View Full Version : 2014 Skoda Octavia Wagon Rental Edition

November 29th, 2014, 09:14 PM
A bit late for this, given that it was rented in May 2014, but anyway.

Pick-up from Avis in Victoria Bus Station (London) was very smooth as usual. Brand new with something like 14 or 25 miles on the clock. Extreme poverty-spec rental silver with 16" (I think) steelies covered with plastics, no reversing sensors, and I don't even think it had power windows. I assume that the stereo was a base level model but it had a 4+" LCD screen AUX-IN, Bluetooth etc. so that was all good, although it was slightly fiddly. The built-in USB port couldn't charge the phones (but in fairness most in-built USB ports don't seem to be able to) and I think it did read USB sticks fine.

The car itself was very easy to drive, and eminently practical. It had a good turning circle, great visibility all-around, super-easy to operate clutch and plenty of torque from down low, like all diesels. The suspension and so on were rather soft, steering not terribly communicative, and there was definitely understeer at anything over 70%, but that's obviously not how this car is meant to be driven. While bombing up and down the motorways it took all sorts of clobber for 3 adults and a toddler with aplomb, and there were no complaints about the fabric seats, seating/driving positions, etc. The interior materials were certainly serviceable - though not great, it looked like wiping things off wouldn't be a problem, so it was (and would be) good for outdoor activities and children. The stock (super-basic) headlights could have been brighter, but they worked fine.

The only bad thing about the experience was that a large stone hit the windscreen on the M4 back into London, so I had to pay GBP250 to replace that as I had decided not to spend GBP100 or so on all-in (no excess) insurance. But that's just bad luck and oviously didn't have anything to do with the car.

I can see why they have done so well, and if I lived in London I'd probably put a nearly-new one, albeit with slightly better spec and a decent warranty, at the top of my list if I needed a beater for biking/family stuff. However, I'd still definitely want a second car for pure driving enjoyment.