Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Make That Gets Better All the Time

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Make That Gets Better All the Time

Article excerpt

Byline: By Bill McCarthy

The last time I drove an Octavia I commented, following a short break to Barcelona, on the number of Spanish taxi drivers who chose the Czech company's mainstream product.

As they rely on their vehicle for their business to survive there are perhaps no shrewder or harsher judges of a car's capabilities.

Those same taxi drivers must be licking their lips at the prospect of getting their hands on the new model.

Skoda just keeps getting better and better. So much so, its VW parent company must be wondering what it's done in making a potential competitor to key models like the Golf and even the Passat.

On the outside little appears to have changed in the latest version of the Octavia. There is a wider, more imposing grille with increasingly familiar Skoda logo even more prominent.

But, disappointingly, it retains its rather staid look. Skoda appears to have missed a trick by not giving the Octavia a sexier makeover but, as the wise man once said, looks aren't everything.

This hatchback is wider and taller than its predecessor and it also comes armed with a brilliant new diesel engine. The two-litre, 140bhp turbodiesel on the test model offers accleration and power plus economy.

Not only is the car bigger ( 65 mm longer, 38 mm wider and 31mm taller ( than its predecessor, its already cavernous boot now offers a further 22 litres of space. It is faster, more economical and greener ( all for around the same money.

It is clean, emissions are only 157g/km, and it meets Euro IV emissions regulations, so company car drivers avoid the 3% car tax penalty.

The interior was good before, but now it is even better. It is still simple, but the high-quality materials exude an air of quality and robustness.

Everything feels well built and there are now neat touches with cleverly concealed cup holders and oddments trays scattered throughout the interior. …

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