I USE my phone for pretty much everything these days.
It’s a typewriter, a dictaphone, a camera and a wallet.
It’s also a satnav, a Sony Walkman, a games console, a footie results checker and a love-o-meter.
It’s also handy for calls, of course. But there’s no denying smartphones are the ultimate multi-purpose tool for the all-in-one age.
A bit like this Skoda Octavia. Because not only is it a sporty GTI, it’s an electric car AND a family estate.
Three-in-one. Which makes it one of the most versatile cars on sale today.
Let’s start by discussing the full Sunday name: Octavia vRS iV Estate.
Now, we all know Skoda is part of the Volkswagen family and vRS is the equivalent of GTI at VW. Easy.
But iV doesn’t mean four in Roman numerals for 4WD or fourth-generation Octavia, as one might reasonably assume.
It means “electrified model” in Skoda language. In this case, a plug-in hybrid with an electric-only range of up to 38 miles.
Which means it’s future-proof because Boris will allow plug-in hybrids until 2035.
As for performance, the 1.4-litre petrol engine and 85kW electric motor kick out 245 horses. Tidy.
You’ll find the same combo in a Golf GTE. Note. The standard Golf GTI is also 245 horsepower.
I’ll admit the battery pack adds serious weight and you sit a little higher compared to a plain petrol vRS.
But it’s still a quick car and dispatches middle-lane morons with ease.
The electric gubbins also eat into the boot space: 490 litres compared to 640 litres in the non-hybrid estate. Another compromise for being green but still big enough for all the usual family debris.
Also, ignore the quite frankly ridiculous 176mpg — that’s a lab test. But I returned 40mpg, which is decent in my book.
At this point, I should also tell you this car is front-wheel drive. Only the 200hp diesel vRS is four-wheel drive. The Octavia is also available as a saloon.
But whichever model you choose, you are guaranteed rock-solid reliability, which is why cabbies and 999 crews love them. Now let’s have a poke around inside.
Skoda punches massively above its weight in terms of quality and value for money and the cabin is jammed with all the good stuff, including nicely trimmed vRS seats, smart digital driver’s display, wireless Apple CarPlay and all sorts of other kit to make life easier.
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You could be sitting in an Audi. Being a family car, there are Isofix fixings front and back for Mini-me x 3. If you need more, I suggest you get a Kodiaq. And some contraception.
Once the Covid crisis clears and we can actually view motors again, I promise you won’t go far wrong with an Octavia, new or used. I’d happily have one.
Until then, you can search it on your phone.
SKODA OCTAVIA vRS iV ESTATE
Engine: 1.4-litre petrol plug-in hybrid
0-62mph: 7.3 secs
Top speed: 139mph
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