site search by freefind
MotorBar - New Car Reviews
Skoda Octavia L&K Estate 2.0 TDI 150PS DSG

Click to view picture gallery“Skoda does large family saloons
  and estate cars very well indeed.
  In fact, its biggest seller is none other
  than its Octavia, the latest and third
  generation of which arrived in the UK
  in March 2017...”


THE OCTAVIA PROVIDES ALL THE CAR a family might reasonably ever need — no doubt the 436,000+ Octavia customers who bought one in 2016 would agree with that.

To date more than five million Octavias have been sold in 100 markets worldwide, and in the UK it's the Czech brand's best-selling range. Making sure it stays at the top of its game, the latest model sports a strikingly sharp new look and is instantly identifiable by its two twin-light-cluster headlights, each of the four featuring crystalline detailing.

Flanking a wider, vertically-slatted main grille, the new LED lighting is crowned by a crisply profiled clamshell-style bonnet. Down the Octavia's sides, clean flanks highlight precise, flat-cut wheelarches housing turbine blade-pattern 18-inch alloy wheels. Overall the look is, by design, almost minimalist in fact, much like an Audi.

A refined performer
on traffic-clogged streets,
the 2.0-litre TDI-DSG
combo is also perfectly
suited to munching
motorway miles as well
as towing heavy loads —
all while still returning a
mile-per-gallon figure
that will keep you
smiling: 56.8mpg.
And as Skoda is fond of
telling folks, they like
making happy drivers!”
As you'd expect of anything coming out of the VW Group stable, there's a wide range of powerplants to choose from, starting with three-cylinder 1.0 and four-cylinder 1.4-litre turboed TSI petrol units, and topped off by 1.6 and 2.0-litre TDI turbodiesels with outputs of up to 184PS that strike a well-judged balance between performance and economy.

And then, of course, there are Skoda's go-faster 155mph vRS versions. Dual-clutch DSG autoboxes as well as all-wheel drive further extend the Octavia's appeal, meaning there's an ideal drivetrain for just about every driver.

This past week we've been driving the 2.0-litre turbodiesel (partnered by a six-speed DSG transmission) and if you're planning to work your Octavia hard then this is certainly the one to go for with 147bhp (150PS), performance is flexible with oodles (251lb ft) of gutsy torque that's laid down fluently by the quick-shifting DSG autobox.

The benchmark 0-62mph is done and dusted in 8.6 seconds and the top speed is a motorway-busting 132mph. And you'll never need to stamp your foot to generate determined progress just tap the selector lever back a tad to engage Sport mode. Alternately, for total control of the gears, nudge the lever to the left to switch to manual mode, after which a tap forwards or backwards takes you up and down the ratios.

While a refined performer on traffic-clogged streets, the 2.0-litre TDI-DSG combo is also perfectly suited to munching motorway miles as well as towing heavy loads (up to 2,000kg braked), all while returning a mile-per-gallon figure that will keep you smiling: 56.8mpg (the official Combined Cycle figure is a frugal 58.9mpg). As Skoda is fond of telling folks, they like making happy drivers!

The Octavia estate can be had in any one of seven trim levels, including new vRS and all-terrrain-tackling Scout models, starting at £18K for the entry-level 115PS S and topping out at £30K for both the 4x4 Laurin & Klement and the high-performance vRS 245 versions.

Swing open the driver's door and first impressions of the L&K model is of a plush interior and that's principally down to the rich brown leather and ribbed Alcantara suede seat upholstery with leather bolstering and subtle L&K motifs embroidered on the backrests. The L&K logo also appears on the door trims and polished metal kick plates.

Families who share
driving duties will
appreciate the three
memory settings for the
seat and mirrors.
The L&K also comes with
three keys for driver
‘personalisation’ — each
can be programmed for
a different driver so
individual seat position,
preferred driving mode
and even that person’s
music selections are
all immediately set when
they press the Start
button...”
Larger body sizes are easily accommodated in the well-shaped seats that are supportively comfortable, notably so on long road trips. The driver is pampered with a power-adjustable chair that includes electric lumbar adjustment (the front passenger has to make do with manually-adjusted lumbar support but that's no hardship); both front seats get three-stage heating and the driver gets a heated steering wheel rim.

Families who share driving duties will appreciate the three memory settings for the seat and mirrors. The L&K also comes with three keys for driver 'personalisation' each can be programmed for a different driver so individual seat position, preferred driving mode and even that person's music selections are all immediately set when they thumb the Start button.

The Octavia's cabin is a thoroughly driver-friendly one thanks to easy-to-read instrumentation, logically-sited controls, and switchgear of a size that makes for easy use whilst driving. The leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel feels good in your hands and is, of course, fully multifunctional.

Set between a pair of stylish dials, with markings that are refreshingly visible night and day, sits a multifunction trip computer that also shows graphic navigation prompts. The large feature-packed Amundsen 9.2-inch infotainment touchscreen in the centre of the dash (lesser models only get an 8-incher) comes with SmartLink+ (Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink). Numerous features include displaying the posted speed limits on its sharply-drawn 3D maps. Full postcode destination input is a blissfully quick and straightforward task.

Keeping you fully online on the move is handled by Skoda Connect this contains Infotainment Online services: weather reports, fuel prices, traffic information, traffic flow on the chosen route in real-time, parking space availability, etc, as well as the option of embedding your navigation route into a topographical Google Earth view.

Another feature, Care Connect, provides remote access to your vehicle (fuel level; current parking location displayed on your smartphone, alerts if your car is being moved by a third party in an unauthorised manner be that too fast, or outside a specified area), plus emergency assistance as well as facilitating route planning done in the comfort of your own home which can then be transferred to the car's SatNav. A WiFi hotspot enables all passengers to browse the internet wirelessly, stream music and send emails on their individual devices.

Swing open the drivers
door and first
impressions of the L&K
model is of a plush
interior — and that
s
principally down to the
rich brown leather and
ribbed Alcantara suede
seat upholstery with
leather bolstering and
subtle L&K motifs...”
In-cabin storage will fit well with families: cubbies abound, including an air-conditioned bin beneath the sliding and height-adjustable armrest between the front seats along with a good-sized chilled, lit, lined and damped glovebox (also home to a CD/DVD drive and two SD ports), another tray with a sliding cover (also housing Aux and USB ports), a lined 'coin box' in the driver's-side fascia, bottle-holding door bins, siamesed cupholders, and a drop-down sunglasses holder. Look beneath the front passenger seat and you'll even find a compact brolly!

In addition to the kit already mentioned there's auto-dimming and powerfolding (on demand and automatically when locking and leaving) heated door mirrors, keyless entry and start, voice control, and your own personal 'parking jockey' AKA Park Assist that makes light work of tricky parking manoeuvres as well as getting you in and out of parallel or bay spaces (a reversing camera and rear parking sensors are on hand if you're a DIY parker).

The list continues with dual-zone climate control, ambient lighting (slim door-trim LEDs emit a mood light that can be set to one of ten different colours), auto-dimming rearview mirror, privacy glass from the B-pillars back, DAB radio, Bluetooth, and a 'simply useful' parking ticket holder on the screen pillar.

Driver 'assists' and safety kit are equally well-specced and highlights include Front Assist emergency braking with a Predictive Pedestrian Protection function, Rear Traffic Alert (when reversing out of parking spaces or driveways it monitors passing traffic, warning the driver visually, then acoustically and, if necessary, braking automatically), an automatic post-collision braking system, Lane Assist, Blind Spot cover, Hill Hold, and Intelligent Light Assist to orchestrate the full LED adaptive lighting (this maximises light intensity to match conditions but when oncoming traffic is detected adjusts/dips to prevent dazzling).

Added to that you get a full set of airbags including one for the driver's knee, height-adjustable front seatbelts, adaptive cruise control and speed limiter, tyre pressure monitoring, a driver fatigue detection system, rain-sensing wipers, cornering front foglights, and LED rear lights.

The handling is
reassuringly predictable
(exactly what you want
with kith and kin or
a heavy load aboard).
There’s decent grip too,
and corners are taken
flat: essentially the
Octavia simply gets on
with the business in
hand, rather like a Golf —
not surprising given the
Skoda’s shared DNA...”
Settle back in the Octavia's rear cabin and you'll enjoy decent legroom and footroom along with plenty of space all around you superior to some cars from the class above. Wide opening doors and large door openings make for easy access to and from the cabin.

Headroom is generous and if the middle seat is unoccupied you can fold out the wide central armrest with its built-in triple cupholders, direct the air vents in the centre tunnel console at your sweet spot, and snatch a revitalising forty winks. There are also magazine pouches, bottle-holding door pockets, damped grabs and coat hangers.

If you prefer to keep an eye on the outside world, well then that's fine too the rear windows are long and deep so the views out are widescreen. 'Piggy in the middle' rear passengers will need to plant a foot either side of the tunnel; not that it detracts from their comfort. If needed, the central load- through cut-out is of full backrest depth so long and bulky items can easily be carried.

The backbone of the Octavia is the Volkswagen Group's modular platform known as 'MQB' it now underpins a number of models across the Audi and Volkswagen ranges. And while the Octavia is bigger than its predecessor, it hasn't piled on the pounds. In fact, thanks to lighter components and less-weighty but stronger high-tensile steel, its kerbweight is actually lower than second-generation cars.

All of which is excellent news for both economy and handling, although the best handling traits in the world are not much use if the driver doesn't have an A1 driving position from which to exploit them. Fortunately, that's exactly what Octavia drivers get, making it easy for them to accurately place their car on the road.

That said, there's nothing lurid about the Octavia estate's dynamics the steering is accurate and the handling reassuringly predictable (exactly what you want with kith and kin or a heavy load aboard). There's decent grip too, and corners are taken flat: essentially the Octavia simply gets on with the business in hand, rather like a Golf not surprising given the Skoda's shared DNA.

Truth be known, what most real-world drivers want is not a car that can tame the Nürburgring vRS aside! but one that can make light of real-life driving conditions; a car that gets you to your destination feeling relaxed and genuinely at ease.

Even with the rear seats
in use boot space is
a ‘boxy’ and totally
usable 610 litres,
so dog-lovers will be
relieved to know that
whether their pampered
pooch is a Westie or
a Wolfhound, it too will
travel in comfort...”
The agreeably damped Octavia does exactly that: the cabin ambiance is restful, barely disturbing the sound quality of the standard-fit 10-speaker, 575-watt Canton premium sound system as the Octavia rides fluently around town; something it does equally well on fast-moving A-roads and challenging B-roads.

Upping the Octavia's driveability is Driving Mode Selection which allows the driver to choose between four drive settings: Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Individual.

These latest Octavia estates are designed for practical 'dual usage' any time cargo needs take priority over passengers, simply drop the back seats and there's a massive 1,740 litres available (that's more even than a Volvo V90 wagon).

Even with the rear seats in use boot space is a 'boxy' and totally usable 610 litres, so dog-lovers will be relieved to know that whether their pampered pooch is a Westie or a Wolfhound, they too will travel in comfort.

Putting stuff in (and getting it back out again) is made easy by keyless unlocking and a high opening tailgate that sits well above your head and which rises smoothly under its own steam. There's no lip to load over, so cargo slides straight into the hold which, when the rear seatbacks are folded, offers up a seamless all-one-level loadbay floor.

More thoughtful touches include: release levers in the boot (just pull and the rear seatbacks spring forward and self-fold); and, a particularly clever one this, pull the boot floor and it drops to a lower position that adds about four inches to the boot height; and the third boot light is actually a removable torch that recharges while you drive.

For real-world motorists seeking outstanding practicality, an estate car can be the only answer. With massive load-swallowing capacity alongside an appealing and well-appointed five-seater cabin, Skoda's Octavia estate makes the perfect family transport package whatever the size of your budget. ~ MotorBar
.
Skoda Octavia L&K Estate 2.0 TDI 150PS DSG | £30,045
Maximum speed: 132mph | 0-62mph: 8.6 seconds | Test Average: 56.8mpg
Power: 147bhp | Torque: 251lb ft | CO2: 120g/km

.