Tuesday 22 May 2018

Wild weather adds to hybrid appeal

Skoda Octavia
Skoda Octavia
Campbell Spray

Campbell Spray

The wild weather last Monday curtailed my driving but did throw-up another factor in the move to electric debate. It is never a good idea to have all your eggs in one basket and I can only think of the incredible frustration of any driver who owns an electric car and was hit by the massive power outages, which for some people are still not over. It would definitely make me reconsider such a purchase and make the hybrid vehicle more of a no-brainer.

Toyota and its luxury brand Lexus are way out in front in this market across nearly all sectors and are increasingly drawing my attention. They have had many years of practice with the Prius, an increasingly big choice with taxi drivers.

It is a car that I like both for its looks and practicality, although the plug-in version is a disaster as a family car as it is heavily compromised in terms of luggage space and the fact there are only two seats in the rear. It's a pity as, despite brilliant consumption, it lets down the Prius as a whole, which has now sold more than six million units worldwide.

I was driving the Skoda Octavia last weekend with the new one-litre petrol engine. That such a big car as the Octavia is powered by such a good one-litre engine shows just how innovative developments away from diesel have been getting.

Pushed hard, consumption does suffer but I couldn't have been more impressed with everything that was on offer in the top-of-the-range Octavia 115bhp Style Liftback, with the very smooth automatic DSG box.

It's a real family car with oodles of space and very sturdy, which gave us a lot of confidence over the weekend. Out on the road it felt direct and sure-footed. It was too big for me but at €27,100 it has everything you will need in terms of spec and power and represents really good value.

The Octavia has been mainly a diesel car in the past; this car should rightly change that.

Sunday Independent

Life Newsletter

Our digest of the week's juiciest lifestyle titbits.

Also in Life