Understated, sensible family motoring.
Something of a backstop, the Skoda Octavia is the answer to the ‘what should I buy’ question we’re often asked here. That’s because it’s rounded, sensible, good to drive and inexpensive - spacious too, which enhances its value. That it looks good and is economical adds to its appeal even further.
What is it?
Something of a jewel in Volkswagen’s platform sharing strategy, the Octavia borrows its mechanical parts from the Volkswagen Golf. That Skoda has managed to add masses of extra space, a simple, smart interior and good standard level of equipment to the deal only adds to the Octavia’s desirability. It rivals the Opel Astra and Ford Focus, but really the space it offers is nearly big enough to justify comparison with the class above. There’s plenty of choice, too, but the 1.6 TDI engine is all you’ll really need.
What is it like?
Unexciting, in all but the range-topping and rapid RS forms, but then there’s an honesty about the Octavia that’s difficult to ignore. Like the exterior the cabin’s not going to excite or offend; it's just simply laid out and nicely finished. It’s spacious too, the boot in particular vast, even more so in the estate, or as Skoda calls it - Combi. There’s a Scout model if you want pseudo-SUV looks, four-wheel drive versions with more traction and five trim choices, including that sporting RS and L&K luxury model.
Carzone verdict: 4/5
Like everything about the Skoda Octavia the drive is as rounded as the rest of the offering. The 1.6-litre TDI engine might not be bursting with power, but it’s got enough to make decent progress and sips fuel if you’re not in a hurry. The DSG automatic is desirable, too, though if you can stretch to the 2.0-litre TDI it is the best all-rounder. Good pricing, ample standard equipment and a decent warranty are all offered, too. Like we said, a backstop, but a good one.