It’s the Skoda that will turn rivals green with envy. Both the Superb and Fabia have already received the Czech firm’s eco-friendly GreenLine treatment – now, it’s the Octavia’s turn.
First impressions of the low-emissions estate we drove are good – only a subtle badge and smaller-diameter, low-rolling-resistance tyres separate the GreenLine from other models.
But under the bonnet it’s all change. This Octavia gets a new 1.6-litre TDI diesel, mated to a five-speed manual box with longer ratios, which improves its eco credentials across the board.
Crucially, CO2 output is rated at only 114g/km, which will cut tax bills for the company drivers the GreenLine is being aimed at.
That’s not to say it doesn’t make sense for private buyers, though. A year’s road tax costs £35, while claimed economy is impressive, at 64.2mpg.
On the road, the GreenLine demands few compromises. The new common-rail diesel is very smooth. And although the 11.9-second 0-62mph time is only average, the healthy 250Nm of torque means strong response for overtaking, despite the longer ratios. As with other Octavias, this model handles well, with lots of grip, and has a comfortable ride. The steering could do with a bit more feel, but overall the car is a fine all-rounder, particularly in estate guise.
The GreenLine starts at £16,610 for the hatch. That’s around £700 more than the Octavia 1.6 TDI – a premium Skoda believes many buyers will be happy to pay for such a strong blend of performance and low running costs.
* Price: £18,740
* Engine: 1.6-litre 4cyl turbodiesel
* Power/torque: 105bhp/250Nm
* Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel drive
* 0-62/top spd: 11.9 secs/118mph
* Econ/CO2: 64.2mpg/114g/km
* Standard equipment: Cruise control, 15-inch alloy wheels, trip computer, touchscreen audio
* On sale: Now