Eat your heart out, Audi
Light behind the heater panel went - that's it.
Comfy, engine has loads of "oomph" throughout the rev range, and incredibly economical - to the point where filling up becomes something you have to remember how it's done (every 1100 km's or so).
As a lover of Brit motors, one has to get used to the somewhat 'efficient' interior, where black and drab grey set the tones. I owned a Rover 600 (petrol engined) before getting the Octavia. The Rover handled better, had a more intuitive engine, was loads comfier, even more reliable (in four years and 140.000km, NOTHING went wrong with this car), made a wonderful sound when pushed hard, was generally brilliant, and made the impression to not only take me from A to B, but to love doing it as well, and the Skoda doesn't do emotions. What it does do is efficiency, low running costs - and more space than you can shake a stick at. Plus it out-Audi's the A4, without the (bland) Audi image and the corresponding price sticker.
I have to admit that, if Rover would still have done the 600, I would've bought one without thinking twice. I loved the car, and it loved me.
But for the want of a 600, the next car (company car, due in July) will be yet another Octavia - an Elegance 1.6 FSI this time. Annual miles have gone down considerably, so diesel isn't economical for me anymore - and I like the lightfooted feel of a petrol engine better than the somewhat slower stomp of the TDI.
Unless I crack, forfeit the company car scheme, and get me a secondhand 620 Si in British Racing Green. Aaargh... decisions, decisions.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 17th February, 2005