What are you driving?
A sporty five-door family hatchback, powered by a 1.0-litre engine... Hear me out. It's the Skoda Octavia, equipped with a 1.0-litre TSI petrol powerplant under the bonnet and fitted with the optional Sport Package - and it has been one of the surprise test cars of the year. In Ambition specification it's one of the lowest priced examples of the Octavia (priced from €22,880), yet we'd argue it's one of the most interesting, certainly for those that have realised that diesel power isn't for them. Here, the 115hp engine is fitted to a Style model and then the Sport Package is added after. That includes a black boot spoiler, tactile three-spoke steering wheel from the Octavia RS, tasteful sports seats, 17-inch 'Hawk' alloy wheels, black door mirrors, rear privacy glass and bi-Xenon headlights, all for just €1,495. The cost of the test car is €25,730.
Name its best bits
The Octavia remains a great all-rounder in general, with a huge boot, decent interior accommodation and high quality on its side. It's also good value. None of that has changed here. The 1.0-litre engine is a real gem though, giving the Octavia loads of performance (check out our video embedded here, in which Skoda fools unsuspecting test drivers into thinking it's a 1.8-litre under the bonnet) yet low running costs. It's also very quiet and refined unless you're really pushing it on, in which case it has bags of character. The chassis works well with this, marrying decent ride comfort with impressive ground-covering ability regardless of the surface underneath. It may not be the most engaging thing in the world to drive, but it's competent and assured in all circumstances.
Anything that bugs you?
Virtually nothing about the car itself, just the fact that Skoda has already unveiled a significant update to the Octavia for later in 2017 and its headlight design is dividing opinion. Hopefully it looks better in the metal.
And why have you given it this rating?
The Skoda Octavia is a great family hatchback and buyers should seriously look at their annual mileage and the type of driving they do before committing to the default diesel options. The 1.0-litre TSI petrol version is far quieter at low speeds and yet more rewarding to drive everywhere. It may even be the pick of the Octavia line-up.
I want to know more
Go to our Ask Us Anything page, send us a question and we'll give you as much detail as you need on any specific aspect of the Skoda Octavia 1.0 TSI.