The stylish flagship version of the Skoda Octavia brings a new level of sophistication to the range, writes Geraldine Herbert
What is it? The third-generation Skoda Octavia now has a very stylish and sophisticated top-of-the- range Laurin & Klement (L&K) version, a new line that pays homage to the founding fathers of Skoda, Vaclav Laurin and Vaclav Klement.
Who is it aimed at? Comfortable, economical and with excellent build quality, the Skoda Octavia has some pretty compelling attractions, and it is the car of choice for families outgrowing their hatchbacks, as well as for taxi-drivers looking for reliability and space.
Styling? Dressed in a handsome coat of Topaz Brown metallic paint, with 18-inch turbine alloy wheels, Bi-xenon headlights combined with LEDs, from the outside, it certainly looks the part
Under the Bonnet? It is available in either hatch or estate body styles, with a choice of two engines – the 1.8-litre TSI petrol engine producing 180 bhp and a 2.0-litre 150bhp TDI, the engine fitted in our test model.
What about inside? Climb inside and much of the cabin is borrowed from VW and is reassuringly contemporary, and cleanly and simply styled. The L&K brings Skoda’s most sophisticated levels of elegance and comfort to the Octavia range, and adds brown alcantara and leather upholstery, with electrically heated and adjustable driver and front passenger seats. The controls are all easy to use and positioned in exactly the right place but it is space that really sets the Octavia apart from rivals – driver and passenger space is vast, and the boot carries a whopping 590 litres.
On the Road? Behind the wheel you quickly appreciate the lightness of the car and the strong pulling power of the 2.0 litre diesel engine. There is more than enough oomph for overtaking and it is beautifully solid, responsive and stable on the road, but it won’t disappoint on the school run or when you tackle winding country roads. On the downside, it gets a little noisy at speeds and the ride is a little too firm for some tastes, so you’ll feel every pothole.
And Safety? The Octavia is full of high-tech crash-avoidance systems, plus nine airbags and multi-collision automatic braking and city emergency braking.
Options? It is available in either hatch or estate body styles, with a choice of two engines –
Will it break the bank? Prices for the Skoda Octavia L&K start at €32,860 for 1.8-litre TSI hatchback, rising to €36,760 for the 2.0 TDI 150bhp 4X4. The DSG transmission costs an extra €2,500 or so over the manual option, and the combi estate version is around €2,300 more expensive. Our test car, the 2.0 TDI DSG 150bhp hatchback came in at €34,510
Economy? The 2.0 engine is powerful enough for everyday driving, costs €200 a year to tax and returns 63 mpg, or 4.5 litres per 100km. If you do low mileage and a lot of city driving you may want to go for the 1.8 petrol engine which returns an equally impressive 46 mpg or 6.1 litres and costs €390 to tax annually.
Verdict? The Skoda Octavia makes a super family car. It’s elegant on the outside and cavernous on the inside. On top of all that, it is good to drive. In a sector where offering something a little special is key, the Laurin and Klement trim adds an urbane appeal to the Octavia range. Strong on style and extremely well-equipped, it may be the priciest option in the range but compared to rivals, it is still good value.
Why you’ll buy one? Space, Price, Reliability
Why you won’t? Engine Noise, firm suspension
ŠKODA Octavia Laurin & Klement 2.0 TDI DSG 150bhp
Engine: 1968cc diesel, 112 kW (150php) @3,500, 320 @Nm 1750-2750 rpm
Max speed: 213km/h
0-100 kph: 8.7 seconds
Emissions (Motor Tax) : 119g/km (Band C €190)
Model price range(L&K): €32,860 – €36,760 (Test Car €34,510
No of Doors: 5
Euro NCAP: 5 stars
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 4.5 litres per 100 kms
Boot Capacity Seats up(down) : 590 Litres (1580)
Car Seats: 2 Isofix fittings in the rear
9th January, 2015