Car trim reviews

Skoda Octavia Elegance

The Skoda Octavia Elegance maintains excellent value, while offering more luxury equipment. However, some safety essentials are not included.

The Octavia is a classic example of how Skoda has benefited from its 20-year association with Volkswagen. A company that was once the butt of jokes is now a highly respected manufacturer of fine cars. The Octavia draws heavily on the Volkswagen Golf, but is nearly 40cm longer, most of which has been used to create a vast boot. The Octavia is nothing fancy: it’s just a solid, spacious and practical family car at an extremely tempting price.

In Elegance trim it does offer a few things to enrich the lives of owners. There’s dual-zone air conditioning, electric rear windows, bigger alloy wheels, headlight washers, cruise control and a big chilled storage box between the front seats, although all of this is at the expense of some important safety features.

The Elegance can be chosen with one of three different engine options. The smallest, a 1.4-litre TSI petrol, offers 138bhp and emits around 120g/km depending on gearbox choice. It also produces a fairly decent economy figure of 53mpg.

For the hypermiler or company car buyer, the diesels are the better option due to their increased economy. The smaller 1.6-litre TDI has the ability to get around 74mpg when linked to the six-speed manual gearbox. The larger 2.0-litre diesel performs almost as well, producing 69mpg.

Good points

Few cars offer such solid value for money as the Skoda Octavia. It’s big on space, big on comfort and big on practicality – the boot is a vast 585 litres (605 litres in the estate) which expands to almost 1,500 litres with the rear seats down. To put that into context, that’s more than in some larger family hatchbacks.The turbo petrol engines and diesels all deliver strong torque for effortless performance with low fuel consumption – all the more so with the optional semi-automatic twin-clutch gearbox. Prices are relatively low and big discounts can reduce them even further.Skodas always fare extremely well in ownership satisfaction surveys, helped by their fine build quality and generally sound reliability.

Bad points

The Octavia’s comparatively low prices have been achieved by skimping on the specification in a couple of important areas. Electronic stability control and side curtain airbags are only options, at a combined cost of £700. Most rivals have both as standard. Bluetooth is also an extra-cost item that business drivers would regard as essential, and is offered only as a £745 package.The 1.4-litre petrol engine and 1.6 diesel are sound buys, but it’s not the same story with the other engine. The 2.0-litre diesel doesn’t deliver the same value as their smaller counterparts, especially with depreciation of around 65% over three years.

What you get

  • Alloy wheels
  • Folding rear seats
  • Alarm
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Passenger & Driver airbag
  • Front side airbags
  • Front fog lights
  • Auto climate control
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Height adjustable driver's seat
  • Front electric windows
  • CD Multichanger
  • Cruise control
  • Rear electric windows

Recommended optional extras

  • Side curtain airbags
  • Electronic stability control (ESP)

Our choice

The 1.4-litre turbo petrol provides all you need and keeps prices below £17,000. However, the 1.6 diesel is a good alternative for high-mileage company car drivers as it is under the 100g/km threshold, meaning no road tax to pay.

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