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Skoda Octavia Review

Skoda Octavia
Skoda Octavia
Skoda Octavia
Skoda Octavia
Skoda Octavia
Skoda Octavia
Skoda Octavia
Skoda Octavia
Skoda Octavia
Skoda Octavia
Skoda Octavia

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Skoda Octavia

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Skoda Octavia

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Skoda Octavia

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Skoda Octavia

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Skoda Octavia

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Skoda Octavia

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Skoda Octavia

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Skoda Octavia

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Skoda Octavia

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2020
      Body type
      Large family car
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel, PHEV
Andy Brady

Written by

Andy Brady

00/10
heycar rating
Skoda’s sensible hatchback moves upmarket

Best bits

  • Practical Octavia is more stylish than ever
  • High levels of standard equipment across the range
  • Frugal petrol and diesel engines

Not so great

  • Not the budget option it once was
  • Media system is a little frustrating 
  • Still too new to attract huge savings on the used market

Read by

Skoda Octavia front

Overall verdict

Skoda Octavia interior

On the inside

Skoda Octavia driving

Driving

Skoda Octavia driving rear

How much does it cost to run

Skoda Octavia side

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict on the Skoda Octavia

"The Skoda Octavia has moved upmarket, closing the gap between it and the Volkswagen Golf. In some ways, it's a much better choice than the Golf – you get more space for your money, while it's difficult to tell them in part in terms of interior quality. You'll save thousands of pounds, too, especially if you look at some of the incredible pre-reg deals available."

Skoda Octavia front

While the Skoda Octavia is posher than before, it continues to hold the title of most practical car in its class. In fairness, that's because it's huge – it seems daft comparing it to cars like the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and Kia Ceed


It's almost eating into Skoda Superb territory, with practicality rivalling the likes of the Volkswagen Passat and Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport – and it will hold a lot more luggage than SUV alternatives like the Nissan Qashqai, Skoda Karoq and Peugeot 3008.


Since the last Octavia went on sale in 2013, the brand's added the Skoda Scala to its line-up. This sits between the Octavia and smaller Fabia in terms of size and price, allowing the Octavia to command a slightly higher price tag. However, with list prices starting in the region of £21,000, it's far from expensive. And you'll notice that standard equipment is pretty generous, too, so it's not just a big boot that you'll get for your cash.


Go for a high-spec SE L model and it feels particularly plush, with highlights including microsuede seats (and a microsuede dash covering), as well as ambient interior lighting and various splashes of chrome (both inside and out). While a more affordable Octavia S is on its way, the SE is the current entry-level model and is comprehensively equipped, with highlights including a 10-inch media system (we'll come onto that shortly...), rear parking sensors and 16-inch alloy wheels.


There's a wide choice of engines including petrol, diesel and – for the first time in an Octavia – plug-in hybrid power. The big seller is likely to be the 1.5-litre petrol which is available with manual or automatic gearboxes, while Skoda also offers a little 1.0-litre unit.


High-mileage drivers are catered for with the 2.0-litre TDI diesel which is available with 115PS or 150PS, letting you prioritise performance or fuel economy (not that any Octavia will be expensive to run). If you're looking for an Octavia to drive around town, the plug-in hybrid Skoda Octavia iV can travel 43 miles under electric power alone, saving its 1.4-litre petrol engine for longer trips.


No matter which engine you go for in your Skoda Octavia, it's good to drive. And we don't mean in a 'cornering on the door handles' way – the Octavia is a really comfortable choice with a cushiony ride and impeccable refinement. It feels safe in the corners (if not as fun as a Ford Focus or SEAT Leon), while there's plenty of technology to make tackling city centres that bit easier.


Talking of technology, the 10-inch media system which is standard across the range looks pretty swanky but isn't the easiest to use on the move. It's something that you'll get used to with time, but what's wrong with old-fashioned buttons for adjusting the climate control or changing the volume? Maybe we're stuck in the past.


It's hard to overemphasise how much space there is the Octavia. It's a very comfortable car for those in the front, while there's plenty of space in the back too. And the boot is massive – easily capable of swallowing up baby paraphernalia or golf trolleys. If you need even more space, there's the Skoda Octavia Estate, too. 


If you're looking for the older version, you need our Skoda Octavia (2013-2020) review.

Is the Skoda Octavia right for you?

If you want a premium-feeling car with a huge boot but don’t want to pay over the odds for a badge that’s going to impress the neighbours, the new Octavia’s looking like an excellent choice. It’s more stylish and more spacious than ever, which means it’s going to tick a lot of boxes for a lot of buyers. If you need more room there's the Skoda Octavia Estate.

What’s the best Skoda Octavia model/engine to choose?

High-mileage users will be best opting for one of the 2.0-litre diesel engines, while the 1.5-litre is a good alternative for the rest of us. All models are well-equipped but stretch to an SE L for a bucketload of desirable features as standard.

What other cars are similar to the Skoda Octavia?

If you don't need a car quite so huge as the Octavia, you should also look at the new SEAT Leon and Volkswagen Golf. Both share platforms and engines with the Octavia, so they're very similar.


There are loads of very good non-Volkswagen Group alternatives, too. The Ford Focus is an ever-popular choice with stylish looks (and it's more fun to drive than the Octavia), while the likes of the Kia Ceed and Vauxhall Astra represent excellent value for money. You could also consider bigger alternatives like the Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport or Ford Mondeo – or even premium models like the BMW 3 Series.

Learn more

Skoda Octavia interior

On the inside

Skoda Octavia driving

Driving

Skoda Octavia driving rear

How much does it cost to run

Skoda Octavia side

Prices, versions and specification

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

Is the Skoda Octavia a good car?

It is one of the best family cars on sale. It’s practical, bigger than its rivals inside, with a nicely finished interior and long equipment list. It’s also comfortable and easy to drive at all speeds.

Andy Brady

Answered by

Andy Brady

Is a used Skoda Octavia a good car?

The Octavia makes a good used car thanks to its durable build and solid interior. As with any used car, you need to choose wisely and avoid anything with huge miles, but the diesel engines are renowned for their longevity and economy. We'd suggest being wary of the DSG gearbox on older models as it has not been without its faults.

Keith Moody

Answered by

Keith Moody

How many miles can a Skoda Octavia do?

It's not unheard of to find Octavias that have covered 250,000 miles. No wonder it's a favourite with taxi and minicab drivers. In terms of miles per gallon, the 2.0 TDI 115 returns up to 65.7mpg in combined WLTP fuel economy tests.

David Ross

Answered by

David Ross

Which is the best Skoda Octavia engine?

If you're not doing huge mileages, we think the 1.5 TSI is the ideal engine for the latest Octavia. It's quiet and smooth yet responsive when need be. It's also very economical for a petrol with a claimed 50mpg which is certainly achievable at a steady 70mph on the motorway.

Russ Campbell

Answered by

Russ Campbell

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