Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Octavia Sets New Standards

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Octavia Sets New Standards

Article excerpt

Byline: Stewart Smith

VOLKSWAGEN'S new Golf has just gone on sale and, not to be outdone, its sister marque Skoda is hard on its heels with a vastly improved Octavia hatchback. On sale in March, the five-door family motor is already well known for its wealth of space and the third generation Octavia is even longer and wider than the outgoing model.

Its cabin space has been increased, giving driver and passengers even more head, leg and elbow room and its cavernous boot, now offering 590 litres of space, can hold up to four sets of golf clubs, claims Skoda.

Despite is increased dimensions the new Octavia is actually lighter by 102kg through the use of less weighty high-strength steel, which also results in even more nimble road holding and stability. The new Octavia uses the same, if slightly extended, multi-model MQB platform as the VW Golf and SEAT Leon.

As far as styling goes, at first glance you might think it looks much the same as the outgoing Octavia, but closer inspection shows some nice new design features including an overall sleeker and elegant look. At the front Skoda designers have given it a wide, vertical slotted grille and attractive headlights.

The rear light clusters have also been redesigned with a distinctive C-shaped contour.

The interior is typical VW family quality with high-class materials used for seating, panels and flooring and the placement of all controls, knobs and buttons is excellent. There is a central seven-inch infotainment screen on the dash and plenty of practical cubbyholes.

I found the cabin very pleasant with great all-round vision and with the adjustable seating up front on firm but comfortable seats it felt instantly accommodating. There's plenty of storage space and on the move the sound suppression is good with very little road, wind or engine noise.

There is a wide choice of engines from the VW range - four petrol and four turbo-diesels.

Petrol power ranges from 1.2-litre 86bhp, 1.2 105bhp, 1.4 140bhp and 1.8 180bhp. The diesel range runs from 1.6-litre 90bhp, 1.6 105bhp, 1.6 110bhp and 2.0 150bhp. The 1.6 105 TDI will probably be the biggest seller and you can get a claimed 74mpg on average according to the official figures. …

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