10: Skoda Octavia – a firm Irish favourite keeps getting better

Top cars for 2018: Cabin gets better and better and underlines in the value for money proposition

 

Skoda just keeps rising and rising up the Irish sales charts, and unlike the sudden peaks and troughs of those who have used depreciation-happy special offers to achieve that kind of success, Skoda seems to have gotten here more or less on word of mouth.

Clearly, at some point, there’s going to be some kind of reckoning with its VW overlords if the Octavia starts eating too hungrily into Golf sales, but for now it’s a welcome Czech success. Updated in 2017, the Octavia received a somewhat controversial quad-headlamp nose.

It’s kinda-sorta meant to represent intricate Czech glass and crystal work, but to be honest just looks a touch awkward. Buy yours in a dark metallic (which everyone does anyway) and it won’t look too bad.

The cabin just gets better and better, in terms of quality and the latest generation of touchscreens really adds class to what is, let’s not forget, still a something of a bargain.

Best engine by far is a 115hp 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit, a near-perfect match of car and powerplant. Estate has massive 600-litre-plus boot, while Scout is all the 4x4 you’d ever actually need.

Best model: 1.0 TSI 115hp Ambition

Prices start from: €19,750

Finance package from: €219

CO2 emissions: 99-149g/km

Sum-up: It’s gone a little ugly at the front, but the Octavia’s got it where it counts.