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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Right - have come back from the test drive of the Saab 9-3ss 1.8i and the Octavia vRS Estate. (See 9-3ss section for my thoughts on the Saab).

I must be getting old - I think I have ruled the Octavia out of the running, for my choice to replace my company VW Passat 2.0SE. It was not as quick as I was expecting - especially from low speeds and in second gear. Mid range was what I would have expected though. I drove a Leon Cupra 180BHP a while back, and that was definately quicker - I expected them to be very similar given that the engine's pretty much the same, but the Octavia seemed a bit sluggish. Obviously, a lot quicker than my Passat, but low down felt no quicker than a 150BHP 1.8T Golf I drove recently. I even wondered if there was something wrong with the car I test drove. Good turbo whistle though

Problem I have is I always compare fast cars with my old 2.3 9000 Carlsson. Even the 180BHP Leon Cupra felt lacking compared to the Carly. There seems to be nothing I can afford which gives me that power surge. Apart from possibly a standing start where the Carly always struggled to get the power down, the Carlsson would beat this Octavia in all other speed increments. Not so sure about the twisties though


Handling was probably on a par with the Saab 9-3 sports saloon, though I believe the hatch has a different setup, and will be stiffer than the estate.

Quality of materials and finish were excellent in the Octavia (as I expected) - a lot of the switches feeling higher quality than the Saab.

This inevitably pushes me more towards the Superb. I like the comfort of my Passat, though would like more pace. The Superb PD130 Comfort gives me the comfort, the quality, the pace, with loads more goodies thrown in Shame I can't test drive one just to be sure Think I'll get hold of other Skoda dealers to see if they have a demo. Some dealers seem to think it is acceptable to order a car you haven't even test driven!
 

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You rule out the Octavia vRS on the basis it does not feel quick enough, and now you consider a Superb?

What are your criteria, Kev? The Superb is unlikely to be as quicky as the vRS. The Seat Leon Cupra is supposed to be good fun, and it has a hatch, just like Saabs used to
 

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Problem I have is I always compare fast cars with my old 2.3 9000 Carlsson. Even the 180BHP Leon Cupra felt lacking compared to the Carly. There seems to be nothing I can afford which gives me that power surge. Apart from possibly a standing start where the Carly always struggled to get the power down, the Carlsson would beat this Octavia in all other speed increments. Not so sure about the twisties though[/b]
Kev, there's little out there (with less than 4.0litres anyway!) that can match the 2000-3500rpm pull of the 1991/1992 Carly's, the Octavia may "only" be down 40bhp on the Carly and it may be considerably smaller but it's the mid range torque in a Saab 2.3T that slams you back in your seat. Nearly all the early 2.3T's that we've dyno'd have been putting out 280lbft+ between 2000-3500rpm despite the book saying that peak torque is 246lbft, pit that against a meagre 173lbft of the Octavia RS! If it's mid range your after I'd consider a HOT turbo diesel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Originally posted by /john:
[qb]You rule out the Octavia vRS on the basis it does not feel quick enough, and now you consider a Superb?

What are your criteria, Kev?  The Superb is unlikely to be as quicky as the vRS.  The Seat Leon Cupra is supposed to be good fun, and it has a hatch, just like Saabs used to    [/qb][/b]
It's either something quick, or something comfy - with a wee bit of pace

What Jason says about the torque probably explains things
 

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You make an interesting point about the VRS, what year model did you test drive? I had a 2.0litre L&K 140bhp Diesel octavia hatchback and was always impressed with the power delivery in 2nd and 3rd but 4th/5th/6th always seemed a struggle. Used to get up to about 62/65mph in 3rd gear in her. Had many a moments of fun whizzing off from 'boy racers' in her too.

Personally IMO the VRS has not hit your criteria because you haven't considered the main target audience for a VRS. Naturally one would assume its purely based on performance, but actually when you dive a little deeper i think you'll find Skoda where more about good quality, good fuel consumption and emissions at low prices, being competitive as an all-rounder rather than SAAB that threw the rule book out the window a little and pushed on with turbo power.

IMO go with a SAAB 9-3 Aero, might not be quite so quick off the mark as others you've driven due to the power and torque but as another poster said earlier, mid-range is where it's at and if you're a motorway driver the mid-range is what you want :)

As for the handling I would say the Octavia was second to none for sticking firmly to the road, i always drove on Michelin tyres (not sure how much impact this really had) but never felt uneasy around a corner and often miss-judged corners going to fast but came out unscathed :) that's the boy racer bit within me!
 

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we've all done it, but in the spirit of things to carry on i would question why the original person did test drive the 1.8i Saab 93 in the first place as it clearly wasn't what they were looking for as it would be the 120bhp version
 

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To be fair, his whole post completely contradicts himself and a Skoda Superb 120bhp diesel couldnt pull the skin off a rice pudding, much less a 1.8i 9-3! You either want performance or you don't!
 
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