A pleasant, comfortable drive with barely any compromise on its usability

What is it?

This is the Skoda Octavia Greenline, complete with the new 1.6-litre commonrail turbodiesel engine that is being rolled out across the Volkswagen Group.

The engine replaces the old 1.9-litre turbodiesel, offering exactly the same 103bhp and 184lb ft output with much improved emissions and economy of 114g/km and 64.2mpg combined.

What’s it like?

Just as practical and easy to drive as you would predict of a small-capacity, turbodiesel Skoda.

The real benefit of this engine is not just its efficiency but also its refinement. The old 1.9-litre unit was characterised by a very gruff, intrusive engine noise and this new motor improves that dramatically – even in the Greenline model, which loses some of its sound proofing to save weight.

It is also a more flexible motor. With peak torque available from 1500-2500rpm it’s easy to keep the engine in its comfort zone, though the gear-shift indicator can sometimes suggest a down-shift that will leave the engine floundering noisily too low down the rev range.

The Octavia Greenline gets a five-speed manual ‘box as standard (a seven-speed DSG is optional on non-Greenline 1.6 TDI models), which is set up with long ratios so that in fifth at motorway speeds the engine will be revving no higher than an equivalent six-speed cars would manage. Work the engine hard and inevitably you get more noise, but there’s enough performance to offer good overtaking ability.

Otherwise the Octavia Greenline estate is exactly as inoffensive as it sounds. The steering is linear and responsive, the engine is a huge improvement on the 1.9 TDI and the interior is spacious, comfortable and feels well put together.

Should I buy one?

Absolutely. It’s a pleasant, comfortable drive and there is barely any compromise on the usability in favour of its excellent green credentials. Given its low list price, excellent economy and unpretentious image, this is easily one of the most sensible and likeable purchases in its class.

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expedee 29 March 2010

Re: Skoda Octavia Greenline 1.6 TDI

Do not misinform.

We should not evaluate the facts in terms of VW, otherwise would be misinformed.

The Common Rail system gives engine developers the freedom they need to reduce exhaust emissions, and especially to lower engine noise. The particular design of Common Rail, with its flexible division of injection into several pre-, main and post-injections, allows the engine and the injection system to be matched to each other in the best possible way. PD might had a few advantages over CR, when CR was first introduced (not by VW), but CR has always been more advantageous, in the past and at the time. PD could never be economical than CR. VW could produce the power they required, but not the economy and emissions at that time by PD engines. If what they required was less economy and more emissions, than PD was suited.

CR technology is the main cause of diesel spread in passenger vehicles. VW ignored it for very long time, and they now do what others do: They replace all PD's by CR's. So years later they copy others. PD might had a few advantages over CR, when CR was first introduced (not by VW), but CR has always been more advantageous, in the past and at the time.

LateKnight 24 March 2010

Re: Skoda Octavia Greenline 1.6 TDI

expedee wrote:
yes, though so late, they've copied others

So ill-informed.

VW used PD technology because common rail, at the time, could not produce the fuel pressures required for power, emissions and economy that VW required. A 1.9 Pd engine compresses the fuel to 30,000psi. Common rail engines of the time (circa 2001), were only producing about 20,000psi.

Now that common rail is finally getting to those sort of pressures, coupled with the fact that a PD engines injector can only 'fire' a maximum of 3 times during one cycle and for cleaner emissions you need to fire the injector at up to five times during a single cycle - which common rail does, VW group switched technologies. Not really a case of copying, just using the best of what was out there at the time.

Driven a 2002 Golf GTtdi 150?. One of the best small diesel engines of its time. Yes its noisy by todays standards, but its also still quick and economical by todays standards.

crashbangwallop 24 March 2010

Re: Skoda Octavia Greenline 1.6 TDI

Skoda;s range of estates are going to make it very hard for Volvo and Ford. The price differential is getting ever greater, while any perceived gap in quality is disappearing.