Skoda Octavia Review: 2013 Model | Octavia | Car Buyers Guide

Skoda Octavia Ambition 1.6 TDI

I wrote a review recently enough about a used Škoda Yeti and a reader got back to me to say that Škoda are now what Volkswagen used to be, the car of the people. What he meant by this was that Škoda has become the affordable good brand and Volkswagen has become a little bit more exclusive and expensive. I thought about what the reader had said and I think I agree.

Octavia 1
This week I test drove the new Škoda Octavia Ambition 1.6 TDI and immediately I was taken with its refinement. Talking aesthetically the Škoda Octavia gets better looking every time Škoda change it. This car offers more class than ever before.

What’s different about this Škoda is pretty much everything. Its appearance is newer and classier, moving further and further away from the old VW Passat/Golf design towards an identity of its own. As well as design change there is so much more available with the new Octavia, for example, Adaptive Cruise Assistant, Lane Assistant, Intelligent Light Assistant, fold down rear seats, better passenger room and more luggage space.

To drive
One of the best things about the Skoda Octavia is that it is a really nice car at a reasonable price. This is reflected in the drive of the car. There is nothing spectacular about it, it is adequate but you shouldn’t expect more from it than what you’re paying. The steering is precise and on, which is aided of course by the lighter body which allows for better handling. Engine noise is very low which I like and a lot of the reason for this is the build of the body, and of course the 1.6 TDI engine. According to Skoda you will get 0-100km in 10.8 seconds with an engine that offers 105bhp and a top speed of 194km/h, this all may be true but there were a few places where I found the drive to be lacking. The first notable thing is that there is only 5 gears in this particular Octavia, and I really feel that the engine is under performing on account of this. I’m not sure what Skoda were thinking by not adding an extra gear, this model and the 1.2 TSI/86bhp model are the only ones with 5 gear manual transmission. Although I found the car itself sufficient on the motorway, things weren’t perfect, the engine kept asking me for another gear for its own comfort.

Inside the Octavia I found the car itself to be extremely comfortable and user friendly. The extra length in this new Skoda Octavia means great front cabin space and comfort,
and the back seats are no different.  This extra length in the vehicle also means superior boot space in comparison to the older model Octavia. Sad as it sounds, the boot really impressed me (we have a buggy!). All of this space combined makes this a very good family car. The Octavia has four different types of infotainment systems available and their “Swing” infotainment comes as standard with the model I was driving. This is a good and easy to use system, but it won’t give you SatNav as part of it.

As standard and optional With the Škoda Octavia Ambition 1.6 TDI there are many things as standard, among them is; Start/Stop technology, tinted windows, 8 loudspeakers, “DAY LIGHT”, Bluetooth, foldable rear seats, front armrest “JUMBO BOX”, Aux-in, USB, and Card Slot. If you’ve got some cash to spend on optional extras you can expect to find; metallic paint, SatNav with another infotainment system (Amundsen or Columbus), Lane Assistant, Automatic Parking Assistant, Traveller Assistant Package with traffic sign recognition and display (available with the Columbus navigation system), and adaptive cruise control (automatically maintains distance from vehicles in front).

Price, fuel economy and road tax
For the model I test drove, the Skoda Octavia Ambition 1.6 TDI, you will pay €24,545 excluding optional extras. The least expensive Octavia is the Skoda Octavia Active and is available from €18,995. This car burns 99 g/km and at the current tax rates you will be paying €180. According to Skoda the combined fuel economy you should expect from this car if you drive like a saint is 3.8l/100km (or 74mpg if you still think in miles).

The verdict
We really like this car, it looks great, drives as you would expect for the money you’re paying and the car is extremely comfortable.

Compare specs to an alternative car!
€ 22,495 when New

Key Facts

New Price
€ 22,495


Ambiente 1.6 102 bhp
First Launched
Engine & Transmission
5 speed manual
Fuel type
Body Type

Running Costs

Tax Band
Average L/100km
CO2 emmissions (g/km)


Driven Wheels
Engine (L)
Break Horsepower
Top Speed
Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

Space & Practicality

Kerb weight
Tyre Size Front


Euro NCAP Star Rating


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