The Czech brand owned by Volkswagen has long prided itself on being the 'head' buy; it's practical, contemporary and functional. Usually, this would also be synonymous with 'boring'... but the Skoda Octavia sports wagon is happy to challenge this stereotype.
What is it?
Spacious interior and athletic looks meet practicality and straight-edge, modernist styling in the five-seat Skoda Octavia, which is one of the brand’s pillar products along with the Kodiaq SUV.
This is the 110TSI DSG variant, which has the Volkswagen group’s 1.4-litre turbocharged 110TSI engine, as also seen in the 2018 Golf 110TSI.
How much is the Skoda Octavia Sports Wagon 110TSI?
The Octavia 110TSI starts at $27,890 and sits in the middle of the range between the $24,990 six-speed manual wagon, and tops out at $40,390.
In terms of the competition, the Mazda 6 wagon starts at $34,790 and tops out at $49,990, while the Volkswagen Passat kicks off at $37,990. In terms of value, the Octavia ticks the value box.
Our test car was optioned with the $4,200 Luxury Pack which includes leather seats, electronically adjustable driver and passenger seat, lane assist, seat warmers, auto folding door mirrors, side assist blind sport detection and two extra airbags (making it nine in total).
It's also fitted with a $4,900 Tech Pack which includes a 9.2-inch touch screen satellite nav system (with USB, AUX and a two-SD card slot) and a 10-speaker Canton sound system, LED headlights with adaptive front light system, automatic parking assist, adaptive chassis control, keyless entry, AEB, manoeuvre brake assist, drive mode selection and wireless charging.
There is also an automatic tailgate and Volkswagen’s virtual cockpit, costing $500 and $700 respectively. If it came down to choosing between the two, I’d recommend the Tech Pack as a smarter option.
From a value perspective, you get a lot of creature comforts for $38,190 as well as a five-year warranty.
Read More: Skoda Octavia Range Review
Who is it for?
Lovers of function who buy with their heads, families needing space but who don't want an SUV, lovers of all things clean and practical and sporty couples/singles who have champagne (or, *cough*, Audi) taste on a $40,000 budget.
Is the Skoda Octavia 110TSI easy to live with?
Very. In true Skoda form, the Octavia is stacked with tiny yet functional details that are aimed at making life easier. Little things like a ticket holder in the A-pillar for displaying parking tickets, a centre console that is seemingly designed to fit an iPhone just so, an armrest in the rear with two drink holders, modular garbage bin that fits into the side of the door and a reversible rubber mat in the boot are just some of the happy little utilitarian elements.
The cabin is bright and spacious, the seats are well-bolstered and the rear boot capacity is shockingly big for a car that looks this athletic, with 588 litres of space with the seats up and 1718 litres with the seats dropped.
Volkswagen’s infotainment system and virtual cockpit (again, optional with the Tech Pack) is a stellar option, adding that little bit extra sense of luxury (with change out of $40k, don’t forget). It adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as an impressive German-made Canton sound system.
The optional sat-nav system will learn your most frequented routes, too, which can help to individualise your places and points of interest.
How well does the Skoda Octavia 110TSI drive?
Wagons have come a long way in recent years, and they're replete with design trickery that helps to hides their size. It’s a cliché in wagon reviews, for sure – but really this is the case with the Skoda 110TSI. It’s big and spacious, but it still feels like a Golf; that's something that couldn’t be said for an SUV with this kind of space inside, so that’s another tick for the wagon when it comes to the SUV-versus-wagon debate.
Of course, as previously mentioned, the Skoda’s 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbo engine is also found in the Golf, and it also makes an appearance in the Tiguan.
Volkswagen Group’s DSG is always a talking point, but in the case of our test car, hard to fault, even when travelling on the slower side. You also have to keep in mind that the average Skoda buyer won’t be as passionate about the 'to-DSG or not-to-DSG' debate, unlike the hot hatch heads of Golf GTIs past.
The Octavia’s ride is firm but fine around bumpy road plates in Sydney’s inner city. The handling is, again, hatch-like. And in terms of fuel economy, we averaged around 6.7L/100km – but keep in mind, that was a lot of driving in Sports mode (again, optional with the Tech Pack). Skoda claims a combined consumption of 5.5L/100km.
The Skoda is athletic, spacious and utilitarian, and that is what Skoda does best. But unlike the Kodiaq SUV, it also has a little bit of emotion - which means for a family - and for those that can’t stretch to the amazing RS model - there’s plenty of joy to be had in this wagon.