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Skoda Octavia 2007 Review

The stylish wagon and sedan comes standard with stability control, a high specification, a choice of five engines including two frugal diesels, a hero sporty model, two all-wheel-drive wagon variants and prices that start at $29,990 for the 1.9-litre diesel sedan.

'Sedan' is not exactly the right term here. It looks like a sedan with a normal boot, but the rear window also lifts with the tailgate. It is actually a 'liftback,' which is not as popular a body style as it used to be . . . or should be. Liftback is a very practical body shape and in this model the tailgate unveils an absolutely 'gi-normous' cargo area. Some 560 litres with the seats up and 1420 litres when fully folded down.

Engine options are 1.9 and 2-litre turbo diesels, a 1.8 turbo petrol, a 2-litre normally aspirated petrol, plus the lusty 2-litre turbo petrol unit from the VW Golf GTI in the top-of-the range RS variant.

Choice is the key to the Octavia with all those engines, two body styles, three transmissions and two drives. Some 16 models in all. Plus there are eight colours available, including two exclusive to the RS.

Skoda Australia head Matthew Wiesner admits they have one too many engines, the two-litre petrol.

“We had to have the 2.0 FSI now because we don't have an auto in the 1.8 TFSI yet,” he said.

“Ideally, four engines on two body styles is more practical.”

The Octavia is the first car in Australia to feature the new Volkswagen Group 1.8L TFSI engine, which at 118kW and 250Nm is 8kW more powerful and 50Nm more torquey than the normally aspirated 2-litre.

“From a group point of view the 1.8 TFSI enhances our strength and shows how important we view the Australian market,” Wiesner said.

The Octavia not only features engines from the VW-Audi range but also runs on suspension similar to the excellent-handling Golf with its electro-mechanical power steering.

Consequently, the Octavia points and shoots with the German accuracy of the much-respected Golf.

It also features a range of transmissions from VW, including the fabulously slick six-speed direct-shift automatic gearbox. The all-wheel-drive wagon also uses the VW 4Motion system with Haldex electronic clutch. But the panels and trim are unique to the Octavia.

Outside, it looks very eastern or northern European with its V-shaped bonnet, high sills, raked front and rear windows and wheel at each corner.

It doesn't look anything like a Golf or Jetta, but strongly resembles its Audi A4 cousin or the Volvo S40.

Paint and panel quality is up to European standards while the chrome-surrounded grille spells class. It helps that the logo looks like a medieval royal seal.

Inside, there is a Teutonic efficiency about the controls with very few stylish trims.

It feels macho and almost austere, but the quality of the fitting and the trim materials are excellent. Audi and VW drivers will feel a sense of deja vu when they look at the dashboard, centre stack and instruments.

The cabin abounds with storage compartments for sunglasses, toll money, iPod (including a headphone auxiliary input), wallets, water bottles (including a chilled glovebox) and more.

There is even a small pocket on the front seats, but I'm not sure what it could be used for.

There are two trim levels: Ambiente and Elegance.

Standard features include climate control, central remote locking, single CD with MP3 compatibility, power windows, 15-inch alloys and steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls.

On the safety side there are six airbags, stability control, ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution and front active head restraints.

Ambiente comes in 1.9-litre diesel only with a choice of five-speed manual and six-speed auto.

It costs $29,990 for the manual sedan and $31,990 for the wagon, adding $2300 for the auto and $1200 for all-wheel-drive on the wagon.

The Elegance range features the 2-litre diesel and 1.8 and 2-litre petrol engines in six-speed manual and auto transmissions.

It adds two-zone climate air, 16-inch alloys, six-CD changer, front fog lights, auto headlights and rain-sensing wipers.

Prices are $30,990 for the 1.8 TFSI manual sedan, $33,290 for the 2.0 FSI auto sedan and $33,490 for the 2.0 TDI sedan.

Add $2000 for the wagon, $2300 for the auto on the diesel and $1200 for the all-wheel-drive wagon.

The hero model RS is fired up by the Golf GTI's 2-litre turbo and comes with six-speed manual.

It arrives in blue or yellow and adds tyre pressure monitoring, parking sensors, RS badging, twin chrome exhaust, sports seats (heated in the front), 18-inch alloys, 15mm lower suspension, red brake calipers, larger brakes, alloy sports pedals, RS steering wheel, front fog lights and silver roof rails on the wagon.

It costs $37,490 for the sedan and $39,490 for the wagon.

Out on the road, the Octavia drives just like its VW cousins with precise steering and handling without compromising ride.

The major differences are a fair amount of road noise and a spongy brake pedal.

 


Skoda Octavia

$29,990-$39,490

Engines: 1.9 turbo diesel (77kW/250Nm)

2.0 turbo diesel (103kW/320Nm)

1.8 turbo petrol (118kW/250Nm)

2.0 petrol (110kW/200Nm)

2.0 turbo petrol (147kW/280Nm)

Bodies: 5-door, 5-seater, sedan (liftback) and wagon

Transmissions: 5 and 6-speed manuals and 6-speed DSG auto

Drive: front wheel and 4Motion all wheel

Suspension: McPherson strut with stabiliser (front), multi-element axle with stabiliser (rear)

Brakes: ventilated front and solid rear discs, ABS< ESP

Steering: direct rack and pinion steering with electro mechanic power steering

Dimensions (MM): 4572 (L), 1769 (W), 1462 (H), 2578 (wheelbase)

Fuel tank: 55L (sedan), 60L (wagon)

 

Pricing guides

$7,140
Based on third party pricing data
Lowest Price
$4,600
Highest Price
$9,680

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Ambiente 1.9L, Diesel, 5 SP MAN $4,600 – 7,370 2007 Skoda Octavia 2007 Ambiente Pricing and Specs
Elegance 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $5,300 – 8,250 2007 Skoda Octavia 2007 Elegance Pricing and Specs
RS 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $6,000 – 9,240 2007 Skoda Octavia 2007 RS Pricing and Specs
Ambiente 1.9L, Diesel, 6 SP $5,200 – 8,030 2007 Skoda Octavia 2007 Ambiente Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide

$4,600

Lowest price, based on third party pricing data

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