The second generation Octavia was a C-Segment workhorse, an unexciting but dependable mule that you could rely on every day and everyday thereafter. Its all change for the third generation, its lighter by 102kg, slightly wider and longer than the car it replaces.
The stats say its also more economical and emits less C02 (some models cough out just 89 g/km) the marketing says it comes with new safety features and more equipment. Four engine options and three trim levels S, SE and Elegance are available.
Skoda also give you the all you can eat model list, 13 derivatives of the Octavia are available with a choice of two petrol and two diesel engines. Prices start from £15k for the entry level 1.2 TSi S and up to £23k for the top spec 2.0 TDi Elegance. Dressed in a sharper suit the third generation Octavia looks subtly more dynamic than its dour looking predecessor.
Lets begin with the interior, it feels more spacious, the second generation Octavia finished off on a good note regarding refinement and the new Octavia takes a step up. Fit and finish is first class from the use of soft touch materials to the simple design and logical arrangement.
My time in the Octavia was short lived, so no seats folding forward, head or knee comments this time round, this is a car not a house. The test mule on offer was the Octavia SE which came fitted with the 1.2 TSi 4 cylinder petrol engine. The unit revs keenly thanks to 104 bhp and 175 Nm of torque, it may not look like a lot of power on paper but it didn’t feel that way, its no V8 for sure but power is useful and good for a small engine and it seemed a perfect match for the Octavia.
Ride and handling felt composed, body roll isn’t too intrusive, crucially the front to rear balance and neatly judged steering made confident and sure-footed work of Wiltshire’s twisty B-Roads and when it came to a quick motorway cruise the Octavia displayed a calming and comfortable ride.
The new Octavia features a host of new safety and driver aids, stop/start is standard throughout the range. However the Park-Assist demo was the star of the show, this computer-controlled system, requiring no steering or brake input from the driver is able to accurately parallel and reverse park into the tightest of spaces.
With one of the most competitive price, value, equipment and refinement offerings on the market the new Octavia is impressively packaged and has now gone from mule to Falabella.