What man in VW saw Skoda and decided to invest into it? Because he needs an enormous pat on the back! VW's involvement in the Octavia is quite visible, even from first glances of the body. The basic shape screams VW and there are dead give aways, for example the VW style door handles.
But forget all that VW influence, because it seems the designers at Skoda have also had some say in the styling of the Octavia. The grill for example is no where near anything you'll find on the Golf or Passat, in fact I've no idea where that came from! At first I didn't like it, but now its growing on me as a feature of this beautifully crafted car.
The engine is great, you can feel the torque from this 110ps oil burner, just what I need for my risky overtaking maneuvers and caravan towing. But don't think getting frisky with the fun pedals gunna require you to sign up for an account with Shell, because so far I've been getting brilliant mpg figures... £40 to fill her up, and I've done 200 miles on just over a quarter of a tank, maybe equivalent to £12-14. I know I won't know exactly what its done til I fill up next, but I know its going to be a long time until I'm at the Shell station again! The book says 64mpg on a combined run... and I can believe it. What great fuel figures for such a large and powerful car... wipes the floor with our last car.
Interior is very smart, all the gadgets a techno geek like myself could ever want on this model. I won't go into details because i'll be here all night, you can check out the spec on Skoda's website. The material looks very hard waring and easy to clean. I have the estate version and the room in the boot is enormous. You also get a false floor for hiding more crap under (I think posh people use it to hide valuables).
Very good ride. I drive for the emergency services, and driving it hard into corners was no worry for it. Although I must admit, being a brand new car, I haven't exactly had the tires screeching. Also need to get out in it on my own (You know what I mean!).
The only moan anyone can ever have about the Octavia is its lack of legroom in the back. But this is a common moan with which I have no problems because I only ever have the kids in the back anyway.
So once you've got used to the idea of buying a VW with a different badge for £££'s less, the next hurdle is the stigma with the Skoda name. It makes me laugh when you tell people your buying a new car and they ask what your getting... first line is always... "A Skoda??" followed by... "umm", then based upon the persons knowledge of all things car based "They are nice cars now" or "I hear they can overtake milkfloats now".
Q: Why do Skoda's have a heated rear screen?
A: To keep your hands warm when your pushing it.
I've scored this Skoda very highly and I hope you seriously consider one. Do what I did and take one for a test drive, your mind will be made up there and then.
Let me know how you get on...