Having had a Seat Leon hire car last week.....
...it was interesting to get a Skoda Octavia this week. Similar, yet different!
Compared to the Leon, it had an older 1.9 engine; less poky, but also less peaky!
Interior a strange mix of high quality fittings (where they were shared with the Leon) and fairly rubbish fittings (where they weren't).
Much better visibility than the Leon, and fairly easy to park.
Seats still uncomfortable, maybe not quite as bad.
Speedo much better layout, I could actually see what speed I was doing around town! Indicators obsured by the steering wheel, especially the left one because the wheel is slightly offset.
Got 55mpg which I was well impressed with as I was hooning it quite a lot.
The suspension was a little softer than the Leon, and the initial turn in felt slightly slower, but it actually made it much more reassuring and stable to drive on poor roads because it was easier to drive smoothly.
Conclusion? Maybe I'm turning into an old man, I preferred the Skoda. It felt like the Leon was trying too hard to be something it's not; aggressive steering, braking and power delivery, but not particularly satisfying because when you drive it hard it ultimately doesn't grip, brake, or go as well as you intially thought.
The Skoda seemed more honest in that it didn't make so many promises, but when you push it harder it keeps delivering more. And how surprised was I to do 600 miles and pay £60 in fuel!