Skoda Octavia vRS: Size matters

Bigger is better

The Octavia is a difficult car to pigeonhole. In terms of price and equipment levels it competes strongly with hatchbacks such as the Ford Focus and Honda Civic. But when it comes to size (both inside and out) it's on a par with larger cars like the Renault Laguna and Vauxhall Vectra.

It's no surprise therefore, that Skoda is keen to promote the Octavia as representing plenty of car for your money. Potential buyers will be bowled over by the amount of space inside (in particular passenger and boot), especially if they are comparing it to something like a Volkswagen Golf.

Easy parking

This is good news when it comes to practicality - but what happens if you're not used to driving and manoeuvring something that bit bigger? It can be daunting for motorists who only have experience of smaller cars, particularly in situtations such as multi-storey car parks.

However, thanks to a tight turning circle and good forward visibility slotting the Octavia into a space nose first is simple. Reversing can be a little trickier however - so I'm pleased I opted for the rear parking sensors. True, they cost an extra £265 but they're invaluable in tight situations and ensure the red paintwork at the back stays scratch-free. I'd definitely recommend them.

But what you can't specify on the Octavia is electrically folding door mirrors - which seems quite bizarre when they're available on most Volkswagen and SEAT models. The mirrors are electrically adjustable and heated but you have to fold them manually. This is a shame as it's a useful feature in tight spaces or when parked on a narrow road.

Current mileage: 8342