RAC Cars News


New Skoda Octavia 2013

By raccars Published

The Skoda name has had its share of ups and downs over the years but, at the moment, is holding up fairly well in the 'value for money' sector of the market and the new Octavia will only help it consolidate that position.

The comfortably spacious new Octavia is a size up from the previous model – both physically and in price tag, but is correspondingly better equipped to justify that price rise. Upon launch, four engine choices are available: turbo petrol models at 1.2 litres and 103bhp and 1.4 litres for 138bhp and two diesel units with 1.6 litres for 103bhp and 2.0 litres returning 148bhp. Later this year expect to see a Greenline ultra-efficient model and an RS hot hatch with 217bhp.

The first concerns might be that the 1.2 litre petrol powerplant must be underpowered to pull such a substantial motor but, surprisingly, this well-balanced unit gives you good power from about 1400rpm and keeps its refinement, even on the motorway. The six-speed manual gearbox is well-spaced enough to make the new Octavia a very relaxed drive at any time.

The 1.4 litre petrol unit is an even more impressive version of the same and, while the diesels lack some of the muscularity and smoothness of the petrol units, emissions figures of 99g/kg for the 1.6 litre will make it a great buy for business drivers.

The 2.0 litre diesel is a peach, already used to great effect in the VW Golf and Audi A3 and working almost as well in the Octavia. Emissions figures of 106g/kg are remarkable for this kind of car and performance.

While handling doesn't quite match up to market rival the Mondeo or the VW Golf, the Octavia is still a pleasant and responsive drive.

In the cabin you can see where that higher price tag has been spent, with high-quality materials to comfortably beat the Mondeo or the Mazda 6, welcoming seating and a useful and simple touchscreen infotainment console. Legroom and boot space is class leading and some clever features show how much thought has gone into the development of this car.

The entry-level model is the S, which comes with an admirable quantity of standard kit in the form of air conditioning, alloys, seven airbags, Bluetooth connectivity, six CD stereo with USB input and DAB radio and stability control. You can expect this version to sell very well, but the SE and Elegance models are even more luxuriously furnished.

While the Skoda badge rarely provokes excitement, the new Octavia is a quality motor that makes an excellent value alternative to the likes of the Mondeo.

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