site search by freefind
MotorBar: 1200+ unique in-depth car reviews. Plus travel & destinations, and 1000 DVD and CD reviews. Online for 14 years. Written by experts.
Skoda Octavia Estate Laurin & Klement 2.0 TDI 150PS DSG

Click to view picture gallery“Skodas third- and latest-generation
  of its Octavia estate car is bigger,
  better, more comfortable and more
  technologically adept. And wearing
  its Laurin & Klement trappings, it
s
  stylish enough to whisk Cinders
  to the Ball...”


SURPRISINGLY, WERE YOU TO PARK this new Octavia estate alongside its sister Octavia hatchback you'd find that the two measure exactly the same length at 4,659mm.

The difference, as they say, is in the detail the tail styling means the estate's boot holds 610 instead of 590 litres and, with the rear seats folded down, a massive 1,740 instead of 1,580 litres. Compare that to the larger Volvo V70's boot space of 575 litres and, in full cargo mode, 1,600 litres. That puts the Skoda one-up on even Volvo's 'classic' V70 wagon!

While the by-now well-known vRS (note the small 'v') version is the flagship of the Octavia range, the penultimate Laurin & Klement model gets a unique interior treatment. The L&K tag, in case you're wondering, comes from the names of Skoda's original founders.

“The boot holds 610
litres and, with the rear
seats folded down,
a massive 1,740 litres.
Compare that to the
larger Volvo V70’s boot
space of 575 litres and,
in full cargo mode, 1,600
litres. That puts the
Octavia one-up on even
Volvo’s V70 wagon...
Externally L&K models run on smart 'turbine-blade' multi-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels that are a snug fit in the Octavia's wheelarches; sharper-styled Bi-Xenon front light units either side of the bold black-and-chrome ribbed grille add a touch more aggression to its nose. At the tail, dual-band 'C' shape LED lights add definition and presence. Inside, the L&K features brown Alcantara and leather upholstery with L&K logos along with similarly branded piano black decorative trim inserts.

The sweep of the Octavia's fascia is inviting, boosted by a purposeful-looking, all-black four-spoke multifunction (voice and audio) steering wheel, high-grade infotainment system that includes navigation and 5.8-inch TFT touchscreen, along with smart satin chrome detailing and switchgear filleting.

The instrument pack features trad white-on-black analogue dials with a colour display between the rev-counter and speedometer for the driver info graphic SatNav prompts, full trip data, compass, and that all-important digital speed readout.

Cabin storage space is plentiful with a good-sized, air-conditioned, lit and lined glovebox with a CD autochanger built-in, deep bottle-holding door bins, a large lined coin-box in the right-hand fascia, triple cupholder with a repositionable mobile phone holder, sliding and height-adjustable centre front armrest with storage below, a large bin under the front passenger seat and an overhead drop-down glasses holder. And Skoda haven't forgotten the always useful parking ticket holder on the offside screen pillar.

Niceties not already mentioned include Bluetooth and an internal phone book that can store up to 2,000 contacts for each of four phones with five number for each contact Cor! Even Air Miles Andy doesn't have that many friends!

The L&K also brings you an upgraded eight-speaker Canton sound system, dual-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, DAB digital radio, powered driver's seat with memory function, on-demand heated powerfold door mirrors, one-shot up/down electric windows (all four), three-stage heated front seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and tinted and privacy glass. Voice control for the phone and navigation along with four different driving modes all help make it a rewarding place to be.

“The on-board internal
phone book can store up
to 2,000 contacts for
each of four phones with
five number for each
contact — Cor!
Even Air Miles Andy
doesn’t have that many
friends!
A safe place, too. There are seven airbags (including one for the driver's knee), Front Assistant (a radar unit scans for objects ahead not seen by the driver, and brakes for you if you ignore the tone alert and the warning jolt on the brakes that follow, all the way down to a standstill if necessary), and Crew Protection Assistant (preps the car for maximum safety when there's a high risk of a collision).

And that's not all. Also fitted is Automatic Post Collision Braking immediately after a crash this automatically brakes the car to walking pace to prevent the car moving again if there's then a secondary impact.

Still more safety kit includes cornering front fog lights, Driver Fatigue Sensor, a raft of traction and stability control systems, hill hold control, Intelligent Light Assistant (turns on the headlights as needed, including main beam, and automatically dips high beams if there's a chance they'll dazzle another driver, all to give you maximum road coverage at night for the maximum possible time), Lane Assist, tyre pressure monitoring and even your personal on-board parking jockey Park Assist. LED daytime running lights also feature.

The seats themselves are well-shaped and provide well-judged support (helped by adjustable lumbar) for even the longest of journeys. Headrests adjust smoothly via button-releases on the side (by far the most convenient solution and no broken fingernails).

Headroom is generous, as too is shoulder room and you don't have to worry about clashing elbows with your front seat passenger. The height adjustable seatbelts will also be appreciated by shorter drivers.

The driving position is spot-on both for comfort and visibility; the full-width tailgate glass and slim rear quarter pillars help considerably. The driver can select from four driving modes: Normal, Eco, Sport, and Individual. All have their own distinct settings for engine torque, accelerator response, power steering, headlight control, DSG transmission shift points, and AirCon. Or, if the driver, prefers, he or she can mix 'n' match their own dynamic cocktail in Individual.

“Officially the 2.0-litre
TDI manages 62.8mpg
Combined,
52.3 Urban and 68.9mpg
Extra Urban.
Our week’s average?
A very liveable 45.8mpg.
Less pressed drivers
should improve on this!
Plus your annual road tax
payment will be just 30
and the first year
is free...
Powerplants range from 103 to 181bhp diesel units or 103 to 216bhp petrol engines. Transmission choices, dependent on model, are five- or six-speed manual 'boxes or six- or seven-speed DSG autos. We tested the 147bhp (150PS) 2.0 TDI/DSG combo. Hard figures for this drivetrain are a top speed of 132mph combined with 0-62mph acceleration in 8.7 seconds. So, quick enough off the mark and thereafter.

More important, particularly so for an estate, is the torque: 236lb ft between 1,750 and 3,000rpm. So there's more than enough to supply an uninterrupted spurt of acceleration when you need it. The VW-sourced dual-clutch DSG autobox is a six-speeder and offers a Sport mode plus sequential manual selection for those times you want to be in total control or, perhaps, when towing (a braked 1,600kg).

Nowadays miles per gallon trumps all for cost-conscious motorists. If it's super economy you're after then the 1.6 TDI Greenline III version will be of interest its official consumption figures stand at 88.3mpg in the Combined cycle, 74.3mpg Urban and a pound-stretching 94.2mpg Extra Urban (Touring). CO2 emissions are just 85g/km.

As to the 2.0-litre TDI that can be had in SE, Elegance and L&K versions, it manages officially 62.8mpg Combined, 52.3 Urban and 68.9mpg Extra Urban. Our week's average? A very liveable 45.8mpg. Less pressed drivers should improve on this! The tax-setting emissions figure is 119g/km, which means an annual payment for road tax of 30. The first year is free.

Designed to move both passengers and cargo, the Octavia estate is without a doubt family-friendly; wide opening rear doors ensure easy in/out. The rear quarters are roomy with a capital 'R'; even a brace of six-footers can sit easy side-by-side without any territorial disputes. There's plenty of room for feet, knees and legs and more than a fist of headroom; even 'middle slot' fifth passengers get a fist of headroom. Seatback angles are restful and the wide, padded drop-down centre armrest has built-in cupholders. Long side windows afford a fine view out.

Cargo-wise it's a worthy wagon indeed, even embarrassing some cars from the classes (and price brackets) above. Six-hundred-and-ten litres is immensely accommodating; 1,740 with the 60:40-split rear seatbacks folded down is positively gargantuan. The wide full-width tailgate facilitates straightforward loading and unloading of bulky items. For load-carrying with rear passengers in situ, the big load-through hatch in the larger rear backrest section comes in handy.

“It might say ‘Skoda’
on the badging but
beneath the skin there’s
VW DNA in abundance.
Sure it has been fettled
by Skoda’s engineers but
the result is an estate
that handles with
the composure you’d
demand from a car that
will likely be carrying
your family...
Maximising the load capacity is simple pull the release levers in the boot and you can access a long cargo floor. Handy too is the variable height boot floor, a section of which can be raised to form a vertical boot divider. The roller blind-type luggage cover works easily and has a smooth release action (just tilt the rear lip); when not required the cartridge stores neatly in a dedicated spot beneath the boot floor. Naturally there are sturdy pop-out bag hooks and a 12V power socket.

Whether you choose to use it every single time you park, the automated Park Assist takes all the strain out of picking a suitable space (either parallel spots or in a bay) and then steering the Octavia neatly in for you once you've used it and know that it can be trusted to do the job right first time, every time, then getting parked even under pressure in a busy street becomes a cinch. And if you've loaded the cargo bay to the roof, you'll find it doubly welcome.

It might say 'Skoda' on the badging but beneath the skin there's VW DNA in abundance. Sure it has been fettled by Skoda's engineers but that doesn't take anything away from the VW dynamics. The result is an estate wagon that handles with the composure you'd demand from a car that will likely be carrying your family.

Body control is good, the natural-feeling steering fine and the ride nicely compliant; it deals with our crumbling British roads in an easygoing manner that keeps passengers happy. On motorways there's a reassuring feel of stability, and it tracks straight and true.

Overall it's capable of serving up decent driving pleasure even when pressed hard in its workhorse mode. And perhaps best of all, whatever your driving style it's always comfortable to travel in.

The capacious, versatile and hard-to-fault Octavia estate is a real winner for both families and load-luggers. Plus you get Volkswagen quality and engineering thrown in for free; swap over the badges and you'll be hard pressed to tell the difference. Now that's what you call a bargain!
MotorBar

Skoda Octavia Estate Laurin & Klement 2.0 TDI 150PS DSG | 28,465
Maximum speed: 132mph | 0-62mph: 8.7 seconds | Test Average: 45.8mpg
Power: 147bhp | Torque: 236lb ft | CO2 119g/km