SKODA Octavia SE1.0
TSi (115PS)

Price (from): £20,575

Some people may say that Skoda is nothing more than a cheaper version of a VW. 

Of course, I disagree with this because Skoda has proved to me over the last few years more than capable of standing on its own two feet.

I look at Skoda as an individual company producing fantastic cars. I mean just look at the Octavia. It’s an awesome car and it deserves to be right in the spotlight – because it’s utterly brilliant in every way. 

Power and Efficiency: The 1.0-litre TSi petrol engine has a 0 to 62mph time of around 9.9 seconds and a top speed of 126mph. Fuel consumption is also good, giving a combined figure of 50+mpg. 

It is astonishingly quick. That 1.0 TSi engine for me is the total sleeper car – so, be warned, if you do decide to take it on, you will almost certainly be crossing the finish line in second place. 

OK, I’m kidding a little, but it does get a move on pretty quickly.

On the road: The 115PS engine that was fitted to my test car was enthusiastic and pretty much perfect. Also, into the corners, the chassis feels poised and tight, even when dealing with all the potholes and bumps on some of our worst roads. 

Plus, when the surface gets twisty, the chassis firms up to give you maximum grip in and out of every corner.  The steering also feels light, direct and is perfectly balanced with plenty of feedback on what the road beneath you is doing. 

Interior and Technology: First off, I’m so glad to see that the designers at Skoda have paid a lot of attention to the detail inside the cabin of the Octavia. Thankfully, it now feels more refreshing and modern than the previous model I tested a while ago. Also, the seats are really comfy and the controls are well set out.

 The Amundsen touchscreen satellite navigation system and digital radio is pretty good too. The only thing missing now for me is some soothing music tracks playing in the background.

There’s plenty of standard equipment, including: a dual-zone air conditioning, cruise control, acoustic rear parking sensors, touchscreen satellite navigation system, driving mode selection (eco/comfort/sport/custom) and driver fatigue sensor

Plus you also get, ESC incl, EBV, MSR, ASR, EDS, HBA and DSR all as standard. That’s what I love about Skoda, it is not afraid to give you everything you will ever need, right there when you need it.

To sum up: I like the Octavia because its practical and fun to drive.

 It has bags of torque and plenty of space on the inside. Big Skoda smiles here then.