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2008 Skoda Octavia 1.8 TFSI Road Test

Model tested: Skoda Octavia 1.8 TFSI

Recommended Retail Price: $30,990.

Options fitted: None fitted.

plus.jpg Impressive performance, spacious interior, price.

minus.jpg Bland appearance, understeer at the limits.

CarAdvice rating: rating11.gifrating11.gifrating11.gifrating11.gifrating11.gif(3.75)

– Review by Paul Maric.

Don’t close the window just yet. Although you may not have heard about Skoda before, it’s a name worth looking out for. Last week I got by in the Skoda Octavia 1.8 TFSI. Under the bonnet you’ll find an engine shared with some Audis, while inside you’ll find an interior not dissimilar to vehicles in the Volkswagen range.

That all seems rather strange I hear you say. Well, there’s a reason behind all this. Owned by Volkswagen Group, Czech company Skoda has produced just over 2.0-million Octavias since 1996. They are literally everywhere in Europe and anyone who test drives one in Australia will wonder why they didn’t hit our shores earlier.

Skoda Octavia 1.8 TFSI

Priced from just $30,990, the Octavia 1.8-TFSI features a turbocharged, 1.8-litre, 4-cylinder motor which pumps out 118kW and a smooth 250Nm of torque. The motor is tied to a 6-speed manual gearbox, which gets by with slick shifts and a very easy to use clutch. The motor is quite responsive and propels a car full of passengers along without even thinking twice. All this while only using 7.7-litres/100km of fuel – astounding.

The interior has an air of Volkswagen about it. Instead of lighting up with Volkswagen’s trademark blue background, the interior features a green ambience, differentiating it from the German manufacturer. Build quality and build materials inside the cabin are literally flawless, everything simple feels extremely well built. The doors close with confidence and there are no rattles to be heard of at highway speeds.

Skoda Octavia 1.8 TFSI Skoda Octavia 1.8 TFSI

Interior room is adequate. The boot – all 560-litres of it! – provides plenty of storage space, while rear seat occupants have enough room to get their legs in comfortably.

Although the 1.8-TFSI isn’t a sports car – that title is left for the Octavia RS – it performs well enough for the average punter. There is a fair amount of body roll when thrown into a corner, but the standard ESP sorts out any potential understeer situations. The brakes are quite touchy, but they are very competent – even after several hard applications.

Standard features include: 16” alloy wheels; door mirrors with illumination; dual-zone climate control; fog lights; central locking; electric mirrors; electric windows; cruise control; heated exterior mirrors; 6-stack CD player with 8 loudspeakers and MP3 compatibility; AUX input; pollen filter and cooled glovebox.

Skoda Octavia 1.8 TFSI Skoda Octavia 1.8 TFSI

Standard safety features include: ABS brakes with EBD, EBC, TCS, EDL, HBA and DSR; Electronic Stability Program; driver and passenger front airbags; driver and passenger side airbags; driver and passenger head airbags; front seats with active head rests and engine immobiliser.

The test vehicle came with a pretty dull colour, but aside from that, I was absolutely thrilled with the Octavia 1.8-TFSI. It came with a tremendous amount of features for a $30k car and had a very lively and energetic engine to boot.

Skoda Octavia 1.8 TFSI

You can also expect to receive a 3-year, unlimited kilometre warranty, along with 24-hour roadside assistance with your new Skoda – very impressive. Skoda is a brilliant value for money proposition. If you’re not a car nut and need a car to get you around, the new Octavia range has a vehicle to suit everyone’s needs. I really can’t speak highly enough of Skoda, take one for a test drive and you’ll see what I mean.

Skoda Octavia Technical Specifications

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2008 Skoda Octavia 1.8 TFSI Specifications

Engine: 1.8-litre, 4-cylinder
Power: 118kW
: 250Nm
Top speed: 223km/h
Safety: Electronic stability control- front air bags – side airbags – curtain airbags – front seatbelt pre-tensioners and load limiters.
0-100km/h: 8.1-seconds
EuroNCAP rating: 4-stars
Turning circle: 10.2m
Fuel tank: 55-litres
Fuel consumption : 7.7 litres/100km (claimed)
Fuel type: 91RON Unleaded


  • philh

    A better built, better priced, better riding VW Jetta. Conservative, but what medium family car isn’t? What’s not to like? Only real worry is what the resale values will be. Skoda are off to a slow start with sales, so there are some good deals to be had.

  • Tomas79

    From what I have read, the resale value on these skoda in the UK is apparently higher then on the VWs.

  • Golfschwein

    With you, Philh. I wouldn’t hesitate.

  • Tomas79

    Anyone know, when the brand new superb is expected in Australia?

  • Golfschwein

    Can’t remember, Tomas79. But I do know it’s not being held back, so, soon I guess.



    Do Skoda do the Octavia VRS in Aus? I lived in the UK for a year and a mate had a VRS Estate, very nice…..

  • Reckless1

    Small detail, but this thing needs 95 RON fuel, not 91.

    They do offer a good value package, even the base model with no options. At the Melbourne Motor show they stood out for high quality look and feel, there was not much that was better, if anything. Certainly ahead of the French cars and other Euros like Focus, and better than the Japanese.

    Resale value is sh!te on virtually every car these days.

    On one of these you pay $2000 Dealer Delivery, $825 Stamp duty, $650 Reg, on top of your $31,000, and the minute you sign for it you have lost your on-roads completely, as well as the 10% GST in the $31,000 which leaves a value of $28,182. Then if you wanted to trade it to a dealer, they would discount it by $5,182 and offer you a BEST price of $23,000. (They would then sell it for $30,990 most likely)

    So you paid $34,475 D/A and the trade-in value is $23,000 the same day.

    That’s not restricted to Skoda, either – it applies to virtually every car on the market. Go over the LCT threshold, and you instantly lose the LCT amount as well.

  • realcars

    Agree Reckless1. If u want to buy new forget resale!

    Clever engine/Turbo combo for economy and reasonable performance. Hi octane is a sting in the tail though.

  • Nathan


    Which is why you dont ever ever ever buy a new car if you want to save money – and not buying from a dealer helps too.

  • Reckless1

    Nathan, I just bought a new car :) Golf GTI DSG :)

    The GST will be deducted from the GST return I lodge on October 28th, which helps. The depreciation is written off and will result in tax savings of 30% of the amount, so that helps too.

    I have already saved the money and will be paying cash.

    I think what you are trying to say (correctly) is that you can’t get ahead if you only ever buy depreciating assets.

    You buy depreciating assets, or toys, after you have got ahead by saving :)

  • Dlr1

    Car looks great from every angle except the front. What a hideous grille/nose. Someone please tell skoda the eightees called and they want their design back. The front looks like it belongs on something from detroit, not a well built and designed euro.

  • Simonsez

    There has been a surprisingly high number of Skoda tests on this site .They’ve been struggling to make any headway in the markets if the reported sales figures are correct.
    The local dealer sold a new VRS with sat nav recently for $37,000 + which was a huge
    markdown on the listed price of mid $40’s. I’ve tried very hard to find one that was suitable to my needs and priced right but with no luck to date. Certainly discounts of $4,000 + are available for the asking and I have a bad feeling that this exercise will end in disaster for Skoda and VW.

  • The Axe

    Reckless1, I don’t know how you came to those figures!
    It doesn’t work that way.
    The market value of any car obviously depends firstly on desirability, it’s not a set amount. It is also determined by what price it may be resold at.

  • GTRmon

    Desirable cars are not almost new ones. If someone wanted, say, a STi, they would more likely buy from a dealer and get the options and comfort than come from buying new rather than buying someone else’s almost new one. Thus making an almost new STi worthless and holding up Reckless’ argument.

    Interesting how Skoda is an excellent company. Not so long ago we were telling jokes like: what do you call a Skoda with twin tailpipes and a sunroof? A wheelbarrow. Shows what the VW empire can do. Which, ironically wanted to keep Skoda as the Kias of its range. The Czechs weren’t taking that shit.

  • Tomas79

    So true GTRmon.
    Let’s not forget VW and Porsche would not even be around if it didn’t copy the Czech Tatra t-97, nor the czech engineers Ferdinand Porsche and Hans Ledwinka!!

    Anyway, It is nice to have a bit of fresh air on the Australian market!!

  • Myke

    Tomas, according to the Skoda website, the Superb will be available in the first quarter of ’09.

  • observer

    Still havn’t seen one on the road yet, sales must be extremely slow.

    I suspect VW will persist with Skoda in Australia short term and eventually cut their losses. (Just like they did with SEAT)

    Dealers must desperate to move some stock!!!