He is the middle class horror who emerges as the winner on every budget question. The all-rounder for everyone who doesn’t need a status symbol but who appreciates a certain quality standard. A closer look usually confirms the positive impression conveyed by the paper. With the third generation of the youngest Škoda Octavia, the best-selling station wagon in the segment, the Czech automobile manufacturer and at the same time Germany’s number 1 import brand (market share: 5.3%) seem to be doing everything right.
The appearance has changed little with the third generation, but overall curves and bulges have been straightened, which reveals dynamic edges. Striking guide lines and beads make the catwalk-safe look suitable for the 21st century. Details such as the new bi-xenon headlights with the actually simple LED daytime running lights or the strong contour on the sides of the rear apron should be mentioned here. The latest generation can now record an increase of 4.5 cm in width and a commendable 9 cm in length compared to its predecessor.
The visual delicacy is subject to the class leader, the VW Passat, with a difference of a few millimeters in length and wheelbase, but the bottom line is that it gets away with the official weight gain with a few kilos less – this of course also helps the ecological balance.
But no radical diet was prescribed, in which some important assistance systems had to give way to the tough “slimness mania”, no, even a really perfectly functioning Lane Assist is included. Instead, the manufacturer has again used its slogan for a decisive competitive advantage.
Simply Clever: clever ideas and gadgets were implemented everywhere from the center console to the trunk. At the front it starts with the cell phone holder, where you used to find smokers’ packages in vehicles. The ashtray now has a rubberized surface and allows the mobile phone to rest under the drawer without slipping while driving, while reception via the vehicle’s roof antenna is also improved. The 12V socket has moved behind the gear knob or gear selector lever, directly in front of the two cup holders, which can easily hold 0.5 l bottles. A special rubber insert also serves as a mobile phone holder. This means that a cell phone can be charged via the conveniently placed USB port (next to the AUX input) above the cell phone storage compartment at the beginning of the center tunnel and a second via the 12V socket.
The armrest above the storage compartment can be moved forwards and offers a perfect resting position for every arm length. The rear seat can not only be folded down 1/3 + 2/3, but also allows ski and golf luggage or the like to be sent on a trip despite the children. Without luggage, the pass-through element is an armrest with an integrated cup holder.
The trunk itself is heaven on earth for every notorious IKEA shopper or hobby do-it-yourselfer with a hardware store as a second home. A full 610 liters need to be filled, even 1740 liters when folded down (the headrests fall exactly into the footwell, creating an almost horizontal loading area). Here, elastic luggage nets or the two-tier floor promote logistical thinking immensely. The room divider integrated in the side compartment is also simply clever, a kind of “plastic angle” that can be attached to the trunk floor using Velcro feet to prevent other objects from slipping. In addition, there are a total of four hooks next to the levers for releasing the back seat to safely accommodate shopping bags. An electronic locking function for the tailgate is optional.
You don’t have a premium mid-range station wagon in front of you, although the workmanship of the interior is thoroughly successful. No question about it, the choice of materials is limited, but an Alcantara-leather combination and plastic decorative inlays in walnut look with skillfully accentuated aluminum elements (Elegance equipment line) lift the young family man on cloud nine, sit better thanks to electrically adjustable wide-cheeked seats. It is a paradox – in the back of your mind always the low complete vehicle price (starting price from 16,640.00 €), even the customer sometimes does not know exactly how so much quality can be associated with such a battle rice. Here, too, the handle reaches into the Group’s parts store, after all, the new Octavia combines some of the components of the Golf 7 under its angular outer skin.
As already mentioned above, all relevant assistance systems such as the city emergency braking function, adaptive distance assistant, high beam assistant, park steering assistant, traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning, tire pressure monitoring, hill start assistant or drowsiness recognition are in the vehicle or are available for them, but only the really important ones. Everything else had to go and I hardly missed it.
But how does it drive??
We were on the road with the smallest diesel, the 1.6L TDI with 105 PS / 77 kW – of course, 67% of the registered Octavias were sold as diesel. Exactly the right motor to save a lot on the fuel pump. The fact that this was not just a nice letter on paper by Škoda was confirmed by the average consumption of 4.4 l on country roads and in the city with the 5-speed manual transmission. A class value for a car with so much space.
The diesel runs little cultivated, but that’s no wonder. The power development is really hardly noticeable, but is definitely sufficient for cross-country trips without climbing mountain ranges and city traffic. Above all, the 7-speed DSG gets a lot more out of the smallest diesel engine, which is hard to believe. Above all, overtaking maneuvers can be really fun again, despite little reserves, thanks to the immediate gear changes.
It’s just a sensible car, and that doesn’t stop with the purchase; the driving style also has to be adapted. With the small aggregates, you will exchange the full driving fun for fuel-saving qualities and automatically more defensive driving. The whole family can now go on a trip with you, or your best friend upstairs, Billy, who comes from the Swedish furniture giant and is getting bigger and bigger.
The main competitors in the price segment include a .: Kia cee’d, Hyundai i30, Renault Megane, Opel Astra and Ford Focus.
Per: Solid workmanship and a sleek look that appeals immediately. A surprising amount of space in the rear for adults. Clever ideas in the interior make the Octavia III station wagon an inventive all-rounder. A perfect family car for the vacation, which even irons poorly developed roads smoothly.
Contra: The “drive modes” cannot be switched through by pressing the drive program button several times. Here, the driver has to manually select the driving program on the touchscreen – it is distracting and annoying because, especially with smaller engines, you would like to quickly switch from Eco to Sport for overtaking, for example. The steering could also have been a bit more direct for my taste and could have been more strongly characterized by the drive mode.
Tested: Skoda Octavia Combi driving report With the 2013 Škoda Octavia III Combi 2.0 TDI DSG through the Bavarian rain. Skoda Octavia station wagon