Product Type: Skoda cars
Newest Review: ... person will obviously need a different vehicle than somebody doing a lot of long-distance driving with a family of five. Overall, I have... more
Skoda Octavia in general
Member Name: MagdaDH
Skoda Octavia in general
Advantages: mpg, space inside and in the boot, adequate toys and power, reliability, comfort, value for money
Disadvantages: low snob value
We had it for three years and in those years it not only served as a everyday workhorse of the car for family driving but also did over 15,000 miles around Europe, from France to the mountains of Crete and back, via the not-so-fantastic roads of Bulgaria, Slovakia and Poland. Thus, the use we made of it consisted mostly of day-to-day driving on A and B roads at home, a lot of motorway and long-distance A-road type driving, some punishing narrow mountain roads from Greece to Scottish Highlands and relatively little city driving. I am giving this information as I think anybody's opinion of the car is very strongly influenced by the use one makes of it and a person who is looking for a city car for one small person will obviously need a different vehicle than somebody doing a lot of long-distance driving with a family of five.
Overall, I have been extremely happy with this car. I am neither a petrolhead (hey, this is diesel anyway) nor a car nut of any sort and thus my opinion is strictly a lay person's one.
1) Our Octavia has proved to be extremely reliable. It suffered no breakdowns at all during the time we had it. The only non-routine work that it needed was a replacement front bearing, probably due to the fact that we rode the brake pads and discs to almost extinction while driving in Greece. Not surprising really as Octavia is full of major components by the VW but with a more down-market image and, especially in lower trim versions, toys and finishing - and thus significantly lower price.
2) Economy. As most modern diesels, this car is very economical and (especially when driven by the Other Adult rather than yours truly) it commonly achieved over 50mpg, especially on long-distance trips. This is quite a reasonable result for a 2-litre engine and a fully loaded car.
3) Size. Our Octavia was a decently sized hatchback, with a huge boot and masses of space inside. Particularly the legroom in the back, even with front seats pushed back, was very generous. With back seats down it was capable of transporting three bikes or very many large boxes.
4) Comfort. The seats (I can only speak for the front ones) were very comfortable. On occasion we spent over 15 hours with a few small breaks in the car and we were (being both tall and in our 40s) able to get out and walk afterwards, and drive again the next day. Plenty of leg room, as I mentioned before, and even with the passenger seat pushed forward still room for a tall woman's legs and a bag. The driver's seat had adjustable height, backrest and lumbar support which all made a lot of difference on the long stretches. The steering wheel, again, adjustable two ways. I would have liked a slightly thinner wheel (I am not sure if it's the right expression - I mean the cross-section diameter of the torus of the wheel) as after several hours my hands got a bit stiff, but those chunkier wheels are typical of modern cars and it was a minor thing really.
5) Handling and driving. I am not an expert on driving vocabulary or technique but driving this Octavia felt good. It had enough oomph for any overtaking I wanted to do (though as the previous cars I drove were also diesels, but much older, I am probably not that demanding in this area), didn't struggle uphill in any reasonable gear; held the road very, very nicely even on sharp and steep corners and had what appeared to be a very reasonable turning circle for manoeuvring.
6) Toys. The toys you get depend on the particular model, obviously, and ours was the mid-spec Ambiente (with Classic being the lower and Elegance the higher spec). I was lucky enough not to have to rely on any safety features, though the traction control seemed to help on muddy corners. The 6-CD changer in the boot was fun on longer journeys along boring motorways, and the AC as provided was sufficiently cool in hot Mediterranean summer.
Altogether, the Octavia was a great car and now it has been totalled by your reviewer, we are seriously contemplating buying another (or would, if the insurer offered anything approaching the replacement value for the written off car - but this is a story for a completely different review).
Summary: I miss mine