Skoda Records A Double Victory At The What Car Awards 2006

Skoda Octavia vRS

Skoda Octavia

  • What Car? magazine bestows honours on the Octavia… again
  • Octavia vRS wins Hot Hatch of the Year
  • Octavia Ambiente 1.6 FSI wins Small Family Car of the Year

The Skoda Octavia has scored a remarkable double victory by scooping a pair of What Car? awards - widely regarded as the Oscars of the motor industry. The magazine awarded its Small Family Car honour to the Octavia Ambiente 1.6 FSI for the second year running, and bestowed the prestigious Hot Hatch award on the scorching new Octavia vRS.

Chris Craft, Director of Skoda UK commented, “Skoda is becoming renowned for providing vehicles of real quality and practicality and, indeed, that little bit extra. To win the Best Small Family award for the second year in a row against some excellent - and new - competition confirms we have the formula right.

“Receiving the Best Hot Hatch award for Octavia vRS is a great accolade. The vRS takes all the strengths of Skoda in terms of space, quality and practicality and then injects exceptional performance and handling. To coin a phrase, you can have your cake and eat it.”

The Octavia’s victory in the fiercely-contested Hot Hatch category prompted the judges to say, “Don’t think Skoda has won here simply by offering value for money - the vRS is Skoda’s fastest-ever production car.” The judges also praised the Octavia vRS’s unique combination of sportiness and practicality, saying, “The chassis harnesses all of the performance with a blend of comfort and control. It also fulfils its brief as a hot-hatch for grown-ups by providing loads of interior space. Discerning owners will gain a glow of satisfaction from the knowledge that their unassuming Skoda can wallop many more brash rivals.”

Although the car has only just gone on sale in the UK, the 200bhp Octavia vRS has already caused a stir thanks to its breathtaking performance, class-leading levels of practicality and unbeatable value for money. In a year that has seen a number of high profile launches from Ford and Vauxhall, the Octavia’s win is made all the more impressive.

The new Octavia vRS continues Skoda’s commitment to provide that “extra bit of car”. Thanks to its 200bhp engine, six-speed gearbox and sports chassis, the vRS is the fastest production Skoda ever built. Powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre direct injection engine, the Octavia vRS is capable of a top speed of 149mph and can sprint from 0-62mph in just 7.3 seconds. Standard equipment on both the hatchback and the estate includes 17” alloy wheels, Climatic air conditioning, ESP traction control and part-leather sports seats. On the road prices are £17,500 for the vRS hatchback and £18,350 for the vRS Estate.

In awarding the Small Family Car title to the Ambiente 1.6 FSI, the What Car? judging panel described the 1.6 FSI Octavia as being “more spacious and practical than any direct rival. It even puts many cars in the class above to shame. Our pick of the engine range is the 115bhp 1.6-litre petrol, which endows this big car with spirited performance.” The judges concluded by saying, “None of the new pretenders have been able to unseat our defending champion, the Skoda Octavia.”

The award follows a number of group test victories in which the Octavia has triumphed over cars costing thousands more. In winning the award for the second year, the Octavia beat off category rivals in the shape of the new Honda Civic and the Ford Focus.

With an on-the-road price of £12,990, the double award-winning Octavia Ambiente 1.6 FSI offers unbeatable value for money. The 1.6 FSI engine features state-of-the-art technology and generates 115 bhp, with torque of 155 Nm at 4,000 rpm. Fuel consumption is truly outstanding, with a combined economy figure of 40.4 mpg, comparable to some diesel engines. Emissions of CO2 are just 168g/km, making it one of the cleanest petrol engines available. Standard equipment includes 15” alloy wheels, air conditioning, six CD multichanger, trip computer and remote central locking. Next month, the 1.6 FSI Ambiente will be joined by a version in Classic trim. With the same great styling, same great engine and a price of just £11,990 with air conditioning as part of the standard equipment, the Classic will offer even more value.

The Octavia range is available with a selection of two body styles, five trim levels - all with high levels of standard equipment - and four engine options: 1.4 16v, 1.6 FSI, 2.0 FSI and 2.0 TFSI petrol units and 1.9 TDI PD and 2.0 TDI PD diesel engines. Prices start at £10,990 for the 1.4 16v Classic hatchback, while the range-topping 2.0 TDI PD L&K Estate with DSG transmission is priced at only £20,285.

The Octavia is part of a multi award-winning range that also includes the Fabia supermini and the luxurious Superb. All three models provide Skoda’s unique combination of great value, outstanding customer service and, of course an “extra bit of car”. All of that has led to Skoda being recognised as second only to one, premium brand in the 2004 and 2005 JD Power Survey of Customer Satisfaction and ranked in the top five for the past 10 years - a unique achievement.

Published 23 January 2006 Melanie Carter

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