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Skoda Octavia 2014 Review

You are getting a highly developed car in the Octavia that actually feels like an Audi or a VW Golf wagon to drive.
EXPERT RATING
8
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.

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. The lineup is in Ambition, Ambition Plus and Elegance grades in sedan and wagon and with a choice of 1.4 and 1.8 direct injection turbo four cylinder petrol engines and a 2.0-litre turbo diesel.

ENGINE / TRANSMISSION

We got hold of the 1.4-litre Ambition Plus 103TSi wagon with a seven-speed DSG gearbox and what is called the Tech Pack. Kick off price for a manual variant of this car is about $25,790. The drive car with the extra kit and DSG 'auto' goes for $32,000 - creeping up there a tad.

DESIGN / STYLING

It's roughly the same size as a Golf wagon (and Audi A4 wagon) with which it shares family technology at not quite the same level. Still and all, you are getting a highly developed car in the Octavia that actually feels like an Audi or a VW Golf wagon to drive.

We found the styling to be overly conservative and too similar to the previous model. But the interior is classy, the technology flow down is evident in its features and also the way Octavia is built. Comfort in the test car was impressive with well shaped and manual adjustable seats and steering wheel, super easy to use controls and a roomy interior.

Load space is generous and expandable with folding rear seats. We particularly liked the phone holder in the centre console. The tested version is possibly going to be the biggest seller of the wagons and is a worthy contender in the family carry-all segment.

2014 Octavia wagon rear

FEATURES

Octavia is well equipped in base model form with seven airbags (nine on the test car), auto emergency brake, Bluetooth phone and audio, collision preparation, fatigue detect and plenty of other goodies. More and more driver assist features are coming into particularly European cars these days and the new Octavia doesn't miss out. It also gets the latest infotainment kit and simple to sync Bluetooth from a decent size touch screen.

The $3900 Tech Pack is worth looking at because it brings adaptive cruise control, park assist, multi drive mode selection, keyless entry and start, premium audio, xenon headlights and auto high beam with cornering lights. But Satnav isn't included  a big issue as far as we are concerned.

DRIVING

It took a while for us to come to terms with idea of a 1.4-litre engine but that was just the number. It hits way above its weight feeling stronger than most 2.0-litre naturally aspirated cars thanks in part to the meaty torque output of 250Nm from a low 1250 revs. That's just off idle. It helps the Octavia 103TSI achieve diesel-beating economy of 5.2 litres/100km albeit on a preferred diet of 95 octane fuel.

The seven-speed DSG transmission also helps harness all available power and torque such that the Octavia is quite a sporty piece of kit on the road. No gear change paddles though, sequential change is by the gear stick only. And underlining this is the sporty yet comfy ride which is exhibits minimal body roll and supple suspension that keeps it all together on rough and smooth roads.

Plenty of pep comes from the turbo engine and many people refuse to believe it's a 1.4. Matters not a hoot based on available performance. We drove it with five on board and the airconditioning on  with little difference. And minimal noise comes from anywhere  at any speed.

We are having a crack at the diesel version soon but can't see the reason for the 1.8-litre TSI petrol engine with 132kW because it has the same torque output as the 1.4 using more fuel into the bargain.

VERDICT

Looks pretty good, plenty of kit, goes great, economical, affordable and safe. What's not to like.

2014 Skoda Octavia
Price: from $25,790 (Ambition Plus 103TSi with Tech Pack)
Engine: 1.4L four-cylinder petrol turbo, 103kW/250Nm
Transmission: 7-speed DSG, FWD
Thirst: 5.2L/100km, 121g/km CO2

Pricing guides

$16,994
Based on 28 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$11,990
Highest Price
$29,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
103 TSI Ambition 1.4L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $6,700 – 10,450 2014 Skoda Octavia 2014 103 TSI Ambition Pricing and Specs
103 TSI Ambition Plus 1.4L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $7,700 – 11,880 2014 Skoda Octavia 2014 103 TSI Ambition Plus Pricing and Specs
103 TSI Elegance 1.4L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $10,600 – 15,620 2014 Skoda Octavia 2014 103 TSI Elegance Pricing and Specs
110 TDI Elegance 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP $11,700 – 17,160 2014 Skoda Octavia 2014 110 TDI Elegance Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8
Pricing Guide

$11,990

Lowest price, based on 23 car listings in the last 6 months

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