Skoda Octavia 1.4 TSI Elegance Estate Reviews

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“The best Audi that Audi don't make?.”


written by dogsbody on 17/09/2014

I bought this car because I'd had extended test drives in two hire cars in twelve months on a huge variety of roads so I'm not a buyer trying to justify his purchase. I've in the recent past owned 2 Honda Accords, 3 BMW 5 series Touring, 2 Subaru Legacy Sportstourers, test driven an Audi A4 and hired a VW Passat estate and can honestly say that the Skoda was second to none of them. Most people will buy this car because of the value for money and practicality of the load carrying capacity and passenger room, both of which are truly capacious, so they will not be disappointed. However they will also get a car that punches well above its weight in terms of equipment, performance, refinement and build quality. I dared not to believe that my car would be as good as I remembered those hire cars to be but I needn't have worried, it is even better. The 1.4 TSI petrol engine is the pick of the bunch for me having tried the diesel versions and unless you're planning on starship like mileage then it is economical enough and has more than enough performance especially as diesel if getting bad press these days. It is quiet to the point of being almost inaudible at low revs and even as the tachometer needle spins around there is just a muted purr, no diesel clatter, no lag in acceleration. I chose the DSG gearbox and it is well mated to the engine giving effortless and almost imperceptible changes across the 7 speeds and even at a highly illegal 90 mph the engine is turning over at well less than 3,000 rpm. The only complaint I have with the gearbox is that it is sometimes a bit to urgent to change down when pushed hard especially on steep mountain roads (not an everyday occurrence for most) but I feel this is more to do with my heavy right foot and some fiddling with the modes or even switching to manual will sort this out if you really want to push on. There is no point listing the equipment as you can find out this for yourself other than to say in is more than comprehensive in Elegance trim but I just love the intuitive 'Infotainment' system and blue-tooth phone connectivity. The Xenon lights are a worthwhile upgrade. I chose the metallic Cappuccino Beige paint and it really suits the car so look at it first before you dismiss beige as an old man's colour! The seats are spacious and comfortable, I normally suffer back and backside ache after 2 hours driving even in the supposedly more up-market cars I've owned but this is not an issue in the Octavia. I really have to start nit-picking to find a fault and the only thing that is a bit of an issue and something that other reviews have picked up on is that the suspension thumps a bit over uneven roads. I wonder if this is any worse than any other car in this class and I'm just disappointed because the rest of the car is really worthy of two classes above its station in life. Or is just exaggerated because the engine and wind noise are so well suppressed compared with the other cars I've mentioned so that it just becomes more noticeable. I have to say that it bothered me a lot to start with until I found the tyres were pumped up to 6 psi above recommended pressure and when reduced to 1 psi below (taking into consideration I was driving solo with no luggage and I weigh 65kg I felt this was acceptable)this intrusion is very much reduced. I've only given this car 4/5 stars for reliability because I've only had it a couple of months but Skodas are known to be reliable and everything has been perfect so far. So there you have it. The only reason not to get this car if it ticks your boxes is if you're a badge snob or don't like being the subject of the old Skoda jokes from ignorant people. But remember you will have the last laugh - all the way to the bank.

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