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Skoda Octavia 103TDI vs Volkswagen Jetta 103TDI

Skoda Octavia and Volkswagen Jetta go head-to-head.

Skoda Octavia 103TDI and Volkswagen Jetta 103TDI go head-to-head in this comparative review.

value

Skoda Octavia 103TDI

from $36,290

Launched here in 2009, it is well equipped for the money. Standard includes dual-zone climate control, power windows, multi-function steering wheel, cooled centre storage bin, rainsensing wipers, 16-inch alloys, satnav, iPod connectivity and much more. Both this and the Jetta run the same engine.

Volkswagen Jetta 103TDI

from $34,990

In a rare reversal, the Comfort undercuts the Octavia and, being newer (Jetta was released in 2011) it has goodies the Octavia doesn't, like parking sensors. Rain-sensing wipers, auto headlights, low-tyre pressure monitor, dual-zone climate control, 16-inch alloys and iPod connectivity are standard.

design

Skoda Octavia 103TDI

The 2009 reworking had Skoda add a new front end and allnew sheet metal but, besides the headlights, the changes are subtle. There's plenty of room in the front and back seats and plenty of adjustment for the steering and driver's seat. The 560-litre boot is huge.

Volkswagen Jetta 103TDI

A quick glance suggests this model hasn't changed much. But almost the whole car is new, inside and out. And thanks to a slightly longer wheelbase, it offers 6.7cm more legroom in the back. However, the 510litre boot is 50L smaller than the Octavia's.

technology

Skoda Octavia 103TDI

VW Group's 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel (producing 103kW) and 320Nm from 1750rpm is in this and the Jetta. This is mated to a six-speed DSG which runs more smoothly at low speed than when fitted to a petrol engine. Manual consumption is 5.7L/100km while the DSG uses 6.4L/100km.

Volkswagen Jetta 103TDI

Like the Octavia, the Jetta runs the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel, producing an identical 103kW and 320Nm from 1750rpm. It also has the same six-speed DSG, but at 5.5L/100km consumes almost one-litre-per-100km less. The grunty engine flattens hills and purrs on long straights.

safety

Skoda Octavia 103TDI

ANCAP hasn't issued a rating for this post-2009 model but its predecessor had four stars. There are six airbags (standard), traction and stability control, ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution and hill hold (manual), pre-tensioner seatbelts (front seats), remote central locking and immobiliser.

Volkswagen Jetta 103TDI

Five ANCAP stars and six airbags in the same spots as the Octavia. Traction and stability controls, ABS with electronic brake-pressure distribution and brake assist. There's anti-slip regulation and an electronic difflock, as well as anti-whiplash front seat head restraints.

driving

Skoda Octavia 103TDI

It's easy to get comfortable behind the wheel, and there's good vision. The diesel engine offers decent off -idle grunt to make progress seem effortless. The suspension is firm but the 205/55 tyres soften the ride. The steering has decent weighting.

Volkswagen Jetta 103TDI

The Jetta offers well-weighted and direct steering with plenty of straight stability for highway driving. The ride is impressive and is able to soften the worst the road can offer without upsetting body control in the bends.

Verdict

Skoda Octavia 103TDI

Volkswagen Jetta 103TDI

The points show there's barely a paperwidth between these two, and the seat-ofthepants experience suggests the same. The VW Jetta wins simply because it is newer and has more features.