Practical test Skoda Octavia Combi TDI: Can 115 hp make you happy?

The Octavia is Skoda’s bread and butter car and has always been the showpiece in the Czech stable. Since it was born 24 years ago, connoisseurs have regarded it as the better and bigger Golf. The station wagon in particular, which accounts for two-thirds of sales in the series, delights with its practical virtues. Only the price advantage over the Wolfsburg rival has shrunk.

The fourth-generation Octavia Combi costs 32,370 euros in the Style equipment level with the 115 hp (85 kW) entry-level diesel, which, like the more powerful 150 hp (110 kW) engine, draws its power from a displacement of two liters. Of course, it is not a street sweeper, but it is a very frugal and smooth-running all-rounder that hardly ever has to give up on everyday tasks. With its well-distributed proportions, the 4.69 centimeter long station wagon is still handy in the city and also feels at home in narrow parking garages. On longer journeys, it pleases with its considerable resilience, 640 to 1700 liters of luggage can go on the journey. The payload is a good 520 kilograms, which is fine, the average trailer load is 1.5 tons.

The interior is functional and tidy. For cost reasons, Skoda is once again processing components made of hard plastic, but fortunately only where nobody can reach. As with the Golf, the operating concept is more digital, at least some buttons for direct selection of certain functions have been retained. In addition to the selection on the multifunction steering wheel, the core is the central touchscreen, whose menus are difficult to select and thus distract from what is happening on the road.

The air conditioning is also controlled digitally, for which there are buttons at the bottom of the monitor. There are more than enough shelves and compartments, even umbrellas and snow brushes have been thought of. Inductive charging is possible in the center console.

The space is decent. The front seats are electrically adjustable and there is ample elbow room for the driver and front passenger. Two passengers in the back also travel extremely comfortably. Getting in and out is easy for everyone thanks to the large door cut-out, and grab handles on the roof, which have not yet fallen victim to the cutbacks at Skoda, also help.

The four-cylinder diesel is started at the push of a button, its noise level is very low when idling. He also holds back when it comes to vibrations. The machine delivers 300 Newton meters of torque at 1600 revolutions per minute, from a standing start it powerfully pushes the 1447 kilo Octavia. If the journey gets faster, but the engine loses its liveliness, it also takes 10.9 seconds to accelerate from to 100 km/h. That’s not a mistake, the performance is completely sufficient and even allows committed gaits. A top speed of 207 km/h is possible. However, due to its weight, the Czechomobile needs a good run-up to reach it. The wind noise is restrained, the directional stability unwavering.

What is at the top, however, is the extremely restrained consumption of diesel. Although we didn’t get behind the steering wheel as bargain hunters, the figure of 4.7 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers was easy to achieve. If you want to travel even more cheaply, you can travel 100 kilometers with 4.3 liters without becoming a traffic obstacle. With a tank capacity of 45 liters, the 1000-kilometer limit is clearly in sight.

The manual six-speed gearbox shifts with sufficient precision and short distances, the steering is no less precise and sensitive, the Octavia can always be kept in check with it, even if the rear end pushes outwards after quick corner changes. Then the ESP is there in no time at all and already prevents the approach. The brakes please with fine controllability and are extremely stable. Only with the suspension of the Combi does not have a good contract. While the front wheels iron out bumps in the road surface satisfactorily, the rear wheels roll over them rather rudely on their torsion-beam axle. This causes unrest on bad roads and is annoying.

The scope of the highest level of equipment, Style, is lavish but not complete. Many assistants are standard, traffic sign recognition, traffic jam assistant and the head-up display are subject to a surcharge. You also have to pay extra for the electric tailgate opening.

The price of the test car quickly climbed over 40,000 euros despite the choice of cheap engine. Many packages full of desires have inspired him. This means that the price advantage it once had over its competitor, the Golf, has almost become obsolete. The Skoda is still good because it is easier to use and offers more space than its VW colleague. (cen/Michael Kirchberger)

Data Skoda Octavia Combi TDI 85 kW Style

Length x width x height (m): 4.69 x 1.83 x 1.51
Wheelbase (m): 2.67
Drive: 4-cyl. turbo diesel, 1968 cc, FWD, 6 gears
Power: 90 kW / 115 hp at 2750 rpm
Max. torque: 300 Nm at 1600 rpm
Top speed: 207 km/h
Acceleration 0 to 100 km/h: 10.9 seconds
WLTP average consumption: 4.7 liters
CO2 emissions: 110 g/km
Test consumption: 4.7 liters
Empty weight / payload: min. 1447 kg / max. 523 kg
Towing capacity: 1500 kg
Trunk volume: 640-1700 liters
Base price: 32,370 euros
Test car price: 43,008 euros

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