Oc­tavia auto max­imus

The Skoda Oc­tavia is a smart-look­ing pack­age, says an en­thu­si­as­tic CHRIS RI­LEY

Geelong Advertiser - Motoring - - REVIEW -

WHICH­EVER way you cut it the Oc­tavia RS is an im­pres­sive bit of kit. Es­sen­tially what you’re get­ting for your money is a re­skinned ver­sion of the Golf GTI but with the pre­vi­ous 147kW en­gine in­stead of the cur­rent one.

But, be­lieve me, that’s noth­ing to turn your nose up at.

I’m still not a big fan of the Skoda grille, but af­ter a week in the Oc­tavia I could learn to live with it.

The letters ‘RS’ are Skoda’s sporty des­ig­na­tion and stand for rally sport, of which the com­pany has a long and dis­tin­guished tra­di­tion.

What sets this par­tic­u­lar car apart from the pre­vi­ous model is the LED day­time run­ners, a string of which un­der­line each of the head­lights. It’s a pretty smart look­ing pack­age. Style-wise the new Oc­tavia’s head­lights are larger and the re­designed front bumper is wider with a more prom­i­nent air in­take.

The re­designed model badge now sits next to the rear lights.

RS comes stan­dard with 18 inch Nep­tune al­loy wheels and there’s a 16-inch full size steel spare in the boot.

Did I say boot? I mean in the back, be­cause al­though the car looks like a sedan it’s ac­tu­ally a lift­back with some se­ri­ously large stor­age space.

Our test ve­hi­cle, the 2.0-litre TSI lift­back is priced from $37,990, with the op­tional six-speed DSG dou­ble­clutch gear­box adding $2300.

Given the sur­gi­cal pre­ci­sion of the DSG, with its rapid-fire gear changes — we’d go this route ev­ery time.

In­side, the car is fit­ted out with sports seats, heated with high side bol­sters and steer­ing wheel mounted gear change pad­dles, not to men­tion dual zone cli­mate air, a touch screen trip com­puter and an eight-speaker sound sys­tem.

About the only thing missing is full iPod con­nec­tiv­ity which is op­tional.

The 2.0-litre tur­bocharged 2.0-litre en­gine pro­duces 147kW from 5100rpm to 6000rpm and 280Nm of torque from a low 1800rpm.

Fuel con­sump­tion for the DSG is 7.9 litres/100km and we were get­ting 8.0 af­ter a search­ing ses­sion of driv­ing.

The dash from 0-100km/h takes a brisk 7.3 sec­onds but it feels faster than that, with plenty of wheel spin if you hit the thing hard.

The DSG trans­mis­sion can be used by the driver in two modes: fully au­to­matic or in tiptronic mode chang­ing gears man­u­ally with the stick or change pad­dles.

The driver can also se­lect be­tween econ­omy or sports mode.

In sports mode it changes gear at higher en­gine speeds, help­ing to max­imise power out­put and there­fore ac­cel­er­a­tion.

Six airbags, front whiplash op­ti­mised head re­straints, the Elec­tronic Sta­bil­ity Pro­gram (ESP), ad­vanced Anti-lock Brake Sys­tem (ABS) and Anti-Slip Reg­u­la­tion (ASR) and Elec­tronic Brake-pres­sure Dis­tri­bu­tion (EBD) are all stan­dard.

The new Oc­tavia’s head­lights are larger

and the re­designed front bumper is wider with a more prom­i­nent air in­take.

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