There’s lots that is very good about the Skoda Octavia’s interior, but it lacks any sort of wow factor, especially in cheaper models
If there’s one thing the Skoda Octavia’s interior wants for its style and that’s particularly true in cheaper models.
The range kicks off with S trim that gets black upholstery and a range of black, and slightly blacker, interior plastics that make the inside feel, well – a little too dark and miserable for its own good. Although, in terms of build and plastic quality – it feels very well put together.
SE and SE Technology models are worth going for, though, simply because they get metal-look trim pieces that brighten up the interior.
SE L cars take another incremental step up thanks to their mix of Alcantara and leather upholstery. You can choose to have it in either black or beige, although you should only choose the latter if you want your car to resemble the inside of a hearing aid.
Laurin & Klement versions sit at the top of the range and have the same seats as SE L models but with embroidered ‘Laurin & Klement’ logos that are tacky – like having a tailored suit with a brand name scrawled across the jacket.
Sitting in the driver’s seat of a basic Octavia is a bit like staring into the edge of space – it’s so dark
There’s not much you’ll want to change about the standard Bolero infotainment system. It has an eight-inch screen that’s colourful and big enough to make the system fairly easy to operate on the move. Satellite navigation isn’t installed but you don’t need it because all models come fitted with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Smartlink+ so you can use the sat-nav (and music apps) that are on your phone.
A fixed control in between the two front seats would make it even easier to use when you’re driving, but then no alternatives have this feature.
SE Technology and SE L models get Skoda’s Amundsen infotainment, although it is exactly the same as the basic system except for having integrated sat-nav that looks every so slightly nicer than using the navigation on your phone.
The top-of-the-range Columbus system is an £1,050 option on SE L models and fitted as standard to expensive Laurin & Klement cars. It has a shiny gleam like a glassy new tower block and a larger 9.2-inch screen. It’s super colourful and has 3D graphics, but it’s no more functional than the entry-level system, meaning you shouldn’t bother unless you’re completely sold on the aesthetics.
If you’re into your tunes, you’ll better of saving your cash and reinvesting it into the £500 Canton stereo that’s only fitted as standard to Laurin & Klement models. It has ten speakers (compared to the basic model’s eight) and a subwoofer hidden in the boot – the resulting 570W is an explosion of sound next to the standard stereo’s high-pitched shrill.