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Used Skoda Octavia review: 2007-2009

Precious little feedback has been received from Octavia owners, which suggests they're a happy lot.

Skoda was once cheap, bland little cars built behind the Iron Curtain.

They failed to get any traction here and vanished from the market almost as fast as they arrived, and no one cared. Today's Skodas are a far cry from those old models. Skoda is one of the many brands now part of the broad portfolio of VW and the cars reflect the quality and sophistication of the go-ahead German carmaker.

VW launched the Skoda brand here in 2007 with the release of the Roomster and the Octavia. The Octavia was based on the VW Jetta and was built with the same quality as its VW cousin. Skoda was positioned as a more affordable brand relative to the VW range, and it came in two practical body styles, a sedan and a wagon that offers families a real alternative to an SUV. There were three levels in the range, the Ambiente, the Elegance and the RS, with a range of petrol and diesel engines, and manual and auto transmissions, all from the VW parts bin.

TECHNOLOGY

There were three petrol engines, a 2.0-litre four, a 1.8-litre turbocharged four and a 2.0-litre turbo four. The non-turbo engine put out 110 kW and 200 Nm and delivered a smooth driving experience. For a little more zip there was the 1.8-litre turbo unit that punched out 118 kW and 250 Nm, while the 2.0-litre upped the ante to 147kW and 280Nm in the sporty RS. If fuel economy was your want the diesels were the way to go. The 1.9-litre engine produced 77kW and 250Nm while the 2.0-litre boasted 103kW and 320Nm. The transmission choices included 5 and 6-speed manuals, a conventional six-speed auto, and a six-speed DSG.

Most models were front-wheel drive, but the Elegance and Ambiente could also be had as an AWD wagon. Ambiente models came standard with air, MP3 compatible sound, leather steering wheel, trip computer, cruise and a full-sized spare. Tick the Elegance box and you picked up larger alloys, premium sound, auto headlamps, rain-sensing wipers and climate control air. At the head of the pack the RS had even bigger alloys, firmer suspension, heated front seats and an alarm.

IN THE SHOP

Precious little feedback has been received from Octavia owners, which suggests they're a happy lot. It's also a reflection of the fact the company is owned by VW and the cars are built in VW-owned and run factories with the same production standards. Ask for evidence confirming regular maintenance , and take a close look for possible crash repairs.

IN A CRASH

All models were well equipped with active safety features, including ABS brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, traction control and electronic stability control. They also had a comprehensive array of passive features, including front, side and head airbags. ANCAP rated the Ambiente at four stars when it was tested.

AT THE PUMP

The turbo diesel engines delivered the best economy in the range with the 1.9-litre engine averaging 6.1L/100km and the 2.0-litre unit averaging 6.4L/100km. Averaging 8.5L/100km the 2.0-litre normally aspirated engine was the thirstiest of the bunch. Meanwhile the turbocharged petrol engines averaged 7.7 L/100 km (1.8- litre) and 7.3 L/100 km (2.0-litre) respectively.

Price new: $30,990 to $39,490

AT A GLANCE

Engines: 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol, 110 kW/200 Nm, 1.8-litre turbo 4-cylinder petrol, 118 kW/250 Nm, 2.0-litre turbo 4-cylinder petrol, 147 kW/280 Nm, 1.9-litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel, 77 kW/250 Nm, 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel, 103 kW/320 Nm
Transmissions: 5-speed manual, 6-speed manual, six-speed auto, six- speed DSG. FWD, AWD
Bodies: 4-door sedan, wagon
Variants: Ambiente, Elegance, RS
Safety: 4-star ANCAP.

VERDICT

Solid, practical family transport in a value-for-money package.

RATING

4 stars.

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2009 $4,100 $13,970
2008 $5,000 $10,890
2007 $4,600 $9,680

View all Skoda Octavia pricing and specifications

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
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist

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