2014 Skoda Octavia Ambition Plus Review
Dave Conole road tests and reviews the Skoda Octavia.
We’ve all the heard the old Skoda jokes but now that the Czech manufacturer is under the ownership of Volkswagen it appears things have improved out of sight.
The Octavia range kicks off from $21,690, the Ambition Plus grade starts from $24,490 for the manual version, the version with a DSG auto transmission will cost you from $26,790.
Available in five-door hatchback and wagon variants, I checked out the hatch with the auto gearbox.
Out on the road the seemingly small 1.4 litre turbocharged petrol engine, with 103kW and 250Nm, does a good job of moving the Octavia around.
It’s that torque, available from 1500rpm through to 3500rpm that really keeps things bubbling along. Assisted by the seven-speed DSG transmission, a poke of the accelerator gets things happening and thankfully torque steer is noticeably absent.
Expect to use around 5.9 litres of fuel per 100kms combined.
Steering is subtle and provides enough road information back to the driver, with the steering ratio just a couple of turns or so lock to lock. The suspension is initially compliant, absorbing smaller ripples and undulations and there’s a definite sensation of tautness underneath.
The interior in the Skoda Octavia Ambition Plus is a bit of a mixed bag. There are some good bits – like the presence sensing touchscreen for entertainment, and the cargo space in the back is a very generously sized 500 litres in capacity.
Bits that weren’t so good include somewhat dated plastics on the dash and door trims and the dash itself has a slightly dated block design. The seats were comfortable without being spectacular and from the driver’s seat visibility is generally good, though the wing-mirrors could be larger.
Standard features in the Ambition Plus grade of the Octavia also include; tilt and reach steering adjustment, reverse camera, a cooled glove box, leather wrapped steering wheel and heated exterior mirrors.
Satellite navigation is a $2,800 option. The supplied car came with the optional $3,900 Tech Pack which includes an array of extras, including; push button stop/start, distance control cruise control, LED Daytime Running Lamps, Auto Park Assistance and an upgraded sound system.
The 2014 Skoda Octavia range boasts a five-star ANCAP safety rating.
Summing it up; It’s a good car but suffers from being largely unseen on Aussie roads; that’s a shame because it’s roomy enough for the average family, drives well enough for the average person and is keenly priced with a decent amount of standard equipment.
NUTS and BOLTS
Engine: 1.4 litre turbo-petrol producing 103kW and 250Nm
Transmission: Seven-speed auto or six-speed manual
Safety: Five stars
Warranty: Three years
Origin: Czech Republic
Price: From $24,490
Dave Conole owns and writes the independent vehicle review and news website - A Wheel Thing.
With over 15 years of automotive journalism and reviewing experience, plus front line experience in vehicle sales, Dave is proud to be aligned with Behind the Wheel.