Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Our Fleet Test Drive: Skoda Octavia vRS - 3rd Report Update
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Our Fleet Test Drive: Skoda Octavia vRS - 3rd Report Update

Date: 04 March 2008   |   Author: Hugh Hunston

[2] The lack of a speedo/clock light symbol on the instrument panel signalled the optional £180 cruise control was inoperative

It's been cold in the mornings and that's causing something to whine and screech...

4 MARCH 2008
Mileage 7063
Forecast CPM 32.3p
Actual CPM 30.9p
Our Octavia developed an unnerving cold morning whine/screech from its steering while on full right or left lock. Ceases when rolling, and apparently down to “fluids warming up”.

Main Report - 21 February 2008

If the Octavia, celebrating a decade in the market this year, is the model that earned Skoda business car credibility, this vRS diesel variant enhances it, with the robust 170PS 2.0-litre diesel, sporty styling additions and six-speed transmission combination making particular fleet sector logic.

An initially baulky gear change has become increasingly slick, while the handsome red wagon's flexibility and mid-range punch is rewarding. Brisk, rural, after-dark driving in wet and windy conditions underlines the chassis' balance and accuracy, too, and the previously criticised, harsh-riding 18-inch wheels generate ample grip.

Skoda Octavia estate_Page 29.gif

The estate's departure within a month will be regretted, thanks to a blend of performance, practicality, economy and general lack of real hassle over the past 7000 miles.

But it's not perfect.

While the standard non-xenon headlights' range and spread provide a very real safety asset, other lights coming on and going off have prompted concern. First, the oil-warning indicator flashed up just before Christmas, at 6400 miles (two litres of Castrol Magnatec solved the problem), then the front nearside sidelight bulb failed [1] along with its offside reversing counterpart. Jewsons of Oxford (fleet specialists) efficiently replaced the pair, but for £10.21 because bulbs are disappointingly beyond the warranty remit, even after just a few months.

Frost was cited as a recurring cause - strange for a car built in a country where double-digit sub-zero temperatures are commonplace. The Octavia was, though, washed and cleaned without charge, which compensated for me having to drop off and pick up the car because I live two miles outside the collect and delivery service territory of Jewsons, which is my nearest Skoda dealer.

Shortly afterward the lack of a speedo/clock light symbol on the instrument panel [2] signalled the optional £180 cruise control was inoperative, but the glitch repaired itself and restored the function. Skoda's health and safety unit has also missed the lack of a warning light or chime for front seat passengers not belting up, but these are small faults in a good car.