• Skoda takes Octavia to another level

    by  • October 30, 2013 • Car Reviews, Test Drives

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    2013 Skoda Octavia exterior front right dynamic

    The new Skoda Octavia is a handsome looking car

    One of the great things about being in a big car like the Skoda Octavia is that you can easily climb into the front seat should you accidentally child lock yourself into the back.

    However, the Octavia has more than one string to its bow when it comes to great things.

    Making room for the new Skoda Rapid in the Czech car maker’s line up, the new Octavia has gained a few inches, making it longer and wider than the previous generation.

    It also has an unusual groove pattern in the rear which I’m still in two minds about, and I think the wing mirrors could be bigger – but overall, it’s a handsome looking car.

    Moving inside, and the Octavia has a solid, quality feel about it that’s akin to more expensive marques.

    You really notice the extra inches this car has gained in the cabin – it’s absolutely massive, with more than enough room for three normal sized adults in the rear.

    2013 Skoda Octavia interior cockpit

    The interior of the Skoda Octavia has a quality feel to it

    The seats, meanwhile, are comfortable – with front seat lumbar support standard on the top of the range Elegance model I was driving.

    Leg and head room is excellent, both back and front, and the rear pull down armrest hides a ski hatch into the exceptionally large boot. The car also carries a spare wheel.

    Storage is well catered for, with loads of cubbies, including a cooler box in the well placed driver arm rest. Optional nets, meanwhile, allow you to segment the boot area, and the size of the cupholders is adjustable.

    Technology in the six-speed manual diesel test car was also impressive, with a Columbus touch sensitive infotainment unit, which incorporates an easy to use Sat Nav system.

    Before you touch it, the screen can sense your hand hovering and automatically reveals hidden icons.

    The associated Jukebox system is also amazing – it soaks up all the music ever played on it, via USB/CD/Bluetooth streaming, and makes it available to the car.

    Phone pairing via Bluetooth was simple and I liked that the car reminds you to take your Bluetooth-linked mobile with you when you turn off the engine.

    At €1,921, the Columbus system may seem a pricy optional extra, but if you spend a lot of time in the car and you like your music it could be worth it.

    2013 Skoda Octavia interior boot rear seats folded

    The massive boot in this car, which houses a spare wheel, can be made even larger by lowering the rear seats

    Our test route saw us mainly in the city, but also on the motorway and on country backroads.

    I really enjoyed this car – it was excellent to drive. The powerful engine gives great acceleration at the lights and from a standing stop joining the motorway.

    It also handles well, so country driving was fun.

    The test car was fitted with stop and start technology, a fuel efficiency measure which cuts the engine when you’re idling in traffic. It could also park itself, which – once you learn to trust it, was handy for tight city spots (automatic parking assist, optional extra, €729).

    Overall, I loved the new Skoda Octavia and it’s no surprise that it’s one of the models shortlisted for the Continental Irish Car of the Year Award 2014.

    It’s a really roomy, luxurious family car that will have you volunteering to be the designated driver – definitely one to check out.

    The Skoda Octavia is available now, with prices starting from €18,995. Prices for the Elegance model I was driving start from €27,995 with options in the test car bringing it up to €31,962.

    Tech Spec
    Engine: 2.0 TDI 150hp (diesel)
    Acceleration: 0-100km/h in 8.5 seconds
    Maximum Speed: 218kph
    CO2 emissions: 106g/km
    Combined fuel economy: 4.1l/100km
    Annual road tax: €190

    Visit the Skoda Ireland website or its Facebook page for further details.

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