It’s “Sch-koda”, not “Sco-da”; Australia’s newest car brand is about to launch at the Sydney International Motor Show. With it comes two models for the Australian market – the Roomster and the Octavia.

Skoda

Skoda has been welcomed into the Volkswagen family and brings with it European quality and design at an affordable price.

Roomster:

Simply clever, that’s one way to describe the new Skoda Roomster. Available with two engines – a 1.6-litre petrol and 1.9-litre diesel – power is sent through a selection of 5-speed manual, 6-speed automatic.

Skoda Roomster

Versatility and practicality are key to the Roomster. Easy rear seat entry and acres of leg and head room headline the Roomster’s key attributes. Simple removal of the rear seats caters for 1780 litres of cargo volume.

During testing, it became evident that the 1.6-litre petrol engine would struggle to keep pace when loaded with people. A lack of torque at the bottom end (max 155Nm at 3500RPM) suggests that plenty of revs are required before any action occurs.

Roomster

The diesel on the other hand would easily be our pick. Producing a stellar 240Nm of torque, it easily copes with adequate loads and evidently feels quite sporty when pushed through corners. At this point, the diesel is only available with a 5-speed manual transmission.

Octavia:

Skoda is also releasing the Octavia – available in four model variants, each available in hatchback or wagon. Kicking off at $29,990, the 1.9-litre diesel Ambiente comes with a 5-speed manual gearbox or optional 6-speed DSG.

Today we drove the Elegance in 2.0-litre turbo-diesel form and the 2.0-litre FSI, priced at $33,490 and $33,290 respectively. Although we haven’t driven the RS or 1.8-litre TFSI, our pick today would be the 2.0-litre FSI model with automatic gearbox.

Boot space in the Octavia is nothing short of amazing. With enough room for a full-sized spare tyre, this is the biggest boot area, we have seen in a hatchback to date.

Both cars are highly specced in comparison to their competitors – including ESP as standard across the range of Roomster and Octavia vehicles.

We’ll bring you more Skoda news and information as the Australian launch unfolds over the coming days.