Hyundai i30 2013 Review
In some ways you might say this is a better looking car than the hatch. It's certainly no stodgy old wagon, not by a long shot with compact lines that belie its size.
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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.
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.
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.
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
|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|