Road Test: Skoda Octavia
The versatile Octavia has a solution to suit most business needs, says Alex Grant.
SECTOR: Lower Medium PRICE: £17,195-£30,245 FUEL: 42.8-72.4mpg CO2: 106-149g/km
The Octavia might not have been Skoda’s first launch under the Volkswagen Group, but as the first to dip into its new owner’s parts bin, it’s been a vital part of the brand’s transformation since. Big on space and value, without feeling cheap, it’s been Skoda’s best-seller since its 1996 launch, and a backbone of its fleet presence too.
In part, that’s because it straddles two key segments; larger than a Golf, smaller than a Passat, and priced under either, it’s catered for everyone from job-need drivers all the way to vRS versions for user-choosers. A great all-round package which has hardly changed, save for its distinctive new quad-lamp headlights and some updated technology on board.
At its core, the line-up has hardly changed, with 113bhp 1.6-litre and 148bhp 2.0-litre diesels, and equivalent petrol engines notable because they offer near-identical CO2 emissions. SE Tech, which includes navigation and full-LED headlights, is likely to be the big fleet seller, while those with more flexibility can opt into luxurious Laurin & Klement, sporty petrol or diesel vRS and off-road-tuned Scout. All engines are offered with DSG, but there’s no sub-100g/km Greenline version at the moment.
Even with the smallest petrol engine, this feels a class above; quiet, sure-footed and with more boot volume than the equivalent Vauxhall Insignia, easily extended over a the folded rear seats and with under-floor storage too. All UK cars get at least an 8.0-inch touchscreen and a new-generation infotainment setup, with Apple and Android connectivity and intuitive, quick-to-respond pinch and swipe inputs, while data-connected versions offer live weather, traffic and parking information.
What We Think
The Octavia might once have looked like an outsider in this segment, but, with solutions for fleets of all shapes and sizes, Skoda’s fastest-selling product has become the one to beat.