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Car trim reviews

Skoda Octavia Greenline II

The Skoda Octavia GreenLine has fuel-saving features that are effective, but the UK’s taxation structure gives no additional benefit to company car drivers.

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The Skoda Octavia GreenLine is a special high-efficiency version of the Octavia, similar to – and employing many of the same technologies as – the Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion. It has a modified 102bhp 1.6-litre diesel engine, revised gear ratios, an energy recovery system which charges the battery under braking, aerodynamic changes to help the car cut through the air more efficiently and low rolling resistance tyres. Together, this raises the fuel economy of the car from 62.8mpg to 74.3mpg and drops emissions from 119g/km to 99g/km. Driveability suffers a little because of the longer gearing, but you still get plenty of kit, including air conditioning, electric front windows, a touch-screen stereo with a six-CD player and a high-quality interior. The wheels are 15-inch alloys rather than the steel affairs with aerodynamic covers fitted to many eco specials, too, and electronic stability control – optional even on top-trim Octavias – is standard.

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Good points

There’s no feeling of having to make sacrifices to save fuel with the Octavia GreenLine. It doesn’t accelerate quite as rapidly as a regular 1.6-litre diesel Octavia because of the higher gearing, but it’s easy to drive, which is a hallmark of the car. Comfort, space and quality are strengths that run throughout the range, and there’s no sense that equipment has been stripped out to help the economy quest. You still get air conditioning, and it’s interesting that this model has electronic stability control when it costs extra on other, more expensive models. Do the economy tricks work? By and large, yes, although to get the claimed 74.3mpg you’ll have to drive like a saint. But there are other savings to be made. There’s no road tax to pay, for example, and if you go into London on weekdays, you won’t have to pay the £10 daily Congestion Charge.

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Bad points

The Octavia GreenLine costs around £1,500 more than an Octavia S and £450 more than an SE, but for UK fleet drivers there’s no benefit in choosing it over either. Despite the reduction in emissions it remains in the same 13% company car tax band, so it will actually cost you a bit more than an S or an SE to run. It will pay you back with stronger resale values when you sell it, although you’ll still lose more than 60% of what you paid. Generally, the spec is ideal for a company car, but there are a couple of glaring gaps. Side curtain airbags really ought ot be standard on a car of this price. So should Bluetooth, which is an essential for business users, but it’s not even listed as an option.

What you get

  • Alloy wheels
  • Folding rear seats
  • Passenger & Driver airbag
  • Front side airbags
  • Manual air conditioning
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Height adjustable driver's seat
  • Front electric windows
  • CD Multichanger
  • Cruise control
  • Stop/Start

Recommended optional extras

  • Side curtain airbags

Our choice

There is no choice. The GreenLine II is a stand-alone model powered by a 1.6-litre diesel engine and featuring additional fuel-saving, emissions-reducing technologies.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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