Skoda Octavia 1.4 TSI SE

The punchy turbocharged Skoda Octavia 1.4 TSI offers great pace - but it could be cheaper

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

The new Skoda Octavia is a great car and the 1.4-litre TSI is arguably the best engine in the line-up, as it combines impressive pace with good economy. But it’s not available in entry-level S trim, so most buyers would be better off going with the 1.2 TSI – it will save them £2,400 for only a small drop in power.

Until the arrival of the high-performance vRS – which is expected to feature a 220bhp 2.0-litre TSI – the largest petrol engine you can get in the latest Skoda Octavia is this 1.4-litre TSI.

That’s not necessarily a problem, though, because the little turbo punches well above its weight, delivering 0-62mph in only 8.1 seconds and 134mph flat out. That should be plenty of performance for most.

Fuel economy is impressive, too. Skoda claims this model will average 53mpg – not bad considering the Octavia is easily the most spacious car in its class, with a 590-litre boot that’s bigger than a Ford Mondeo’s.

Plus, the 1.4-litre TSI’s smooth and quiet nature and slick six-speed manual gearbox complement the newcomer’s improved refinement, interior quality and handling.

All this is good. What’s not so good is that the 1.4-litre TSI isn’t available in the entry-level S trim, which has all the kit you really need. If it was, it could be the pick of the Octavia range. Sadly, you can only get it in SE trim and above, which means it starts from £18,390. That’s almost £2,500 more than the cheapest 1.2 TSI.

Admittedly, the smaller-engined car lacks the pace and mid-range punch of the 1.4 and, in the real world, will probably cost slightly more in fuel as you have to work the engine harder.

But for most people, Skodas are more about value than performance. For those who demand the former, we’d go for the 1.2 TSI – and those who prefer the latter should hang on for the vRS…

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