Skoda Octavia 2014 Review
One thing for sure, Skoda packs a heap of value into its new generation III Octavia range which delivers plenty of car, technology and features in a right size package... at sharp prices.
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Peugeot’s 508 sedan and wagon replaced the 407 last year with the aim of becoming a strong contender in the Aussie large car market. Since the 508 landed here mid-2011 it has slowly established ground, accounting for 828 of the 3,483 Peugeot sales so far this year.
However, its rivals the Volkswagen Passat with 3,432 sales and Ford Mondeo with 3,554 sales are clear front runners. The 508 GT version tested here was a late arrival to the line-up, rolling into Peugeot showrooms in April this year, so has had a shorter time to prove itself.
Priced from $55,990, standard features include an eight-speaker stereo, Bluetooth connectivity, 12V auxiliary sockets, tilt and reach adjustable steering wheel, leather seats, glass sunroof, driving lamps and fog lamps. And the warranty is a standard 3 years with 100,000km roadside assist.
There are several optional extras that can raise the price by nearly $8,000 including 19-inch alloy wheels for $500, power tailgate for $1000, Nappa leather seats with memory settings for $2500 and premium pearl white paint for $1300.
You can also add GPS satellite navigation for $1500 or GPS satellite navigation plus JBL HiFi for $2300. But the navigation system is the old school ‘scroll to each letter and number’ rather than a more user-friendly touch screen. However, once your destination is locked in the directions are clear and it works efficiently, and it shows you the closest petrol stations and other handy landmarks nearby.
The 508 gets a 2.2-litre 4-cylinder engine with 150kW of power and 450Nm of torque. And the GT version comes with double wishbone suspension and a 0-100km/h time of 8.4 seconds, more than a second quicker than the Touring Allure.
It’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission (no manual variant is available) and the only fuel type available is diesel, with an official combined fuel economy of 5.9L/100km. However we tested the wagon on a mix of city streets, major highways and quiet country roads and returned an average of 7.4L/100km - nearly 20 per cent higher.
The 508 GT Touring has a classic wagon silhouette, with a large bonnet and extended rear. The wide grille is flanked by two slanting headlights and there is chrome detailing on the windows and door handles – overall the 508 is attractive. A nice touch is the electronic side mirrors that open and close when you unlock or lock the 508.
On the inside there’s a leather steering wheel, with embellished stitching and Peugeot’s signature black piano lacquered detailing. What you’ll really notice is the abundance of features. The dashboard and shift knob are surrounded by buttons that deliver surprises to the driver. Our favourite has to be the “massaging” driver’s seat feature that adds to the luxury feel.
There are sports styled speedometers, and several information displays including fuel consumption, km to empty and suburb location. There’s also an impressive panoramic sunroof that reaches all the way to the rear of the wagon, with the rear and back windows tinted to cut UV and provide privacy. The power tailgate makes loading the boot easy, just press the button and toss all your gear in there.
As with all things there are a few negatives. The inside lacks places for your bits and pieces, as there’s only a very small central compartment and two cup holders. So you’ll struggle to find a place for a large water bottle or any other personal items that you want within arm’s reach.
The 508 has a 5 star ANCAP crash rating with safety features that include six airbags, ABS and electronic brake force distribution, central locking, fog lamps at the front and rear, Bi-Xenon headlamps, park assist and tyre pressure sensors.
While the GT designation might raise your hopes of it being a hot version, it’s not a sports performance wagon. In the 508’s case the GT stands for Grand Tourer and spells out an effortless and comfortable driving experience.
The noise of the diesel engine only slightly enters the cabin, and the sound itself is pleasing - Peugeot knows its stuff when it comes to diesel engines. The 508 Touring takes off quickly and stops just as well, with refined and progressive brake feel.
The six-speed automatic transmission is well mated to the 2.2-litre engine, with plenty of power on climbs and the suspension handles rough surfaces well. While the overall drive experience is more than adequate, the steering control lets it down with the electronic system giving a numb feeling around sharper corners.
The large side mirrors assist when reversing and there are also front sensors - although you might wish there weren’t after a little while with their sensitive reactions beeping loudly near anything they see as an obstruction - we quickly found the noise distracting. And as with many other wagons the turning circle for the 4813mm body is a bit wide at 12.2 metres.
While it’s not the cheapest wagon out there, those looking for that extra something special will not be disappointed: classic wagon body, prestige features and a comfortable drive.
|Active 1.6 EHDi||1.6L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO||$7,700 – 11,990||2012 Peugeot 508 2012 Active 1.6 EHDi Pricing and Specs|
|Active 1.6T||1.6L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO||$11,999 – 12,990||2012 Peugeot 508 2012 Active 1.6T Pricing and Specs|
|Allure 1.6T||1.6L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO||$8,990 – 9,890||2012 Peugeot 508 2012 Allure 1.6T Pricing and Specs|
|Allure HDi||2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO||$9,800 – 15,995||2012 Peugeot 508 2012 Allure HDi Pricing and Specs|