Monday 22 January 2018

Think you could be a snob in a Skoda? This Octavia will help you feel posh

Skoda Octavia L&K

Skoda Octavia
Skoda Octavia
Skoda Octavia interior
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

NO, I'm not going to yield to temptation and say Skoda have come a long way.

We know they have.

And I suppose this flagship Octavia L&K shows how far.

But let's keep history out of this.

After all, this costs from €31,995 before delivery and related charges. My test car costs €34,510 so I'm entitled to concentrate on the present and not the past.

I'd say the best way to describe it is 'slick'.

It has those extra few touches which nudge it into that sort of quietly 'understated' territory.

I wouldn't be a fan of the colour inside, or out (Topaz Brown). I think it subdues the look of the car but I can see where they are going with it.

I had the 2-litre 150bhp diesel - what a great piece of work it is. With the fine 6spd DSG automatic gearbox, it manages a claimed 63mpg. And road tax is €200 a year.

There is also a 1.8-litre petrol TSi (180bhp). You can have 4x4 in the estate (Combi).

Incidentally, L&K stands for Laurin and Klement, who were effectively the fathers of the Skoda brand. They'd be fairly stunned (in the nicest possible way) to see what is being made in their name. This highest-spec Octavia has 18ins Turbine alloys, bi-xenon headlights, rear LEDs, and brown alcantara leather upholstery as well as heated and electric front seats.

Bits that we found brilliant and set it apart were the Bolero colour touch screen and the 10-speaker Canton sound system.

Yes indeed, the daughter and I had the volume well up on Sunshine radio - in the sunshine.

It also has Bluetooth with voice control (nah, the woman still doesn't understand a word I say), front headlight washers, cornering front fog lights and so on.

I felt the lower profile tyres didn't help, either in terms of road noise or feel on the steering. I prefer a sense of good chunky grip on the tarmac.

But I can't emphasise enough just how large this Octavia has become. Okay, in this version it's a kinda of two front and two back because of the way the seats are arranged but believe me, you'll get three fair sized passengers at the rear no problem.

Would I spend that sort of money on it? No. I'd buy a Superb (another Skoda). But I think the Octavia L&K is worth its place in the lineup not so much to show how far they've come but, I suggest, where they are going.

Irish Independent

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