More press-on types can choose from a couple of sporty vRS versions: a 217bhp 2.0 TSI (0-62mph in 6.8sec) and a 181bhp 2.0 TDI (8.1sec). Both make entertaining, value-for-money holdalls, with a 2014-reg TSI at 50,000 miles costing £10,500. The TSI’s power rose to 227bhp in 2016 and then to 242bhp in 2017.
In 2016, the 1.2 TSI engine was replaced by the 113bhp 1.0 TSI. The seven-speed DSG automatic version is more economical than the manual largely because it shifts gears earlier than is sometimes comfortable. Still, if your idea of motoring is wafting about in a large, practical and understated motor of indisputable quality, it’s worth choosing. Prices start at £9300 for a 20,000-miler.
The following year (2017) was facelift time, when the Octavia received a new nose with a larger grille and quad headlights. Inside, the infotainment screen grew to 9.2in on selected trims and the Columbus system, standard on the top-spec model, now boasted a wi-fi hotspot. Across the range, every trim could now claim alloy wheels, touchscreen systems, phone connectivity, air-con and a post-collision braking system. The new, more efficient 148bhp 1.5 TSI petrol engine also appeared at this time.
From launch to the present day, trims have remained largely the same, with only Elegance getting the heave-ho. They’re underpinned by S, SE, SE L and Laurin & Klement. From time to time, SE has been boosted by special versions called SE Sport, SE Business and SE Technology that bring lots of extra kit for next to no additional charge. They’re worth seeking out.
Need to know
The Octavia GreenLine of 2014, powered by a 1.6 TDI CR 110 diesel engine, has an official economy figure of 88.3mpg in part thanks to its low-rolling-resistance tyres and the stop/start system standard on all Octavias. However, in reality, expect around 55mpg.
From 2017, Dynamic Chassis Control was offered as an option on all engines over 148bhp (badged 150 and upwards). It offers Normal, Comfort and Sport modes but don’t pay a premium for it since the standard set-up is perfectly good.
Depending on trim, all Octavias came with elements of the Simply Clever range, comprising an ice scraper, a warning vest holder, a rubbish bin and a multimedia holder. It’s worth checking they’re present and not simply missing…