What is it?

Europe’s biggest selling estate car - well, the last Octavia estate was, so this one’s got a bit of a reputation to live up to. And although the 4x4 makes up a fairly small proportion of sales, it's the logical extension of Skoda's quietly practical nature. Like those people you know who can fix anything with a roll of Sellotape and a biro.

This is the 2.0-litre diesel, the more powerful of the two diesel options, with 148bhp and 236lb ft, which will hopefully give it the extra spark missing from the 1.6-litre TDI estate.

The 4x4 system is new - a fifth generation Haldex unit which is slightly lighter than the previous one and is claimed to be faster acting - and all Octavia 4x4s use a multi-link rear axle in place of the torsion beam of the lower-powered front-drivers.

What is it like?

A better car than the 1.6 TDI. The biggest problem with that model is 104bhp, which is not quite enough, but the 2.0-litre’s 148bhp is. Where the 1.6 needs quite a lot of gear-shifting to keep it moving, the 2.0-litre just doesn't.

It feels usefully more relaxed, and although refinement is not an issue in the 1.6, the 2.0-litre (and its six-speed gearbox) makes for a calmer experience.

Peak torque arrives 250rpm further up the rev counter than in the 1.6; in practice, you don’t notice this difference but you do notice the extra 52lb ft and the way in which it significantly improves the car’s demeanour.

The new Haldex 4x4 system is totally unobtrusive, grippy and gives the Skoda more than a modicum of off-road ability, helped by the addition of electronic diff locks on both axles.

Oddly, although when compared to a torsion-bar equipped car the multi-link rear end definitely improves the car’s composure on loose and badly maintained surfaces, it makes much less difference to the ride quality and noise than you might think.

Should I buy one?

It’s difficult to think of reasons not to buy one. Given that there’s so little in it when you compare consumption and CO2 - the 1.6-litre returns a claimed 60.1mpg and emits 124g/km, while the 2.0 does 57.6mpg and 122g/km - the bigger engine’s £900 premium doesn’t seem like so much of a, well, premium.

The increased power and torque are what the estate needs, and while the Skoda Octavia’s unobtrusive nature may not appeal to everyone, as a supremely practical holdall it’s hard to fault. 

Dan Stevens

Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI 4x4 estate

Price £22,390; 0-62mph 8.7sec; Top speed 132mph; Economy 57.6mpg; CO2 122g/km; Kerb weight TBC; Engine 1968cc, 4 cyls, turbodiesel; Power 148bhp at 3500-4000rpm; Torque 236lb ft at 1750-3000rpm; Gearbox 6-spd manual

Join the debate

Comments
22

Quite possibly all the car

1 year 11 weeks ago

Quite possibly all the car one could ever need, some would call it boring but I think its styling is actually quite elegant.

The current VAG line up of cars must be leaving the likes of Ford and Vauxhall wondering just what the hell they are going to do over the next generation of models.

And just to rub salt into the wounds, they're profitable too.

Not bad

1 year 11 weeks ago

A handsome, frugal, well appointed, well built, well priced, capable load lugger. What's not to like?  

Vice versa

1 year 11 weeks ago

"...the 2.0-litre returns a claimed 60.1mpg and emits 124g/km, while the 1.6 does 57.6mpg and 122g/km.."

You've got that the wrong way round. :-)  I make this sort of typo myself all the time, which is why I noticed it!

Soon to be seen...

1 year 11 weeks ago

...on a caravan site near you.  And that's no bad thing.

6 speed?

1 year 11 weeks ago

Archive pictures perhaps? Looks like a 5 speed gear knob! Anyway, details, fact is it really is all you'd ever need for everyday use.

A4 Allroad and Passat Alltrack rival?

1 year 11 weeks ago

This new Octavia seems to be the best looking Skoda of recent years. First the second gen Superb, then the Yeti, and now this. I think Audi and VW have an in house rival to their A4s and Passats. This may not be as able as the equivalent Freelander on terms of ability/price but this would cope with anything I would ever throw at it, if I had the chance to buy one of course. May consider it a few years down the line when I may be able to afford one.

I'd be happy with a £500 Ford Fiesta

Not for me......

1 year 11 weeks ago

Not for me (to big), but probably just about the ideal family car if you don't want to throw excessive amounts of money at the solution.

Shame it will not be packaged with a 7/8 speed DSG box, VWs diesel 6 spd dsg have a poor mpg figure compared to manuals (in some skoda models you can get the 7 spd dsg with the 1.6tdi and 7th gear is shorter than fifth in the manual !). A different market I realise... but BMW achieve equal to or better than manual performance with all there autos petrol or diesel (ok before some one pulls me up nearly all).

Agree totally - the previous

1 year 11 weeks ago

Agree totally - the previous generation Octavia sold more than the Insignia and Mondeo put together in Europe last year. Timeless design, stylish, unbeatable build quality and extremely practical. Bring on the vRS! 

The near universal minicab

1 year 11 weeks ago

I am told by minicab drivers that the fuel consumption was very good with these which explains their popularity for this use together with (I am guessing about this aspect) good deals available for lease or purchase.

From the passengers point of view the news was not good. A prison bleak interior (no problem in itself) but hard, badly designed, seating (which is). Worse still a bumpy, jittery, ride even on a good road. Seeing a Mondeo or even an elderly Vectra turning up in place of the near ubiquitous Octavia is good news for the passenger.

Hopefully the new model is a vast improvement here for it needs to be. The old model was a sad disappointment to me and made me wonder if its popularity was yet another example of received opinion succeeding over reality.

Automatic / DSG

1 year 11 weeks ago

[quote=audiolab]

"Shame it will not be packaged with a 7/8 speed DSG box"

Have Skoda confirmed that the Auto /DSG gearbox will not be available for the 4WD Octavia?

Please register or login to post a comment.

Our Verdict

Skoda Octavia

Skoda’s practical and spacious family hatchback takes a step up in size

Driven this week