Skoda Octavia (1959 – 1971) Review

Skoda Octavia (1959 – 1971) At A Glance


+Much better to drive than you might think

-A little too rare in the UK when new - and certainly so now

Closely developed from the earlier 440, when it appeared in 1959, the Skoda Octavia actually looked a lot fresher than it really was. However it remained a worthy car, so-named because it was the eighth in a line of small cars made by the Czechoslovakian manufacturer. As well as the standard car, a Super version was offered, although though this, too, was based on an old car – the 445. A higher lift camshaft, new inlet and exhaust manifolds, twin carburettors, bigger valves and a higher compression ratio delivered extra performance.

If neither the standard or Super models were enough, buyers could specify the quicker and more focused Octavia TS (Touring Sport). Powered by a 50bhp twin-carburettor engine taken from the Felicia soft-top, it was fun to drive. Although the trio of Octavias was essentially variations of the same car – the faster models always seemed worth their premium. At first, the engine used was the familiar 1089cc unit but from 1961, this was uprated to a 1221cc powerplant, which also appeared in the Felicia – itself a variation of the Octavia.

Ask Honest John

Is a 1.0-litre engine strong enough for lots of motorway miles?

"I do approximately 14,000 miles per year, mostly long distance driving. Is the 1.0 TSI engine in a Skoda Octavia suitable for this type of use?"
Many modern cars use small turbocharged engines rather than larger non-turbocharged alternatives, and although the engine capacity might seem insufficient, in truth the turbocharger more than makes up for the smaller cylinders. The Octavia Estate with the 110PS engine isn't the quickest - 0-62mph takes around 10 seconds, but unless you plan to drive flat out on the motorway all the time you should find this engine is more than adequate. Alternatively you could take a step up to the 1.5 TSI version, which offers 150PS. If in doubt, take a test drive including some motorway miles to put your mind at rest.
Answered by David Ross

What is the best car for motorway journeys?

"What is the best car for lots of motorway miles? The car must have a big boot, AWD/ 4WD and be comfortable. My budget is £20,000. "
A Skoda Octavia Scout could be a good option. It's a comfortable and practical 4x4 estate car with an efficient diesel engine. Your budget will get you an example from around 2018. Alternatively, consider whether you really need four-wheel drive. 4x4s tend to be more expensive to buy and run, and will be unnecessary for motorway journeys.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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