Skoda Octavia - Used

Car Review

Skoda Octavia, front
Skoda Octavia, rear
Skoda Octavia, rear
Skoda Octavia, interior
Skoda Octavia, boot
Skoda Octavia, 2020, rear seats

THE third generation Skoda Octavia's superb interior space and massive boot already had it up in the large family class - something which none of its contemporaries could claim.

And then in 2017, a mid-life facelift revitalized what was already a cracking car, with sharper styling and an improved interior with even more space!

If you have a family and need a car for all reasons, this no nonsense five door hatch is perfect.

Reliability is excellent, build quality brilliant, standard equipment very good, and yet prices secondhand often undercut those of competitors by some margin.

Of course, the Octavia has the same chassis as the VW Golf, the Audi A3 and the SEAT Leon, so it has an excellent starting point.

But despite the same wheelbase as the Golf, it's vastly bigger inside.

There is a wide range of engines and also a number of gearbox choices, so there is one out there to suit the most pernickety driver, and as well as the hatch, there is a ‘bowling-alley- in-the-back' estate for those who need even more load space.

There are basically seven models to choose from, with others based on those, and at the top of the range is the scorching vRS, which comes with either petrol or diesel power.

The vast majority sold here have been diesels, which come in 1.6 and 2.0-litre TDI guise. The 1.6 has either 110 or 115bhp and gets to 60 from rest in about 10 seconds, while rated at 74 or 68 miles per gallon.

The 2.0-litre boasts 150bhp in all models apart from the vRS, which gets 184. The 150 reaches 60 in 8.2 seconds and can do 67mpg, while the vRS covers the sprint in 7.5 and can do 57mpg.

Petrol power ranges from 1.0 to 2.0-litres and they are all turbocharged. The 1.2 and later 1.0 TSI models have 110 or 115bhp, and cover the sprint in about 9.8 seconds at 57 or 62mpg respectively.

Then come 1.4 and 1.5 TSI's, both of which have 150bhp. The 1.4 is quicker at 7.8 seconds to 60 while the 1.5 that eventually replaced it takes 8.4, and they can do a very best of 55 or 58mpg.

Finally come two versions of the 2.0 TSI in the vRS, with 230 and later 245bhp, and these get to 60 in 6.5 and 6.4 seconds. Economy is lower - as you would expect, at around 43mpg for both, but they are superb to drive, and despite stiffer, lowered suspension, still ride well most of the time.

Almost all models have been available with six or seven speed versions of the VW Group DSG automatic gearbox but make sure it's been serviced properly because they are expensive to fix.

Excellent suspension in all the other models takes almost every road surface in its stride, helped by very comfortable seats.

Grip is superb even on wet roads and the roadholding is sublime, helped by the tactile and informative VW group steering that is still the up there with the very best.

Digital instruments, together with a centrally mounted infotainment touchscreen and most regularly used controls on the steering wheel make this a very easy car to live with.

And connectivity, already good before the mid-life changes in 2017, became superb.

Mid-range SE L trim has a wide range of kit, from sat nav and DAB radio to stability control, autonomous emergency braking and part leather upholstery.

It also has auto start stop, keyless entry, leather covered steering wheel, parking sensors, cruise control, a driver fatigue sensor, climate control and even kerb lights in the door mirrors.

Pay about £10,900 for an '18 18-reg SE L 1.6 TDi 110bhp, or £14,600 for a '20 20-reg SE Drive 1.0 TSI115bhp.

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