We had previously owned a Golf Highline with the R Line package. I really loved the car but our circumstances changed and we needed something with significantly more cabin and boot space.
I looked at the Subaru Liberty and Mazda 6, but they didn't quite fit the bill for me. Both are good, solid cars but I was not quite convinced.
I decided to take the Octavia for a test drive as I was aware that it had the same motor as the Golf. From the time I drove it, I warmed to the possibility of purchasing the Skoda, although I must admit it hadn't really been on my short list.
However it felt just like the Golf and I am a real fan of this little 1.4 turbo engine. Plenty of power, hills never worry it and the fuel economy is first rate. It truly is an amazing little engine.
We go to Canberra quite often and the Octavia is a fantastic highway cruiser. This is the first car that I have owned that has radar cruise control and it makes highway driving so much more relaxed.
I personally think the self-parking is a bit of a gimmick and have never really used it in a real world situation. The issue of cabin space and boot space is a no-brainer. With its cavernous boot, carting our extra stuff around is a breeze.
People often complain about the sluggishness off the line with the DSG but because I had had about four previous Golfs, I was used to driving the seven-speed dual clutch so for me it isn't a problem. Once you are on the move the changes are imperceptible.
I opted for the Tech pack as I wanted keyless entry but one of the added bonuses that I didn't realise was the great sound quality that you get from the 10-speaker Canton sound system that comes with the Tech pack. It's so crisp and clear. The connectivity is also first class and I use the Apple CarPlay constantly as my day job is driving around the suburbs.
I guess the two things that have taken a while to adjust to are firstly the seats; for me they seem a little flat and not quite wide enough and I'm only 85kg. However the rear legroom is enormous. Carrying four adults and all their luggage is a not an issue at all.
The second issue relates to the handling. It is nowhere as precise as the Golf R Line but I guess that is to be expected because I'm comparing apples with oranges.
I have done about 10,000km since I purchased it in October 2016 and it has not missed a beat. Everything has worked as it should.
The Skoda dealership was helpful and there was no problen in shaving a significant amount of money of the RRP, quite literally thousands!
Overall my experience of the Octavia has been overwhelmingly positive so if you are in the market for a mid-size sedan or wagon, taking the Octavia for a test drive might surprise you. It's a lot of car for your money.
Note: stock image used for illustration purposes