The Skoda Octavia is a great family with an interior that’s robust and spacious for the price, although the cabin’s design won’t set your pulse racing and the suspension’s a little bumpy
The Skoda Octavia is an excellent choice if you’re not bothered about a fancy badge or having a posh interior, but do want a family car that is spacious and well-priced.
It was updated in 2017 when, unfortunately for it, it was given those gawky headlights and some other smaller exterior changes. The optional automatic emergency braking now senses pedestrians as well as cars (the Octavia has a five-star Euro NCAP safety score from 2013) and there’s a new eight-inch infotainment screen fitted as standard to all models.
But what separates the Octavia’s interior from all alternatives including the Vauxhall Astra is the sheer amount of space you get for your money. Rear legroom is close to what you’ll get in a luxury limo and the front seats have loads of room.
The massive 590-litre boot is also big for this price of car, and with the rear seats folded away that leaps to a stonking 1,580 litres. That said, the boot would be easier to load if all Octavias came with an adjustable boot floor (standard in the VW Golf) that’s an £150 option on all but the top-of-the-range models.
Unfortunately, the VW also steals a march on the Octavia when it comes to interior quality, if only just. The VW has more expensive looking trims and a nicer range of seat upholsteries, although the Skoda’s interior feels well built and is logically laid out.
The standard new eight-inch infotainment screen is pleasing to look at and has well organised menus that are simple to use. Satellite navigation isn’t standard but Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Smartlink+ are – so you can use the sat-nav app on your compatible smartphone via the big screen.
This easy-to-use theme carries itself through to the driving experience, where the Octavia shows itself to be a solid performer on a variety of roads. It goes well round corners and is pretty quiet even on the motorway. A VW Golf is that bit quieter and absorbs bumps a little bit better, but there really isn’t a lot in it.
The Skoda Octavia is very spacious for its price – it’s the automotive equivalent of living in a converted warehouse rather than a more expensive regular flat
The same is true for engines, because Skoda shares its with VW. That means you can have the same excellent 150hp 1.5-litre petrol that’s fitted to the Golf, which is good on fuel yet punchy. The noisier diesels should only be considered if you cover truly galactic miles where their excellent fuel economy pays back their higher price.
And the 1.5-litre petrol is a pretty good metaphor for the Octavia. It’s a solid performer in all areas – notably for offering a spacious cabin for a very reasonable price. For more in-depth info on the Skoda Octavia, read the interior, practicality, driving and specifications sections of our review over the following pages. And, if you want to see what sort of offers are available on the Octavia, just click through to our deals page.