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Skoda Octavia

PITCHING UP AN OCTAVE (some text hidden)

ByJonathan Crouch

Skoda's improved third generation Octavia looks a strong proposition. Jonathan Crouch reports.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 58

A Skoda Octavia was once the least sophisticated of all the Volkswagen Group's family hatchback products. Not any more. Almost nothing has been held back for this third generation version, which now features smarter looks, new hi-tech 1.0 and 1.5-litre TSI petrol engines, the option of adaptive damping further up the range and more sophisticated optional smartphone connectivity.

Backgroundword count: 189

You can trace the Skoda success story of the last couple of decades back to the original launch of one model: this one - the Octavia. Right from its very first appearance in 1996, this has been a car that's always super-sized its value proposition, offering more space than the class norm. For first and second generation versions, that class saw competition amongst Focus and Astra-class family hatches. This MK3 model though, took a step up in the world, virtually big enough to compete with Mondeos and Insignias in the larger medium range segment. An Octavia then, that's larger than previous generation versions were - and cleverer too - as it has to be to distance itself from the simpler, smaller Rapid model. The Rapid is the car to choose for Skoda motoring as it used to be, light on frills and cutting-edge technology but solid, reliable, value-laden and built to last. This improved Octavia, in contrast, is more a signpost to a direction the Czech brand wants to go in the future: one that shares the very latest technology with more luxurious brands in the Volkswagen Group stable.

Driving Experienceword count: 333

As with the Volkswagen Golf and the SEAT Leon, the German engineers who created this car took a pragmatic approach to driving dynamics, deciding that drivers opting for lower order engines wouldn't care too much about cutting edge handling response. So the sophisticated multilink rear suspension is reserved for the performance-oriented vRS models, the most powerful of which uses the 2.0-litre TSI petrol unit borrowed from the Golf GTI. Here though, we're focusing on the mainstream variants that most Octavia customers will be considering, all suspended with a much humbler torsion beam arrangement. A very large proportion of customers opt for entry-level petrol power, previously a 1.2-litre unit but now a more frugal and sophisticated 1.0-litre engine developing 115PS and 200NM of torque. It can be ordered with or without 7-speed DSG auto transmission and in manual form, makes 62mph in 9.6s. Otherwise, the engines on offer are much as before. Petrol people get a 1.5 TSI 150PS ACT unit or, in the top vRS performance models, a 245PS version of the 2.0 TSI turbo unit borrowed from the Golf GTI. Those in search of a diesel get either a 115PS 1.6 or a 150PS version of the usual 2.0 TDI unit, which is available with 184PS in the vRS. Opt for an engine with 150PS or more and you get the option of DCC adaptive damping. 4WD is an option with the 2.0 TDI engine. And handling? Well as we suggested at the beginning, it isn't really geared towards the needs of the enthusiast driver, though to be fair, bodyroll is well controlled and the steering direct and precise. If you're after more than that, then you'll appreciate one of the sporty vRS models. Horses for courses you see. And if those courses are likely to be on the rough and muddy side, then you'll be interested in the four-wheel drive system also developed for this car, primarily for a Scout estate model with additional body cladding and a raised ride height.

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Pictures (high res disabled)

Statistics (subset of data only)

Min

Max

0-60 mph (s):

6.8

10.9

Combined mpg:

44.1

88.3

CO2 (g/km):

85

Extra urban mpg:

52.3

94.2

Height (mm):

1449

1461

Insurance group:

13

29

... and 6 other stats available

Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Compact Family Cars

Performance
80%
Handling
70%
Comfort
70%
Space
80%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

This is an excerpt from our full review.
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