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Skoda's new Octavia picks up where the old one left off, but with small steps forward in most areas.
For a car in the Ford Focus's lower medium class it's positively cavernous, with major space for rear occupants and a monstrous boot that, at 590 litres, is 240 larger than the VW Golf it shares its underpinnings and powertrains with.
We've sampled the DSG automatic version of the top 150hp diesel that costs £1250 more than the manual, and is 6.1mpg less efficient, adding 13g/km to CO2, although it's still at just 119g/km.
It's a great all-rounder, and the engine and gearbox work well together to form a decent package, but there's nothing wrong with the cheaper and more efficient manual, while the equipment on the core SE spec is reasonable without being generous.
It's worth noting, too, that the equivalent Seat Leon, built using the same powertrain and underpinnings, is 2.3p per mile cheaper thanks to a lower price and better RVs and insurance group.
Excellent all-round package, but manual is cheaper and just as good