TOUCHES OF GENIUS IN THE CABIN
IT pays to be suspicious of slogans. Most are just pretty words dreamt up by advertising types.
But as we move into our second month with our Skoda Octavia, we’re beginning to think the brand’s “Simply Clever” tagline is, well, simple and clever.
Some serious thought has gone into the packaging of the car and clever touches are dotted throughout the cabin.
There’s the ticket holder on the windscreen, the umbrella under the passenger’s seat, the waste paper bin in the door pocket and the chilled, illuminated glovebox.
We thought the umbrella was a bit gimmicky until we forgot to bring ours to the golf course one wet Saturday morning — it saved our bacon.
The attention to detail continues as you head further back in the cabin. Second row passengers can be forgotten in some cars.
It’s the boot, though, that really impresses. There’s netting to stop the groceries moving about, a removable LED torch for hunting around for things in the dark and double-sided mats that can be flipped from carpet to waterproof rubber depending on what’s required.
The pick of the bunch, though, are the velcro-bottomed place holders that can secure a case of beer in an empty load area — genius.
The only thing that isn’t particularly clever or simple is a fairly hefty list of options on our test car.
The current pricing for an Octavia wagon starts at $27,490 for the auto but you can quite quickly be driving a circa-$40,000 machine if you tick a few options boxes.
Skoda says customers love options packs, which are up to 40 per cent cheaper than ordering items individually.
Personally we’d skip the sunroof and even the prestige paint (our metallic blue is nice but the car looks pretty good in white). We’d keep the auto tailgate, though, as it’s handy when you’ve got your hands full with shopping.
As with the other clever touches in the cabin, you’ll be surprised how many times you use it.