Reviewed for you: Skoda Octavia
Sure, sedans and wagons are not as popular as SUVs right now and that's unfortunate, because cars such as this Skoda Octavia offer tremendous value, performance and practicality, and usually at a more competitive price point. We took the Skoda for a spin and, as you’ll discover from your our review, it might well be worth your consideration.
What’s the price and what do you get?
The base model 110 TSI starts at an affordable $25,890 and pricing goes up to $49,990 for the RS 245, which given its performance credentials (it's basically like a hot hatch) and equipment, is still good value.
The Octavia range is powered by either a 1.4-litre turbo or powerful 2.0-litre turbo and a manual or automatic transmission.
Equipment includes a choice of alloy wheel designs, optional sporty body trims, LED headlights with automatic ‘on’ function, rain-sensing wipers, keyless entry and push-button ignition, 8.0- to 9.2-inch infotainment system screens, digital driver’s display and either basic or sporty interior seats and trims.
What’s the interior like?
It’s impressively equipped, with dual-zone climate control (with humidity sensor), front and rear one-touch power windows and a big 9.2-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The design is very pleasing, with simple controls and layout appearing clean but not boring, and Skoda lives up to is ‘simply clever’ tag line with the number of secret hooks, holders and storage pockets placed just where you want them.
You could be fooled into thinking this was the interior of a more expensive premium European car.
What’s the passenger space like?
The interior room available for driver and passengers, particularly those travelling in the back seat, is quite roomy thanks to a relatively long wheelbase. Indeed, the head, elbow, and legroom are terrific in this segment, and the boot is a big 568-litres in the sedan. That’s bigger than many mid-size SUVs. It grows further, to 1,558 litres with the rear seats folded down (they don’t go completely flat) and the wagon is even larger again at 1,718 litres, allowing for objects up to 2.92 metres in length.
And, for those with children in child seats, the Octavia offers Isofix mountings and hooks for the top-tether strap, and the room between the rear and front seats lets little legs kick around freely.
What’s under the bonnet?
Base models get a 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine mated to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG automatic. It produces 110kW and 250Nm, which is good enough for suburban running and getting along smoothly on highways.
But those wanting something more exciting can opt for the RS, which gets the Volkswagen Golf GTI’s revered 2.0-litre turbo four-pot engine, which makes a hot hatch-rivalling 180kW and 370Nm. That’s good enough to accelerate 0-100km/h in 6.6 seconds which will beat plenty of others at the traffic lights grand prix.
What’s it like on the road?
Underneath the Octavia is a very mature platform that has proven itself to be both agile and comfortable. The optional adaptive dampers bring another layer of comfort that’s well suited to long-distance driving.
In base models, the Octavia has a nice steering feel and is easy on its feet, with some slight roll when pushing quickly around corners; performance buffs will want to consider the RS that brings a truly hot hatch-level of grip and performance to the road, with some nice exhaust sounds and customisable driving modes. Either way, all models are well resolved for their intended purposes.
What about safety?
In terms of safety, the Octavia RS receives a five-star ANCAP crash safety rating and numerous active and passive safety systems, like stability (offering dynamic modes) and traction controls, multi-collision brake, tyre pressure control, nine airbags and LED daytime running lights.
There is also a long list of advanced driver safety assists such as adaptive cruise control, AEB, lane-keeping assist with departure warning and blind-spot monitoring.
There’s excellent vision right around, and the addition of a rear windscreen wiper on the sedan is something a lot of competitors don’t have but is very useful in wet conditions.
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