Skoda Octavia… a nice place to be

You tend to know that if your local constabulary use a particular make of car then that car is probably going to be a pretty decent purchase. In addition to the seemingly stock Vauxhall, Peugeot and BMW fleet you may have noticed the emergence of Skoda into the police ranks.

Even away from their favourite vRS models the Skoda Octavia range is very comprehensive with hatchback and estate models, petrol and diesel engines plus manual or  VAG’s DSG automatic transmission.

The Octavia is also available in mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid form too. Plug-in versions are only available at the higher end of the range but mild hybrid is available from the lead-in models.

My choice was the estate, very practical unlike so many stylised estates, in SE L First Edition form. Skoda Octavia estates start from a reasonable €25,869 (£22,210), which is a lot of car and kit for your money, but my SE L First edition sits near the top end of the range at €34,406 (£29,540) with a 150 PS 2.0 litre diesel under the bonnet.

Standard fare is impressive with such things as adaptive cruise control, dual zone climate, navigation, powered and heated door mirrors, heated front seats, LED lighting, auto lights and wipers, privacy glass, keyless entry and start and a 10” touch screen, plus a very good array of safety kit. As ever there is a plethora of options so you can easily adapt the car to your own personal specification, finance permitting of course!

Diesels are far from flavour of the road at the moment but for those with higher mileage lives they can make good sense as they offer higher mpg and generally better low down engine power. The DSG gearbox is a delight allowing a more relaxed drive when it does everything or more driver involvement, via steering wheel paddles, if that is your thing.

Smooth and very refined the Octavia is a nice place to be with good adjustment of the seating and not too much over digitalisation of the controls. That said ‘bring back buttons’ would still be my mantra.

My test model had the optional panoramic sunroof, which at €1,339 (£1,150), is not cheap but made the world of difference to the already spacious interior. Quality as ever with VAG is excellent with a solid and upmarket, in an understated non-shouty way, feel that few other manufacturers seem to achieve.

Facts at a Glance

  • Model: Skoda Octavia SE L First Edition estate
  • Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder diesel developing 150 PS
  • Gears: 7-speed DSG automatic
  • Performance: 0-100 kph (62 mph) Petrol 8.8 secs
  • Maximum Speed: Petrol 220 kph (137 mph)
  • Economy: Petrol 7.5 l/100km (60.1 mpg) WLTP
  • Emissions: 97 g/km WLTP

Model tested was UK-specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets.

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Written by

Mark Reynolds

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