Skoda Octavia Review logo

Skoda Octavia Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2020
      Body type
      Large family hatch
      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
  • Limited initial engine line-up
  • Still too new to attract huge savings on the used market

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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

"Buyers looking for a car that represents excellent value for money and offering a huge amount of practicality have always been well served by the Skoda Octavia."

Skoda Octavia front

It’s a car that’s more spacious than its Volkswagen Group peers, namely the SEAT Leon and Volkswagen Golf, yet is also more affordable.


However, with the recent introduction of the Skoda Scala, the Octavia is starting to creep upmarket. That means - Skoda says - buyers will notice a significant increase in the perceived quality of the interior, while standard equipment will be closer to that you’d find in a Golf.


The initial line-up consists of SE First Edition, SE Technology, and SE L First Edition models. Standard equipment across the range including Skoda’s third-generation infotainment systems with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto along with the slick Virtual Cockpit digital display. LED headlights are also standard across the range, while all models get a two-spoke leather multifunction steering wheel. Rear parking sensors with manoeuvre assist are standard too.


There’ll be Skoda’s usual ‘Simply Clever’ features, ranging from an umbrella stored in the front door to useful storage pockets on the sides of the front seats. There’ll even be an extra USB-C port hidden behind the rear-view mirror for connecting a dashcam.


It’s still a massively practical choice, with a huge 600-litre boot - up 10 litres from the old model and 220 litres bigger than the equivalent Volkswagen Golf. It can even hold more luggage than bigger cars like the Vauxhall Insignia and Ford Mondeo. If you need even more space, there’s the Estate model, too - which we’ve covered elsewhere.


Buyers will get the usual choice of petrol and diesel engines. The initial petrol option is a 1.5-litre four-cylinder unit that’s commonly found across the Skoda range, producing 150PS and available solely with a six-speed manual gearbox.


The diesel offering is a 2.0 TDI, available with 115PS and a manual gearbox, or 150PS with a DSG auto transmission. More engines will follow, including an entry-level 1.0-litre petrol, as well as sporty vRS models and mild-hybrid offerings.


There’ll be a plug-in hybrid, too, which is a first for the Octavia. It combines a 1.4-litre petrol engine with an electric motor to produce 204PS and will be able to cover nearly 35 miles under electric power alone - perfect if you have a short commute yet want to travel further afield at the weekend.


Whichever Octavia you go for, it shouldn’t cost a fortune to run. Diesel models are capable of more than 60mpg, while you should be able to see close to 50mpg from the 1.5-litre petrol. Insurance costs are likely to be minimal, and Skoda servicing is never going to break the bank.


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, with the SE First Edition providing a good mix of desirable features and affordability.

What other cars are similar to the Skoda Octavia?

They're not quite as big, but you should also consider the new SEAT Leon and Volkswagen Golf - both of which are very closely related to the new Skoda Octavia, sharing a platform and engines. Neither are as practical as the Octavia, though.


You could also consider alternatives like the Ford Focus, Kia Ceed, Vauxhall Astra, Peugeot 308 while the closest in terms of practicality is the Honda Civic. If you want more room, a Peugeot 508 is a strong choice while a Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport is good value.

Rating

We’ll wait until we’ve spent more time with the new Octavia before we deliver a full verdict - and it’ll be a little while before it trickles down onto the used market. But first impressions are overwhelmingly positive. It looks smarter than ever, while it retains its status as the most practical car of its class. An improvement in interior quality is much welcome, while the tech on offer gives it the edge of rivals too.

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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?

If you mean total distance, 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