What Car? magazine has named the Skoda Octavia Ambiente 1.6 FSI their Small Family Car for 2005. Outpacing two former Car of the Year winners in the category, the Octavia showed its all-round qualities. The What Car? judges described the Octavia as "an outstanding all-round package that delivers better value for money than any of its rivals. Buyers get more space and practicality than most cars in this class can muster."
The judges continued, "In fact, the Octavia’s generous proportions give it more interior space than many cars from the class above."
This was borne out by a What Car? group test in which the Octavia took on and beat upper-medium cars such as Toyota Avensis, Ford Mondeo and Peugeot 407 from the market segment above the one in which Octavia normally competes.
Beating category rivals such as Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra, the new Octavia showed the What Car? judges what it is made of. "More than simply big, the Octavia is also clever, providing surefooted, rewarding handling. Excellent refinement takes the strain out of long drives; engine, wind and road noise are all kept to a low level." The judges also cited Octavia’s quality, mentioning its "superb finish and classy materials."
One of Skoda’s strong suits is great value and the new Octavia is an example of just that. The What Car? judges agree. "Whether it’s bought with private or company money the Octavia makes sound financial sense. The Octavia holds its value better than most, retaining half its original price after three years."
The model selected by What Car? is the 1.6 FSI in Ambiente trim. With an on-the-road price of £13,540, standard equipment includes Skoda’s electro-mechanical power steering, stereo sound system with 6-CD autochanger; remote central locking, alarm and immobiliser; air conditioning; driver and front passenger airbags. Height-adjustable driver and front passenger seats, height- and tilt-adjustable head restraints, and height- and reach-adjustable steering wheel ensure the comfort of driver and passengers.
The Octavia range is available with a selection of three trim levels, all with high levels of standard equipment, and six engine choices- the 1.4 16V, 1.6 MPI, 1.6 FSI and 2.0 FSI petrol engines and 1.9 TDI PD and 2.0 TDI PD diesel engines. Prices start at £10,750 for the 1.4 16v Classic, while the top-of-the-range Elegance 2.0 TDI PD with DSG transmission is only £17,420. The Octavia hatch will be joined by the Estate - in both front-wheel drive and 4x4 versions - and the Octavia Sport and Octavia L&K in the springtime.
Octavia joins its partners in the Skoda range, the award-winning supermini Fabia, the luxurious spaciousness of the flagship Superb, and the sport vRS range of Fabia and Octavia. All provide Skoda’s unique combination of an "extra bit of car", great value and the outstanding customer service that has led to Škoda’s second place in the 2004 J. D. Power Survey of Customer Satisfaction.Published 22 January 2005