Skoda’s third-generation Octavia has arrived on Irish shores, it’s smarter and undeniably more spacious than its predecessors. After a week’s evaluation it’s impressed us immensely through its sheer practicality and ease of use.
What’s immediately apparent in the new Octavia is the sheer volume of space throughout, it’s more akin to its larger sibling, the Superb than its precursor. Externally, it’s grown in length 90mm and 45mm in width, its wheelbase has also increased by 108mm which results in additional space for all occupants. Its cavernous boot has a class-leading 590 litres of volume on offer. The Octavia has an apparent abundance of space over some of its competitors, this includes the Volkswagen Golf, Seat Leon and Ford Focus.
As Skoda is firmly within the mighty Volkswagen family it benefits from new technologies within the group. This new Octavia is built on the MKB platform which is also the basis for the new seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf and the new Seat Leon. The setup and handling hasn’t been tuned to quite the same responsive and agile characteristics as the Golf, nonetheless it proved competent over our week-long drive.
The new Octavia is available with a choice of four petrol and two diesel engines, with prices commencing from €18,995 for the 1.2-litre TSI petrol variant. This engine is also available with 105hp and there’s a 1.4-litre TSI model which produces 140hp. The top of the range petrol model, prior the introduction of the sporty RS variants is a 1.8-litre TSI with 180hp. The diesel engines will no doubt prove to contribute to the majority of sales, in particular the 1.6-litre TDI unit which produces 105hp and delivers an impressive combined fuel consumption of just 3.8L/100km, it’s priced from €22,195. There will also be a 110hp Greenline variant of this engine to join the Octavia range in the coming months.
Our test car was the 2.0-litre TDI diesel Octavia, it’s a proficient unit delivering 150hp and 320Nm of torque, yet capable of returning 4.1L/100km on a combined run. With 106g/km of CO2 it’s placed in tax band A2, resulting in an annual road tax fee of €190. Our car was finished to an impressively high standard with some choice additions to the already well specified Elegance trim. Just some of the standard features include climatronic air conditioning, 17” alloy wheels, cruise control, rear parking sensors, seven airbags, Bluetooth connectivity, front fog lights, MP3 and USB connectivity and a multi-function leather steering wheel.
Driving and living with the Octavia on a daily basis is where it scores highly for us, the six-speed manual transmission (six-speed automatic transmission optional) is light to touch. The quality and fit and finish of the switch gear is clearly constructed to Volkswagen’s high standards.
We see no reason not to purchase the Skoda Octavia over some of its close competitors, even those within the Volkswagen stable. For us, the Skoda badge represents quality with added value.
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