2009 sees both me and my Skoda Octavia enjoying a golden jubilee! I neither mean to imply that I bought it the year of my birth nor my car has lasted 50 years. But on January the 6th 1959, the Czech car manufacturer Skoda introduced its newest car model to replace the Skoda 440, also known as 'Spartak'. Reported in their company magazine Ventil, they announced "Our new vehicle has a new name too - the Skoda Octavia, as it is the eighth model produced by our nationalised industry."
The new Skoda Octavia was the first "in-house"model to be developed 1989 after Skoda became part of VW. The first concept car was created in 1992 and was finally launched in 1996 as a hatchback followed by the estate version and 4-by-4 two years later. In 2000 a new, modernised Skoda Octavia was introduced that is still manufactured in Mlada Boleslav to this day as the Octavia Tour. The new Skoda Octavia, was launched in 2004 then facelifted in 2008. More than two million have been produced and boasts a vast range or sub-models and trim levels that include both the 4-by-4 Scout and the sporty Skoda Octavia vRS.
In 2008 wanted to replace my Ford Focus 1.8 petrol estate, that had been a great servant since 2001 with a reliable high-mileage and low-maintenance car. To this end I decided to concentrate my search on Diesel-fuelled cars in general and German cars in particular looking for example from VW, Audi and BMW. I consulted with my friends and colleagues that owned care from these marks for information about the cars and their experiences running them. The Audi A6 owned by my eldest brother scored highly in all departments except servicing costing around £400 annually. My other brother had the VW Polo scoring higher due to the lower servicing costs although a little too small for my needs preferring the VW Passat for size..
In an aside I asked if he saw the recent Skoda Fabia advertising campaign featuring the construction of a full-size a car-shaped cake. He replied that Skoda was taken over by VW and I could secure my reliable "German Diesel" in the guise of a Skoda. I made enquiries about the costs of both purchasing and ownership and found them to be a lot lower. The cost for a 2.0 litre TDI Skoda Octavia estate was around £5000 lower than a similar VW Passat. I enquired about servicing from a local Skoda Garage and he informed me the regular Annual 10,000-mile service was around £80, I was even paying £132 for my Ford Focus, and variable servicing depending upon your driving habit and when it was due for service this would be indicated by light on the dashboard and would cost £164. This made me concentrate my search for a Skoda Octavia Diesel estate.
Initially, I used the Autotrader.co.uk website to look for a second-hand car but noticed that there were not too many on offer and those that were available seemed to have held their price rather too well so not affording the saving I wanted to achieve. I clicked the New Cars tab in Autorader.co.uk to investigate the Octavia models more thoroughly. I found Autofinders.ltd.uk, a UK-based new car reseller offering 2-litre Diesel Octavia Estates 6-speed manual transmission for around £14,500 new! In addition just for £900 more they had the Octavia 2.0 TDI PD vRS with an advanced 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine that produces 170bhp!
Diesel cars have never been short of pulling power, the Octavia is no exception, with 350Nm of torque available from just 1,800rpm, the 2.0 TDI PD vRS offers amazing thrust from low revs. The piezo-injector technology provides exceptional performance, and driving thrills you would only expect from a petrol engined car rather than this diesel-powered vRS. 0-62mph can be achieved in just 8.5 seconds for the hatchback and 8.6 seconds for the Estate, boasting top speeds of 140mph and 139mph respectively. So how much does it cost to feed? The more sporty cars are usually seen at their second-homes "tethered" to the garage forecourt fuel pumps, but both the hatch and estate versions of the Octavia 2.0 TDI PD vRS return an amazing 48.7mpg on the combined cycle, which gives a potential tank range of 589 miles.
The Octavia 2.0 TDI PD vRS is fully-compliant with the EURO IV regulations thanks to its diesel particulate filter (DPF) which helps reduce exhaust emissions. In terms of CO2 output, both the hatch and estate versions produce just 157g/km. An annual tax disc costs £145 for this model. After a year of ownership I have only had to top up the oil after 15000 miles. Halfords sell Audi/VW compliant 507 Oil available for around £40 a gallon rather than paying £75 for the VW branded stuff. The interior is also quite luxurious including dual-zone (front passenger/driver) climate control, half-leather vRS seats, Multi-CD player in the boot together with a Radio-CD-MP3 player head in the dash and alloy wheels are fitted as standard. Safety equipment includes ESP (abs, traction control, and some other tricks), plus driver, passenger and side air bags.
Currently (19th February 2009), you can buy yourself an Octavia 2.0 TDI PD vRS Estate (RRP 19,200) costs £16,095 from autofinders.ltd.uk saving over £3000. If you do buy from these guys, mention my name and I get £150 from them!