Skoda the write stuff
The Octavia is essentially a better-value Golf, writes Paul Pottinger
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.
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