How about £9490 for a 2016/65- reg 1.4 TSI SE L with 49,000 miles? It has one previous owner and full Skoda service history. Features include a sat-nav, electric windows all round, climate control, leather and suede seats and parking sensors. And that’s before we start talking about the massive, 590-litre boot (1580 litres with the back seats folded) and generous cabin space that come as standard with every Octavia hatchback.
The current model was launched in 2013 in five-door hatchback and estate forms. It didn’t look radically different from the version it replaced but it was larger and lighter, some achievement for a car whose predecessor already dwarfed its class rivals.
Four engines – two petrols, two diesels – power the regular versions. The 1.6 and 2.0 oil-burners were the most popular. The 1.6 is a little slow and has only a five-speed gearbox, which is why we’d plump for the lustier, six-speed 2.0. A 2014/14-reg 2.0 TDI SE with 60,000 miles costs £7500. Meanwhile, don’t pass on the 138bhp 1.4 TSI petrol. It’s a smooth unit and perfect for average-mileage drivers.
More press-on types can choose from a couple of sporty vRS versions: a 217bhp 2.0 TSI (0-62mph in 6.8sec) and a 181bhp 2.0 TDI (8.1sec). Both make entertaining, value-for-money holdalls, with a 2014-reg TSI at 50,000 miles costing £10,500. The TSI’s power rose to 227bhp in 2016 and then to 242bhp in 2017.
In 2016, the 1.2 TSI engine was replaced by the 113bhp 1.0 TSI. The seven-speed DSG automatic version is more economical than the manual largely because it shifts gears earlier than is sometimes comfortable. Still, if your idea of motoring is wafting about in a large, practical and understated motor of indisputable quality, it’s worth choosing. Prices start at £9300 for a 20,000-miler.