Skoda Octavia Review & Prices

The Skoda Octavia is Tardis-like for families and comes with great engines. It’s not the most inspiring to look at inside, mind, nor particularly fun to drive

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RRP £24,550 - £36,495 Avg. Carwow saving £2,946 off RRP
Carwow price from
Cash
£24,213
Monthly
£240*
Used
£11,582
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wowscore
8/10
Reviewed by Carwow after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Unrivalled space inside
  • Cabin feels well screwed together
  • Efficient engines and keenly priced

What's not so good

  • Pretty bland to look at inside
  • Alternatives are more fun to drive
  • VW Golf is comfier and quieter

Find out more about the Skoda Octavia

Is the Skoda Octavia a good car?

Skoda often swoops in and obliterates its Volkswagen Group stablemates VW, SEAT and Audi on space and practicality, and the Skoda Octavia is one of the best examples of that. It’s a family car that’s bigger than a Volkswagen Golf, Seat Leon, Mercedes A-Class, Audi A3 or BMW 1 Series, but costs less to buy.

This Skoda Octavia might be all-new, but it’s still very clearly an Octavia. Up front, you get the same distinctive grille, though it’s bluffer than before and the horrible twin headlights of the old car have been scrapped for a pair of slim-line LEDs.

The crease that runs down the side of the car makes it look more imposing – like shoulder pads in a 1980s suit jacket – and you can have wheels up to 19 inches in size, even on non-vRS models. The new look is finished off with crystal-style rear LEDs.

Skoda has made a big effort to make the new Octavia feel more upmarket than the last car, with soft-touch plastics, textile padded trim finishes and thickly stuffed seats that could rival your armchair at home for comfort. Even so, it’s still blander inside than a Focus or Leon.

That said, there’s an exception. The interior is dominated by a large central infotainment touchscreen, even on entry-level models, while the majority of physical buttons are found right in the centre of the dash. It looks modern and is easy to use, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard. Lovely digital driver’s dials come included too.

Skoda used to be about big space and small prices, but not so much looks. Not anymore – this Octavia looks fantastic inside and out

If it’s space you’re after, look no further than the Octavia. There’s a huge amount of it for adults no matter if they’re sat in the front or back, while the Skoda’s huge boot puts other family car efforts to shame. The estate, reviewed separately, is even bigger.

There’s a generous range of efficient engines to choose between in petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid flavours. The usual rule applies – if you’re often in town, the 1.5 petrol is best. Often on the motorway? Go for the 150hp 2.0-litre diesel. Company car drivers will find the plug-in hybrid the cheapest to run, plus there are powerful vRS models (also reviewed in its own right) on offer too.

The Octavia is easy to manoeuvre and park in town, although its suspension can be a bit noisy and abrupt over bumps – a VW Golf is better here. The Octavia isn’t going to set your pulse racing in twisty country roads, either (a Ford Focus is more fun), but it has plenty of grip and precise steering nonetheless. On the motorway, it proves a comfortable cruiser.

If you’re sold on the Skoda Octavia’s looks, keen price and unrivalled space and practicality among family cars, build your new Octavia in our configurator to see how much you could save, or check out our used Skoda Octavias.

How much does the Skoda Octavia cost?

The Skoda Octavia has a RRP range of £24,550 to £36,495. However, with Carwow you can save on average £2,946. Prices start at £24,213 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £240. The price of a used Skoda Octavia on Carwow starts at £11,582.

Our most popular versions of the Skoda Octavia are:

Model version Carwow price from
1.5 TSI SE Technology 5dr £24,213 Compare offers

The majority of Skoda Octavias come in a choice of just two trim levels, if we set aside the sporty vRS that is its own model with different engine options.

You can pick between SE and SE-L, but the only engine the two trims share is the 1.5 TSI 150, and there’s a £2700 jump from the lower to higher versions.

As a result of this, the SE-L can look quite pricey next to the SE models. However, compare the Skoda to any of its equivalents from the likes of Ford, Vauxhall, Volkswagen or even Audi and BMW, and the Octavia comes in with keen pricing.

Performance and drive comfort

It’s almost all good news with the Skoda Octavia and how it drives – comfy, quiet, capable. Only thing is it doesn’t put a smile on your face in the bends

In town

Skoda has long since worked out what its drivers want from their cars and the Octavia delivers that with pinpoint accuracy.

The result is a large car that doesn’t feel that big from behind the steering wheel, which is helped by the tight turning circle of the Octavia to make it very wieldy in tight city streets.

This nimbleness also shows in how easy it is to park the Octavia, and even the estate model that appears huge is a doddle to back into tight bays.

All-round vision is good in every Octavia, whether you choose the hatch or estate, and you get rear parking sensors with all versions.

Around town, the Skoda’s suspension is good at soaking up bumpy roads, though it can feel a little wallowy if you get one dip after another in quick succession. Still, it’s more than good enough for this type of car.

The engines pull well at low speeds and the automatic gearbox is generally very smooth, though it can feel just a bit jerky when pulling out of junctions.

Inside, the Octavia has well-shaped front seats and the driver is treated to height and lumbar adjustment. Along with the plenty of fore and aft movement, as well as the two-way adjustment for the steering wheel, the Octavia driver is looked after really rather well.

On the motorway

Listen very carefully and you’ll notice the Skoda Octavia is not quite as hushed at higher speeds than the Volkswagen Golf. It’s as if VW has said you can be good, but not as good as our car.

However, this is the sort of tiny difference that doesn’t really make much odds as the Skoda is one of the most refined cars you can buy in this class. The hatch and estate are both very calm and keep wind, road, and engine noise at bay superbly.

Secure, stable handling is a trait across all Octavia versions on the motorway, and the ride is almost ideally compliant.

All of the engines in the Octavia pull well up to the motorway limit. Company drivers will prefer the diesel or petrol-hybrid motor, especially the plug-in petrol-electric option for its performance and low emissions.

On a twisty road

If you’re after a Skoda Octavia to plant a smile on your chops through the twisty bits, you’re going to have to spend the extra on a vRS model. They are agile, fun and brisk cross country thanks to punchy engines and agile, grippy handling.

The rest of the Octavia range is more muted in its approach to corners and back lanes. Comfort takes precedence, so you don’t notice bumps or ridges much.

Steering feel in the SE and SE-L is perfectly adequate, as is the way they go round bends with confidence and ease. There are also strong brakes in all models, and you arrive at your destination without any stress, which is a good thing.

Space and practicality

This is the Skoda Octavia’s ace card over almost all others at this price, and only an adjustable boot floor in all trims is missing from its brilliant range of abilities

It’s fair to say that if you can’t get comfortable in the Skoda Octavia, you probably are not going to find any car suitable. There is such a large range of adjustment in the driver’s seat of the Skoda that it suits people with limbs of any length.

Every model comes with a height adjustable driver’s seat, too, and the steering wheel moves in and out as well as up and down.

The SE-L trim comes with heated front seats and suede upholstery for some added luxury, but every Octavia’s front chairs have manual lumbar adjustment and are shaped to give brilliant support.

Vision for the driver is another big tick for the Octavia as there are good lines of sight in all directions. This is especially so in the estate thanks to its more upright rear pillars which are not as thick as some others in this sector.

Rear parking sensors are standard across the Octavia range, but only the vRS has the option of a reversing camera, which seems a bit mean of Skoda.

What’s not in doubt is the amount of storage Skoda clusters around the driver and front cabin. There are big door bins, a tray in front of the gear lever, but a wireless charging pad for your phone is an option on all models.

A reasonably sized glovebox is useful, and there’s a tray with sliding lid in the centre console that opens to reveal cupholders. Behind that is a cubby with padded lid that doubles as an armrest for the driver, so it’s all very well thought out and executed inside the Skoda Octavia.

Space in the back seats

It won’t come as a great surprise to learn the Skoda Octavia is one of the roomiest and accommodating cars in its class for anyone sitting in the back seats.

The Octavia has long been a darling of taxi drivers for the amount of room it provides back here and that means families can happily let older kids and the grandparents sit here without fear of complaints.

There’s loads of headroom, even when you opt for the panoramic glass sunroof. You also get plenty of knee and foot space, and you can fit three people across the bench courtesy of good shoulder room. There is a transmission tunnel to divide the feet of anyone sitting in the middle seat, but it’s still comfy.

All three folk in the back seat have a triple-point belt and there are ISOFIX mounts in the two outer chairs to secure kiddy seats in place. Also, you don’t have to slide the front seats forward when using a bulky rear-facing child seat.

Good rear door bins and seat pockets take care of storage, and there are even a couple of USB chargers to satisfy the kids’ need for devices.

Boot space

Impressive is the word for the Skoda Octavia’s boot, whether you choose the hatch or estate. The hatchback boasts a huge 600 litres with the rear seats in place, dwarfing the likes of the Ford Focus (375 litres), Volkswagen Golf (381 litres) and Honda Civic (404 litres)

There are vast amounts of space with the seats up or down, and tipping the rear seat backs is as easy as it gets thanks to levers set into the sides of the boot wall.

Every Octavia comes with tie-down points and hooks in the side walls to keep bags from toppling and spilling all over the floor. Ideal when you’ve just bought a dozen eggs.

The SE-L comes with a height adjustable load floor, which means it sits flush with the load sill in its upper position. This is an option for the SE and vRS, but not offered with the hybrid engine models.

The 60-40 split rear seat also has a ski hatch in the centre, so carrying long, thin cargo in the Octavia doesn’t mean you have to give up on transporting people.

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

The big touchscreen looks good and comes with even the entry models, but it’s a shame the ventilation controls are wrapped up in its menus

What infotainment system you get with the Skoda Octavia as standard depends on which trim you go for.

The SE models have a 10-inch infotainment touchscreen that Skoda calls the Bolero set-up. It comes with all the features you need, such as a wireless connection for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, and there’s voice control too.

The only thing missing from the SE’s infotainment is the integrated sat nav that comes with the SE-L and vRS as standard in their Columbus system. Given many drivers use the navigation from an app on their phones, this isn’t necessarily a deal breaker.

Like most Volkswagen Group cars now, the Skoda’s infotainment replaces almost all of the buttons from the centre console. There are still a few physical buttons for things like the hazard lights, central locking, and heated screen, but that’s it.

Everything else is worked through the infotainment display, which is good and bad. Good because the Skoda’s screen is reasonably quick to respond to your finger inputs, but bad because the screen’s display is a bit dark.

It’s also not great when you have to make several inputs just to change the air conditioning’s fan speed, though you do get on-screen sliders to alter the cabin temperature. Even then, they can be tricky to use while driving, so this is an area where Skoda needs to do some more work.

One other key difference between the SE and other trims is the entry-point model makes do with a simple digital display for its main dials rather than the Virtual Cockpit used in the SE-L and vRS. This adds just over £500 to the price of the SE, and all models stick with wireless phone charging as an optional extra.

With the Virtual Cockpit, you can configure the screen to show the main dials in different sizes and configurations, and you can maximise the sat-nav display. A head-up display that projects onto the windscreen in the driver’s line of sight is an option for the SE-L and vRS.

MPG, emissions and tax

For the best fuel economy in the Skoda Octavia, you need to look to the plug-in hybrid 1.4-litre TSI iV that comes with 204hp in the SE-L and 245hp for the vRS.

In the SE-L, this plug-in hybrid motor offers official test figures of up to 288.1mpg combined consumption in the hatch, or 273.6mpg for the estate. For carbon dioxide emissions, these two are the best thanks to 22 and 23g/km respectively.

Take the vRS with plug-in power and it comes with an official figure of 233.1mpg for the hatch and 223.8mpg for the wagon. These cars emit 27-29g/km of CO2.

For the rest of the Octavia line-up, the most economical engine choice is the 2.0-litre turbodiesel that gives 64.9mpg in the hatch, along with 114g/km CO2 emissions.

However, the mild hybrid 1.0 TSI 110 e-TEC with DSG automatic gearbox is not far behind with 56.1mpg and has the same 114g/km emissions.

At the back of the queue efficiency wise is the vRS performance model, coming with 2.0-litre petrol or diesel engines. The 245hp petrol hatch has emissions of 157g/km and fuel economy of up to 40.8mpg, while the diesel is at 56.8mpg and 130g/km, or 51.2mpg and 145g/km for the four-wheel drive version.

Safety and security

Every Skoda Octavia comes with six airbags to protect its occupants, and there are two ISOFIX mounts in the outer rear seats for child seat mounts.

All models have automatic emergency braking included, along with lane departure alert and assistance, and an eCall system to contact rescue services in the event of a collision.

Cruise control with speed limiter is standard, too, but adaptive cruise is an option for the SE yet included with the others. Only the vRS has a reversing camera, and this cannot even be added to the SE or SE-L.

Blind spot detection is another option, and only for the upper two trim levels.

Reliability and problems

Skoda has issued a number of recalls for this generation of Octavia, ranging from one concerning loose plastic engine cover to another for a potential fire risk with a fuse.

The others are for a faulty engine pulley and the eCall emergency system not working properly. All should have been sorted by a dealer now on cars that were affected.

A three-year/60,000-mile warranty is standard with the Octavia in all models, and this can be stretched to five-years and 100,000 miles for an additional cost.

Buy or lease the Skoda Octavia at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £24,550 - £36,495 Avg. Carwow saving £2,946 off RRP
Carwow price from
Cash
£24,213
Monthly
£240*
Used
£11,582
Ready to see prices tailored to you?
Compare new offers Compare used deals
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