by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
The Mercury Cars Guide : March 28th 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009 Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au of small car market small torque SKODAOCTAVIA Price:From$26,990to $38,290 Body: Five-door liftback, five-door stationwagon Engine: 1.6-litre four cylinder petrol75kW/ 148Nm;1.8-litre four cylinder petrol118kW/ 250Nm;2-litre turbodiesel103kw/ 320NM Transmission: 6-speed manual, 7-speedPDK Economy:7.8L/100km (1.6);6.7L/100km(1.8); 5.7L/100km(2.0) Star rating: (7/10) driving A blindfolded test drive in the latest Octavia would peg it as a Volkswagen. Or maybe an Audi. So it’s a good car and thenew price makes it a good deal. The cabin quality is first class and a match for Japanese cars at a similar price, the chassis is solid and stable, and the mechanical packages work well. Even the $26,990 car comes with six airbags, ESP stability GOOD VALUE: Octavia’s new sharper price tag could just be the bait needed to win over Aussie buyers. control and a new-style sound system. Skoda claims the car isahalf- size about the $20,000 compacts, but it is really a Golf with a bit more boot space. TheDSGgearbox is also a bit jerky, particularly when park- ing or trying to ease away on a slight uphill grade. And the 2-litre diesel gets along well with heaps of torque, but is well behind the class leaders on refinement. In short, it rattles. The performance of the 1.6 is nothing special but the 1.8 petrol motor goes well and is well-matched to a car with a lot of cornering grip, the seats have good support, and there is a lot of standard equipment. It’s a good car that should do better in Australia, and will do better once people are prepared to take a (slight) risk on the brand and badge. The sharper new price could be just the right bait to land them. CARSguide —13 Aiming to build cult following ARAUNCHYCzech compactis the pointer to the future of Skoda in Australia. The Fabia RS Concept was revealed at the Geneva Motor Show last month and is being targeted as the best way to bring the Skoda starter car to Australia. The RS uses the 1.4-litre TSI sports engine from the Volkswagen Group, with a combination of a supercharger and turbocharger, as well as a body kit which pumps the car out to a similar look to the Czech company’s latest S2000 rally chal- lenger. ‘‘We’ve said this is where we need to be with the Fabia to make it work in Australia,’’ says the head of Skoda, Math- ew Wiesner. ‘‘If we can get a hero car like that then it could be a better option, to feed the car in from the top down. ‘‘Particularly given that many of our colleagues in the industry have been looking at going the other way.’’ The Fabia RS, is headed for the road in Europe next year and Mr Wiesner would like to get it as soon as possible. ‘‘The timing is 2010 in Europe so it would be the second half of 2010, at the earliest, for us,’’ he said. But work on the regular Fabia models is still stalling on prices, as Skoda would need to get the car well under the $20,000 price point and away from the Volkswa- gen Golf. ‘‘Once we’ve got more information on the RS we might re-think the Fabia strategy,’’ he said. ‘‘We know how cars like this can go in Australia, with the cult following for cars like the Subaru WRX. ‘‘Itwouldbe good to built that sort of cult status with a Fabia.’’ PAUL GOVER
March 21st 2009
April 4th 2009