Skoda Octavia GreenLine

30 Oct, 2009 3:29pm

Skoda brings in eco tweaks to boost family car.

Verdict

The GreenLine tweaks make one of our favourite family cars even better. Low emissions and strong fuel economy help to slash running costs, and add to the great handling, impressive spec and superb quality. The estate is practical, too – and when you consider the competitive price, this eco-friendly Octavia is sure to prove a big hit.

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.

Disqus - noscript

I'm not knocking this car as it's very good, but why would anyone buy one in preference to an Octavia 1.6Tdi 'Elegance' ?

The Elegance model has a CO2 figure only marginally higher at 119 g/km and therefore still falls in the low 13% company car tax band and the low £35 per anum road tax band.

They are around the same price (about £300 difference) but the Elegance is much better equipped.

A colleague of mine had to make this choice recently and went for the Elegance because as a company car driver there was no benefit in the Greenline other than 5g/km less CO2. He did as I would do and went for the extra kit such as CD changer and Dual zone climate control amongst other things with little extra impact on the environment.

I just drove one of these 420 miles and it averaged 67 mpg through stop start traffic down the M1 and through parts of London. The car has a stunning 1,000 mile range. Prior to that on a 120 mile motorway run it averaged 74 mpg.

Key specs

* 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

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