Skoda has flourished in recent years thanks to a combination of affordable prices and access to VW/ Audi’s parts bin. The Octavia is a great example of just how successful the partnership has been, bringing a quality of finish previously reserved for premium models to a whole new audience.
It’s hard not to like the Octavia given that it goes about its business in a thoroughly honest way. Whilst it isn’t the sharpest in the class it is surefooted and there is some fun to be had. This is blended well with good ride quality and decent levels of refinement to make a strong all-rounder.
The most fuel-efficient petrol engine is the 1.2 TSI unit. It’s a great example of the benefits that being part of the VW empire bring. This is a thoroughly modern engine combining radical downsizing with direct injection and turbocharging to provide an excellent blend of fuel economy power and torque.
The engine output is impressive producing nearly 100 bhp/litre, but it is the torque which makes the engine so flexible. With a strong 129 lb.ft available from a diesel-like 1,500 rpm all the way to 3,500 rpm it’s a match for the relatively large Octavia. Peak power arrives at a low 5,000 rpm so it does its best work in the mid-range.
The Octavia is a great all-rounder and punches above its weight in key areas. There is lots of room inside and has hatchback practicality, whilst the ‘fastback’ styling provides added boot space. The 1.2 TSI engine is state-of-the-art and provides great fuel economy with enhanced driveability. First-class build quality is the icing on the cake.