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