Design and Engineering

Design and Engineering

Good Since arriving Down Under in October 2007, you’d be lucky to find a review which wasn’t favourable to this mid size wagon from the Czech Republic. The mid life facelift went on sale in early 2009, (as this generation Octavia has been on sale in Europe since 2004) bringing along a more modern touch to both the exterior and interior. The headlight design is of a more interesting shape and the bumpers are restyled front and rear.
Not so good The design is starting to show its age, mostly from the side profile angle. We predict the next generation Octavia (it’ll most likely be here towards the end of 2011) will be more dynamically styled.
Interior and Styling

Interior and Styling

Good The mid life facelift sees a new dash design with higher quality soft touch plastics, upgraded switchgear and a new steering wheel design. The front seats are comfortable, generously sized and supportive (the sporty RS variants feature fantastic grippy front pews) and the steering wheel has both rake and reach adjustment. The driver and front passenger receive an adequate number of storage compartments up front (centre console compartment, door and seat bins and a decent sized glovebox). Rear cargo space is good (with useful storage hooks, luggage net and a 12 volt outlet) and for carrying serious loads the second row seats split fold for over 1,600 litres of carrying capacity (200 litres over the Octavia hatch). Rear visibility is good, better than the Octavia hatch.
Not so good Interior ambience is a touch sombre. Second row legroom is only acceptable for adults (however this is a compact sized ‘Medium’ segment choice so this shouldn’t come as a surprise).
Performance

Performance

Good A great selection of engines to choose from: three petrol (1.4L turbo with 90kW, 1.8L turbo with 118kW and 2.0L turbo with 147kW) and two diesel (2.0L turbo with either 103kW or 125kW). We’re big fans of the 1.8TSI (118kW) grade – a great mix of power (enough for the average family with 2.2 kids) and economy (official combined fuel economy figure of only 6.7L with the excellent seven speed dual clutch DSG gearbox).
Not so good The DSG gearbox dishes up excellent quick shifts, however sometimes we wished the changes were smoother. The RS TDI (sporty diesel grade) offers excellent amounts of torque but isn’t the most fun engine to rev (however the petrol powered RS 2.0TSI sure is!).
Ride and Handling

Ride and Handling

Good Steering has good accuracy - providing safe and secure inputs; the ride is mostly refined, staying calm over most surfaces. RS grades ride is firm but never harsh.
Not so good Rough road surfaces and small bumps result in a slightly fidgety ride and over these surfaces road noise is more evident than ideal.
Buying and Owning

Buying and Owning

Good All grades come standard with six airbags, Anti-lock brakes and Electronic Stability Control - the Octavia wagon ticks the safety box. Rear seat passengers will appreciate the second row adjustable air conditioning vents.
Not so good Check to see if you have a Skoda dealer near you, as you can probably count the number of dealerships in your state on one hand.