’d want from a big family car, and nothing more. Even when being driven quickly, it’s stable, precise and inspires confidence. Meanwhile, the steering is light enough to make town manoeuvres and parking easy, but confidence-inspiring at speed.
With the exception of the 1.0 models, all versions beyond the entry-level S trim have variable driving modes called Eco, Normal and Sport. They influence the accelerator and, where fitted, auto gearshift responses, the weight of the steering and power of the climate control. However, we find the Octavia’s steering and accelerative reactions feel most natural when in Normal mode.
The vRS models offer good body control but don’t turn in to corners as keenly as some rivals, such as the VW Golf GTI and Seat Leon Cupra. So, while they’re quick, anybody yearning for the hot hatch with the purest driving dynamics should look elsewhere.