Much of the appeal of the Skoda Octavia itself is that it offers the space of a Mondeo class car but at the price of a Focus class car. This generation of Octavia is no exception. With strong standard equipment levels mated to low running costs (courtesy of advanced VW Group engines), the Octavia offers one of the best ownership propositions in the class.
All models have, as standard, air-con, electric windows, electric and heated mirrors and height and reach adjustable steering, and you don’t have to go too high up the model range to find equipment such as 16-inch alloy wheels and tinted rear glass.
The range kicks off with the £13,280 S five-door hatch, equipped with a dated 1.4 petrol engine. A more modern 1.2 TSI can be had in the same trim for an extra £750 and is worth the extra outlay for the reduced CO2 emissions (134g/km versus 149g/km) and improved combined economy (49.6mpg versus 44.1mpg).
The most frugal model in the range is the 74.3mpg, 99g/km Greenline. It comes equipped with the 1.6 TDI engine and a five-speed manual gearbox. Unless you really want a diesel, we’d recommend the 1.8-litre petrol unit – it’s smooth, refined and punchy. And it manages 40mpg.
The petrol vRS, equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox, proved reasonably frugal on our road test. We achieved 23.8mpg during mixed driving and 36.8mpg on a touring run. The claimed combined economy figure is 37.7mpg.
With relatively low emissions of 175g/km and group 30 insurance, the vRS is still one of the cheapest hot hatches to run. But it’s not the bargain that it used to represent – and hot hatches aren’t just about the bottom line.