With awards, such as Family Car of the Year, Medium Car Under $50,000 and Gold Star Value Car, piling up like unpaid bills, it’s time to look at what is winning the Skoda Octavia so many pats on the back.
The model that earned the accolades is the Skoda Octavia Ambition Plus 103TSI 1.4 DSG automatic sedan, which recently came into my possession with a Tech Pack widening the equation.
Since the awards were won, safety of the flagship Skoda has been boosted by the addition of a rearview camera on all Octavia Ambition Plus, Elegance and RS models. It is also available with the optional Travel Pack on the Octavia Ambition.
Already the range carries an impressive list of safety features including seven airbags in the Octavia Ambition and nine airbags in the Ambition Plus, Elegance and RS. Multi-Collision Brake is standard on all models.
Available in sedan and wagon format with petrol or diesel power, prices start at under $24,000 for the Ambition 103TSI DSG petrol sedan and top out at $41,440 for the RS 135TDI DSG diesel wagon.
The Tech Pack on our test vehicle included Adaptive Cruise Control, including Front Assist with City Emergency Brake; bi-xenon headlights with Adaptive Front Light System, including integrated headlight washers; LED daytime running lights; front fog lights with cornering function, rear LED lights, rain sensor, Driving Mode Select; automatic parking assist and acoustic front and rear parking sensors; advanced keyless entry, including smart start and alarm; plus premium German Canton sound system.
All of the above for a pretty reasonable extra $3900.
On the outside, the Octavia is the sedan du jour styling. Like most mid-size passenger vehicles these days the third generation Octavia has grown over the previous model and taken on a bolder more dynamic look with the absence of unnecessary decoration.
Front on, accents and details hint at new-found prestige, while signature Skoda features, such as the radiator grille, logo and headlights, make no doubt as to the car’s pedigree. At the rear, Skoda C-shaped lighting strips, in the optional test car Tech Pack, are made from LED light strips, adding further distinction.
Increased exterior dimensions means there is more room inside.
The infotainment system, with all its menu buttons and knobs, is centrally located in the centre console beneath the hazard warning flasher switch.
The white backlit instrument panel has been redesigned. For the first time, the multifunction display Maxi DOT in the centre of the instrument cluster of the Octavia can be ordered in colour.
A Columbus satellite navigation system display uses a high resolution 8-inch touch screen with proximity sensors that show the options when it senses your hand is close., media-in connection, including Apple video functionality, menu guidance, two SD card slots, Bluetooth phone connectivity, voice control, JPEG viewer and an internal 64 GB flash memory.
The Octavia comes with the choice of three engines – two TSI petrol motors and one TDI common-rail diesel unit. These cut fuel consumption and emissions by up to 20 per cent over their predecessors.
The 1.4 103 kW TSI, in the test car, combined with a DSG seven-speed automatic, achieves maximum torque of 250 Nm between 1500 and 3500 rpm.
The TSI 16-valve four-cylinder engine sets new standards in energy efficiency, lightweight design and pulling power. Reduced internal friction and weight, as well as efficient heat management, provide for up to 19 per cent lower fuel consumption and emissions.
Passive safety includes airbags all round, while active safety features ABS anti-skid braking with electronic brake-force distribution, anti-slip regulation and multi-collision brake.
Electronic Stability Control includes Hill Hold Control, while automatic flashing brake lights are activated in emergency braking situation. Emergency fuel supply cut-off operates in the event of a crash.
On the outside, the Octavia, while scrubbing up well, still has the air of an average mid-size sedan. Under the skin it’s a different matter with a big call on mechanicals and materials from premium Volkswagen and Audi products.
Seating for five is comfortable and the expansive boot is able to take 568 litres of luggage with the volume increased to 1558 litres when the rear seatbacks are folded.
There was nothing to complain about with the 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine squirting the Skoda off the mark and up to 100 kilometres an hour in a claimed 8.5 seconds.
Fuel consumption is put at 5.2 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined urban / highway cycle, with carbon dioxide emissions at 121 grams per kilometre. On test the Octavia Ambition Plus turned in figures of 4.3 L/100 km on the highway at a steady 100 km/h and 8.5 L/100 km in the suburbs.
Everything about the Skoda Octavia Ambition Plus is comfortable, convenient and cost effective. What’s not to like? Just ask the experts.
AT A GLANCE
Ambition 103TSI: $23,990 (DSG)
Ambition Plus 103TSI: $24,790 (manual), $27,090 (DSG)
Elegance 103TSI: $32,640 (DSG)
Elegance 132TSI: $35,140 (DSG)
Elegance 110TDI: $35,940 (DSG)
RS 162TSI: $36,790 (manual), $39,090 (DSG)
RS 135TDI: $40,090 (DSG)
Ambition 103TSI: $23,040 (manual), $25,340 (DSG)
Ambition Plus 103TSI: $26,140 (manual), $28,440 (DSG)
Elegance 103TSI: $33,990 (DSG)
Elegance 132TSI: $36,490 (DSG)
Elegance 110TDI: $37,290 (DSG)
RS 162TSI: $38,140 (manual), $40,440 (DSG)
RS 135TDI: $41,440 (DSG)
Note: These prices do not include dealer or government charges. Contact your local Skoda dealer for drive-away prices.
FEATURES (Ambition Plus)
Electronic Stability Control including Hill Hold Control
Anti-lock Braking System
Electronic Brake-force Distribution
Driver and front passenger side airbags
Driver and front passenger airbags
Curtain airbags – front and rear
Driver’s knee airbag
Rear side airbags
Emergency fuel supply cut-off
Automatic flashing brake lights in emergency braking situation
Electronic engine immobiliser
Tech Pack (Ambition Plus) $3900
Adaptive Cruise Control including Front Assist Parking Assist
Drive Mode System
KESSY Sound system
Xenon Lights including LED
LED rear lights
Black frosted glass design of fog lights with corner function light assist
Inside rear view mirror with humidity sensor
(1.4-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine)
Capacity: 1395 cc
Configuration: Turbocharged, in-line four-cylinder, direct injection, DOHC, transverse in front
Maximum Power: 103 kW @ 5000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 250 Nm @ 1500-3500 rpm
Emission rating: Euro 5
Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive, Manual 6-speed / DSG 7-speed (Ambition Plus)
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4659 mm
Width: 1814 mm
Height: 1461 mm
Wheelbase: 2686 mm
Track: 1537 mm (front); 1508 mm (rear)
Tare mass: 1317 kg
Max roof load: 75 kg
Cargo capacity 568 litres (rear seats upright); 1558 litres (rear seats down)
Fuel Tank Capacity: 50 litres
SUSPENSION AND BRAKES:
Suspension: MacPherson suspension with lower triangular links and torsion stabiliser (front); Torsion beam axle, trailing arms, coil springs (rear)
Brakes: Disc brakes with inner cooling, with single/piston floating calliper (front); Discs. ABS anti-skid brake system with Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Vehicle Dynamics Control. Traction Control
Steering: Direct rack-and-pinion with electro mechanic power steering
Wheels / tyres: Alloy 17in x 7J / 225/45 R17
Acceleration 0 to 100 km/h: 8.5 sec
Top speed: 215 km/h
Fuel type: 95 RON unleaded
Combined Cycle (ADR 81/01): 5.2 litres per 100 km. CO2 emissions 121 g / km
GREEN VEHICLE GUIDE RATINGS:
Greenhouse Rating: 8.0 / 10
Air Pollution Rating: 7.5 / 10
Three years / unlimited kilometres