Skoda Octavia GreenLine review

17 May, 2014 7:00am Jack Rix

Skoda Octavia GreenLine promises 88mpg, but demands a few compromises


The Skoda Octavia GreenLine isn’t particularly exciting to look at, or drive, but if your priorities are value for money, interior space and low running costs, it’s hard to fault. The dynamics are just as polished as the standard car’s, as is the interior, while fuel economy shows the outer edges of what’s possible in a combustion-engined car. It represents everything Skoda stands for, which makes it the pick of the range.

If there’s one thing you expect from a new Skoda GreenLine model, it’s a big improvement in running costs. But along with impressive gains in economy and CO2 emissions, the new Octavia GreenLine promises more power and a step up in performance, too.

It uses the same 1.6-litre diesel engine you’ll find in other versions of the Skoda Octavia, but with an extra 5bhp, which takes the total to 109bhp – plus there’s a six-speed manual gearbox in place of the standard five-speed.

It’s enough to knock one-tenth-of-a-second off the 0-62mph time, but more importantly, the headline figures are 88.3mpg and 85g/km of CO2, matching the VW Golf BlueMotion as the most economical non-hybrid car in its class. Being a Skoda, though, it’s also a lot more spacious and cheaper.

Fitting an extra ratio in the gearbox and adding fuel-saving technology such as stop-start, low-rolling-resistance tyres and brake energy regeneration has enabled Skoda to dramatically improve efficiency over the 74.3mpg and 99g/km 1.6 TDI standard model on which it’s based.

Skoda Octavia GreenLine rear action

The newcomer also obliterates the previous Octavia GreenLine’s claims of 64.2mpg and 114g/km of CO2. As a result, it’s exempt from tax, plus has some of the cheapest company car costs of any diesel, with a 14 per cent Benefit in Kind rate.

Given such phenomenal economy, you might imagine that the driving experience has become a bit rough around the edges, but that’s not the case. Okay, so the engine can feel a bit sluggish when you let the revs drop, but when you get going it provides decent shove, without too much rattle from under the bonnet. The steering is light and precise, the manual gearshift has a well oiled action and the tyres offer lots of grip in corners, despite their slightly harder compound rubber.

If we have one complaint, it’s that the ride doesn’t feel as cosseting as a Golf’s. Show the GreenLine a relatively smooth surface and it will waft along with little fuss, but hit a bump and less sound deadening means you not only feel the jolt, but hear it too. The interior is simple, and only available in black, but the fit and finish is excellent.

Skoda Octavia GreenLine interior

All models come with a responsive 5.8-inch colour touchscreen, climate control, Bluetooth and rear parking sensors, but sat-nav is on the options list. It’s £550 for the most basic set-up or £1,350 for the Columbus system, with a bigger eight-inch screen.

The amount of passenger and luggage space is second to none. A 590-litre boot is in a different league to the Golf’s 380 litres, and it expands to 1,580 litres with the seats down – just 40 litres behind the Golf Estate.

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It seems odd to review an economy focused car without testing it's economy. The quoted NDEC figures are of no use except for fooling the tax man.

For private buyers the tax is currently the same for both the Greenline and SE Business (£0/year) and if the Greenline version has downsides then it's important to know the actual decrease in fuel consumption you get from it. If it only gets 2mpg more for example than it may not even pay for itself, let alone be worth compromising for.

A boring car just got even more dull.

Good cure for insomnia, though.

The quoted NDEC figures are just an indication of potential relative to the NDEC figures of other cars. They have never been cIaimed to be anything else. I can usually better them with careful driving.

Boring apart from the money saved from driving an economical car can be spent on doing something more interesting than sitting in traffic in an "exciting" car.

I'll try not to spend the £1.50 per week all at once. 88mpg...bollox.

You can spend yours on arithmetic lessons.

That was just about believable five years ago, these days it's clear that different manufacturers are gaming the test by different amounts.

Given previous reports on the Octavia it's likely to average around high fifties, maybe 60mpg. Having an NEDC figure 50% higher than actual MPG is not the same across ranges. Just look at a more honest company like Subaru for example, their NEDC figures are much, much closer to reported averages.

You can see why manufacturers do it, it has the practical benefit of reducing tax, gets the sale from trusting buyers and takes the fuel economy out of the question by sowing uncertainty among those who have less standardised reports to rely on.

But reviewers should be questioning this, I appreciate doing a standard test may be a bridge too far (especially with WLTP coming in a year or two) and margins of error aren't small when driving normally but just finding out whether there's a big fuel consumption difference between the greenline and standard would be a valuable addition to the review.

Not needed, due to my engineering degree, Mr keyboard warrior. It "promises" 88mpg.

Just a question to Jack Rix (Autoexpress)? Do you guys verify figures before publishing them or just copy-paste the press releases. Peugeot 308 is the cleanest non-hybrid on sale in the UK as well as anywhere else in my knowledge.
You would expect a (professional) journalist to know better. But what do you know? Now talk about believing Autoexpress reviews especially when it comes to cars from the Volkswagen Group that they over-rate to no end.


Is there any need for your incessant remarks on every Skoda, VW, Audi or Seat review/report? I think you have serious vag issues....

"Promises" is editorial error.
Anyone who knows anything at all about engineering understands that mpg figures quoted are the results of a standard test that gives a certain amount of standardisation and gives an indication of the relative fuel consumption between cars. Therefore a car that achieves 88mpg in the standard test will be capable of giving better mpg than another car that achieves 60. You would have to be pretty slow to believe that the figures are a suggestion of what can be achieved in all conditions.

And very basic arithmetic will tell anyone that the the benefits of improved fuel consumption scale with miles driven and any arbitrary number suggested is so simplistic as to be ridiculous. So a high miler makes savings pretty quickly, not to mention reduced RFL.

As for keyboard warrior, really? Be sensible. Remember who first weighed in with "bollox".

They are all gaming the test. In 2014 buyers are all savvy to mpg figures. The tax reduction comes from C02 emissions.

I've not driven a car yet where I haven't been able to better their quoted figures.

Is your definition of a troll "someone who has a different point of view from yourself" ?

Is there any need for incessant talking up of VW products in the writing on this site?

Oh wait, yes there is. See the button on the menu bar at the top.

Unfortunately NH, Monkey tennis has a bit of a reputation for trolling, especially for anything that mentions the merest hint of Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda or Seat, basically everyday cars that lots of people like can afford to buy & have good residuals.

I would suggest that Monkey tennis, is a bitter & twisted owner of something that doesn't quite hit the mark or should it be marque when it comes to quality & VFM.

It's true, they do all game the test. Only some seem better than others at this... I think EndlessWaves' main point was you can't get a useful comparison, which the NEDC used to give you, even if it didn't represent much in the real world.

I'm also sick and tired of the illogical anti German trolls. However, unlike the posts that are written purely out of xenophobic hate, the OP has a vallid point. The 308 has an official g/km output of 82 which is less than the Skoda/VW!

In a word, yes.

Nothing I say ever bothers you, does it? I quite like Seats, by the way. But I find the other 3 lack imagination, worthy though they are. . Sorry if that upsets you. I eagerly await your next load of drivel.

Keep proving my point, drama queen.

The test measures CO2 emissions and the MPG is calculated from that measurement, hence my comment about the tax.

You're the one who keeps spouting out loads of drivel.

That's why you keep getting mauled on here, you're minor keyboard warrior.

Personally I just consider you to be the internet version of Thrush & Haemorrhoids, in that you're highly irritating and right pain in the backside.

Listen to yourself.

Key specs

  • Price: £20,300
  • Engine: 1.6-litre, 4cyl turbodiesel
  • Power: 109bhp
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
  • 0-62mph: 10.7 seconds
  • Top speed: 122mph
  • Economy/CO2: 88.3mpg/85g/km
  • On sale: Now