The Skoda Octavia is a hugely popular machine and it can be seen at taxi ranks all around the country. This is generally a good sign. The Octavia gets better looking with every update and over the years the Czech manufacturer has worked hard to offer the Octavia in as many guises as possible. They’re certainly working hard to keep it interesting and it can be found as a Combi, a four-wheel drive Scout and with plenty of horses under the hood as an RS.
Once again Skoda impresses with a massive engine line-up. In terms of diesel there are many variants of 1.6 TDI and 2.0 TDI engines. The 1.6 litre TDI engines offer maximum speeds of between 186 km/h and 194 km/h. The quickest one of these engines will bring you from 0-100 km/h is in 10.6 seconds. The 2.0 litre TDI will achieve the same distance in a quicker 8.5 seconds.
The petrol offerings come through variants of a 1.2 TSI, a 1.4 TSI and a 1.8 TSI. The 1.2 litre TSI petrol engines can reach up to 196 km/h and the best 0-100 km/h timing that this engine offers is 10.3 seconds. The 1.4 TSI engine can travel the same distance in 8.4 seconds whereas the quickest the 1.8 TSI engine will cover that distance in is 7.3 seconds.
For those of you who like a bit more power, you can look at the Octavia RS. The 2.0 litre TSI engine available in this packs a healthy 217 bhp and has a maximum speed of 248 km/h. According to Skoda this engine will bring you from 0-100 km/h in 6.8 seconds.
The Octavia offers a comfortable ride. It can be bumpier than the Focus and the Golf but only marginally. The body of the Octavia is well-controlled on corners and the car grips well and feels close to the road.
The TSI petrol engines are very muted and even the typically louder diesel engines are more hushed than you would expect. The Octavia is a well-padded vehicle and road and wind noise are there but unobtrusive.
The interior of the Octavia is brilliantly presented. The plastics don’t feel cheap and the infotainment system is extremely easy to navigate. The steering wheel is easily adjusted, as is the driver’s seat.
In 2013 the Octavia received a full five stars in the Euro NCAP tests. For adult occupancy it scored 93% and for child occupancy it received 86%. The Octavia can offer as many as nine internal airbags. The car is also available with Bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights. These lights also feature “dynamic angle control” which focuses the lights on the side of the road as a car is turning. This type of assistance system is common enough, but it is a nice touch and it’s very easy to get used to.
Once again Skoda excels in this department. The Octavia offers mountains of space. Technically speaking, the Octavia sits in the same segment as the Focus and the Golf but in terms of space it would be closer to the Passat or the Mondeo. Space to the front and rear is ample. The boot is very big too.