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.