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Skoda has upped its green game again with the introduction of its second-generation Greenline range, which sees the Octavia Greenline II emit 99g/km CO2 and return an official fuel consumption figure of 74.3mpg. That means 13% BIK tax and VED exemption.
These eco-friendly figures have been achieved by optimised aerodynamics, low rolling-resistance tyres, longer gearing and revised weight distribution. In addition the ride height has been lowered by 13mm to improve airflow around the car, says Skoda.
There's only one trim level for Greenline II iterations, with standard equipment including leather steering wheel, cruise control, tinted glass, touch-screen radio, CD changer, trip computer and Isofix child Seat fittings.
On the road, the 1.6 TDI 105hp engine doesn't suffer much for being super-efficient, accelerating comfortably, and although it doesn't scream for a sixth gear, it wouldn't go amiss on motorways. Handling and steering response are both good, while as an indicator of its fuel efficiency, the screen showed 650 miles until empty on a full tank, a figure that didn't shift on our 50-mile test drive route.
Skoda has been doing interiors well for a while now, and the Octavia, with its smart, clean design lines and audio and climate controls that are easy to use and uncluttered, is no exception. It also excels on boot space, the 560 litres comparing more than favourably with the 350 litres found in a Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion and 341 litres in a Seat Leon Ecomotive. Unlike a handful of premium cars, a simple tug of the grab handle shuts the boot with no effort.
The Octavia is, strictly speaking, a lower medium car, and for comparison purposes it is put up against the Volkswagen Golf, Seat Leon and Toyota Auris here. However, in terms of size, it falls between the Golf and Passat, measuring 4315mm in length compared with 4199mm for the former and 4769mm for the latter.
Despite weaker residual values than its rivals, the Octavia comes a close second in the cost-per-mile challenge, at 41.5ppm compared with 41.4ppm for the Seat Leon Ecomotive. Both of these VW Group brands are quickly gaining momentum against the stable-mate Volkswagen marque.
The Octavia, with its ample space and green credentials, makes a very wise choice for the family-orientated business driver.