Archive for March, 2014|Monthly archive page

Handsome Octavia re-tested

In BMW, Skoda on March 22, 2014 at 8:45 pm

HandsomeI spent two days behind the wheel of a 5 Speed Octavia 1.6 diesel last week.

What surprised me most of all was the total absence of wind noise around the door mirrors which blighted the first one I tried a few months back.

The small engine is no match for my 2.0 litre BMW unit, but after two days I think I can say I like this more than my 320 Touring!

The ride was excellent, there’s a neat readout between the instruments which means one seldom takes a wrong turning, and the stereo was better than the one in my car too.

The seats were supremely comfortable and the economy was an exact match for my company car at 51 mpg.

night skoda

Okay it was painfully slow, but once whipped up to 70 mph it was fine.

I’m left wondering if I could have saved a fortune on my company car tax bill.

Well done Skoda.


best MPV ever?

In Honda on March 3, 2014 at 7:16 am

CNV00049 (1)Nine years ago I bought my first ever Multi Purpose Vehicle, or people carrier.

I was looking for something quick, and agile.

At the time most people chose the Ford Galaxy, Seat Alhambra, or VW Sharan.

The jointly developed triumvirate where great people carriers, but not so hot on back roads and corners.

The 7 seat Honda Stream wasn’t brilliant at caring seven, but it was a really engaging enthusiasts car.  It came with a 150 bhp engine, 5 speed gear box and acres of space.

I used mine as a glorified delivery vehicle cum rep’s car.  Bought as a 3 year old second hand car it looked after me well for a year generally giving over 30 mpg from the petrol engine.

I liked the shape, the controls, passengers liked it too.  The rear row collapsed into the floor, which was something a Galaxy couldn’t offer at the time.

A year later I replaced this Hendy Lennox sourced example for a new one from Trident Honda in Weybridge. Both dealerships were helpful, and the former had a great service team .

My only problems were cracked fog lights (made of glass and at low level), sticking water squirters in cold winters, and curiously less mpg from the newer car.

You can pick up a first class second hand one now for between £2000 and £4000, which is great value.  Avoid the end of the line 2006 editions which became 6 seaters, and lacked the earlier electric sun roof and separate rear compartment air conditioning!