Skoda the write stuff

The Oc­tavia is es­sen­tially a bet­ter-value Golf, writes Paul Pot­tinger

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Road Test -

IF SKODA was a nov­el­ist, it’d be some­one like Thomas Pyn­chon, a cult fig­ure beloved of crit­ics and a fa­nat­i­cal core of read­ers. At least, that’s how it’s played out saleswise in this coun­try since its re-in­tro­duc­tion in 2007.

In Europe, the Volk­swa­gen-owned Czech brand is, if not quite Dan Brown, then some­thing of a no-brainer buy for pun­ters in search of bar­gain qual­ity— es­sen­tially a re-bod­ied, big­ger and ar­guably bet­ter-value Golf.

The Oc­tavia range of mid-size lift­backs and wagon hatches has of late been re-aligned with the in­tro­duc­tion of a con­vinc­ing $24,990 en­try model and the in­clu­sion of stan­dard, fac­tory-fit­ted satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion on all mod­els from the $30,990 TSI up.

The wagon shape (which we much pre­fer) and diesel en­gines add premi­ums.

The range-top­pers are the RS line, which share the Golf GTI or GTD driv­e­trains.

At $43,790, our test car, the RS TDI wagon, is priced at the peak of the line-up.

Value

THE bang-for-buck equa­tion, so ob­vi­ous fur­ther down the range, is less com­pelling at this end.

Pos­i­tively, there is very lit­tle ex­tra to spend. The only op­tions are xenons, sun­roof, front park­ing sen­sors, full leather up­hol­stery and metal­lic paint — but the ba­sic white looks best.

Stan­dard stuff in­cludes sat-nav with re­verse

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