In my opinion, Skoda make some of the best cars on the market today.
At each level and in every one of their models, the attention to detail is never anything less than precise.
And somewhere in amongst all that precision and VW know-how, the brand has developed a character that is completely on my wavelength.
In every one of the cars in the Skoda range, you feel like you are getting more for your money.
A few weeks ago, my wife and I did something we haven’t had a chance to do in quite some time, we dined (just the two of us) at a real, honest-to-goodness grown-ups’ restaurant in the city centre.
What the hell! It was the night of the Christmas party so we decided to treat ourselves.
The prices were a lot steamier than we would usually cough up, but we were having a wonderful evening so we didn’t care one jot. But what really topped off the evening was the bill.
Somebody had definitely hit the wrong button on the till so we were undercharged considerably.
What a great feeling.
And it’s that feeling I get in Skodas, and the Octavia in particular.
This is a car that is supposed to be functional above all else.
It’s not the prettiest car on the road, but it holds its own, from the front at least.
It’s not a car you aspire to owning – nobody wins the lottery and buys an Octavia, unless they’re giving it to their uncle the taxi driver, he would think all his birthdays had come at once.
But sitting into the car is at complete odds with the somewhat dull reputation the car has.
It feels so solid and shares an awful lot of kit with its far loftier stable mate, the Superb.
The build quality is bullet proof, which is why it feels like so much more of a car.
The upholstery is quality, giving the car the feel of a premium saloon, and the interior space is doing everything it can to mimic the Superb in terms of generous space.
For storage – I don’t remember the last time I was quite so impressed by a boot, the thing is huge.
Considering there is an all-new Octavia hitting our shores in early March, it may seem a little redundant to talk about this particular model so close to its retirement, but there are some very attractive options that are certain to appeal to potential owners.
Skoda are currently offering the Octavia Exclusive 1.6TDI for €22,995.
The Exclusive model comes in just behind Skoda’s premium Laurin & Klement specification, giving owners all the spec of the Active and Ambition models, along with a wealth of extra features.
On the outside, the car sits on a set of attractive 16” alloy wheels of the Crateris variety.
The inside of the car is treated to the Interior DUO spec, which features half leather upholstery. The dash comes in Onyx-Onyx style and the overall decor is of the Elegance Design spec.
For safety, functionality and comfort, the front passenger glove compartment is illuminated and cooled via the air-conditioning system.
Navigation comes in the form of the Amundsen+ sat nav system, and the climate is controlled by the Climatronic – Dual-zone air conditioning with electronic regulation and combifilter.
This Octavia boasts the very attractive Maxi DOT large dashboard information display, but before you even get in to the car, illumination is provided via boarding spots that are integrated in to the door mirrors.
So, all-in-all, there is an awful lot to enjoy in this bastion of practicality, a whole lot of car in a very subtle body. If you’re sitting on the fence when it comes to the Octavia, I think you know which way to jump.