Motoring Insight

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At the Premiere they did tell us what a great car the new Octavia was, and now I can confirm… they were right…

It was in November 2019 that I went to the World Premiere of the all-new Skoda Octavia at the National Gallery in Prague. Many distinguished guests were there including the Czech Prime Minister. Providing the music was the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, which was brilliant, a real treat and an honour to be there. Skoda told us back then, what a great car the new Octavia is.

Over a year later and I got one as a test car for a week from the Press Office at Skoda UK. The car that I had was a SE L First Edition powered by a 2.0-litre TDI that produces 150ps and goes from 0-62mph (0-100kph) in 8.7 seconds, and a top speed of 141mph, where permitted, which is virtually nowhere at all. It has Volkswagen Group silky smooth 7-Speed DSG automatic gearbox.

There was a specification sheet in the car, listing all the standard equipment on this First Edition model, and was it long, just about filled a whole sheet of A4 paper. It had, to name but a few: 17- inch alloy wheels, Adaptive Cruise Control with follow to stop, satellite navigation with 10-inch touchscreen, LED lights front and rear, heated front seats, microsuede upholstery, and much much more.

The Octavia name has been around since 1959, as long as the MINI name, and has grown in popularity over the past 60 years. At the Premiere, Skoda had on display a couple of the original models, which did attract just as much interest and attention as the new one we had gone to see.

The new Octavia is really all-new, hardly any bits-and- pieces used from the previous car, and this does show in the way it looks and drives.

Skoda have now got a very attractive hatch, and estate in the new Octavia with some very clever and bold lines, that are pressed and engineered to perfection, and have a nice crisp look to them. The styling makes it look almost “Coupe-like” with its sloping rear design. But some cars that have similar sloping lines can lose a bit of rear headroom, but not the Octavia, still plenty for the tallest of rear seat passenger.

The Octavia has always been in the “C-Sector” part of the market to compete with the likes of the Ford Focus, VW Golf and Vauxhall/Opel Astra. But the size of the Octavia is much larger than its main competitors, it really is a big car. The interior is huge, with so much leg and headroom, and the boot is probably larger than cars in the next sector up in size, such as Ford Mondeo and VW Passat. But Skoda have always made “oversized” cars for as long as I remember, and this fact has certainly helped them improve sales year after year.

During the week I had the car, and used it quite a lot on a variety of different routes and roads, and over the course of the seven-days it achieved on average 61mpg (3.856 L/100km) so a great result for a large car, not only for fuel consumption but for emissions too.

The Octavia is such a nice car to drive, comfortable, good handling dynamics and really good fuel consumption.

UK list price for this vehicle was £28,460 OTR.

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