THERE are many shades of ‘green’ in the increasingly competitive battle to make more environmentally friendly motors.
Skoda, though, is so confident its low carbon range is one of the greenest the company has even put it in the name.
There are Greenline versions of all the Czech car makers’ range – and it’s reasonable to assume that the most significant of these will be the Octavia Greenline.
The Octavia is Skoda’s most successful car ever and, since it was re-introduced into the fold 15 years ago, has provided the backbone of a remarkable design and engineering renaissance.
Straddling the hugely significant family and fleet markets as it does, it is ideally placed to appeal to those most likely to be looking for the savings that new fuel-efficient and eco-friendly technologies provide.
In the case of the Octavia Hatch Greenline II some of those efficiencies are quite startling for a mid-sized family motor.
An automatic start/stop function and braking energy recuperation are included in a whole host of features designed to reduce emissions and running costs with optimised aerodynamics, low rolling-resistance tyres, longer gearing and revised weight distribution also in the mix.
The result is that a full tank of fuel can keep you on the road for nearly 900 miles at a mightily impressive average of more than 74 miles per gallon, while carbon emissions are pegged back to a minimal 99g/km – meaning exemption from vehicle excise duty and low company car tax bills.
Those figures obviously played a kep part in earning the Greenline the latest in a long list of gongs for the Octavia when the experts at green motoring website NextGreenCar.com named it the small family car of the year.
No doubt the judges recognised that, as well as being easy on the pocket and better for the planet, the Octavia Greenline still offers some solid performance.
It might not be the quickest off the mark, with a 0-62mph time of 11.4 seconds, but it is no slouch either and the 1.6-litre diesel power train proves very durable and willing once you are up and running.
Trundling around in town traffic is handled with ease while a top speed of 119mph suggests that you won’t be found wanting on the open road or motorway either, and that proves to be the case.
The ride is comfortable and refined with the Octavia’s suspension smoothing out most of the road imperfections while providing plenty of grip. Road and wind noise are also restricted to non-troublesome levels.
There’s plenty of steering wheel and seat adjustment to allow anyone to get comfortable to drive while all-round visibility is good.
And, typical of the new generation of Skodas, the interior has bags of space and is functional and unfussy - but with a reassuringly high-quality feel.
The dashboard and central control panel are simplicity itself to navigate and incorporate the familiar Skoda ‘Bolero’ touchscreen radio with six CD interchanger, which is particularly user-friendly.
Other standard equipment for the Greenline II is quite basic but does include leather steering wheel, manual air conditioning, front electric windows, cruise control, alloy wheels and tinted glass.
Front and side airbags and ABS look after safety – although you’ll have to pay extra (£305) to get curtain airbags too.
And while a few of those little luxury extras that some rivals may offer are missing as well, there is no disputing the fact that the Octavia Greenline is well worth consideration for those looking to reduce the cost of their motoring and/or their carbon footprint without having to downsize to the supermini sector.
Skoda Octavia Hatch Greenline II 1.6 TDI CR
Mechanical: 105bhp, 1,598cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via a 5-speed manual gearbox