Review: Skoda Octavia (2004 – 2013)
Well thought of by owners. Huge boot. Spacious and comfortable cabin. Reasonable to drive. Efficient Greenline TDI models.
Drab interior. Early TDI PD engines noisy. Plastic timing belt pulleys can fail early on 1.6-litre engines. ABS/ESP brake sensor problem. Air con problems common. Timing chains fail on EA888 1.8 and 2.0TSIs from 2009 to 2012.
Skoda Octavia (2004 – 2013): At A Glance
Forget the badge on the bonnet, the Skoda Octavia is an accomplished mid-size hatchback and quite good value for money. Although on price it competes with hatches like the Ford Focus, the Skoda Octavia is similar in size to larger cars like the Volkswagen Passat and has a cavernous boot that can carry more than the latest Ford Mondeo. There's plenty of space in the cabin too, which has a solid feel to it.
Volkswagen owns Skoda and as a result the Octavia is well built and drives well too. It has decent road manners, a smooth ride and is refined at speed, making it great if you spend a lot of time on the motorway. It also gets good standard equipment with even the basic models getting climate control and electric windows while the top of the range models are lavishly kitted out and still reasonably priced.
The Skoda Octavia was facelifted in early 2009 and given a more upmarket look with new headlights the most noticeable change. The interior was revamped with a much more sophisticated feel but the big changes came under the bonnet. The noisy 2.0 TDI PD engine was replaced by a smoother TDI CR engine (the CR stands for common rail) while a great little chain cam 1.4 TSI with water cooled turbo was also introduced.
These combine to make the Octavia an even better value proposition, but if you're looking to really keep running costs down, then the Greenline model is the one to go for. Thanks to an efficient 1.6 TDI it can average 64.2mpg while CO2 emissions of just 114g/km mean it's cheap to tax too.
What does a Skoda Octavia (2004 – 2013) cost?
Skoda Octavia (2004 – 2013): What's It Like Inside?
- Boot space is 560–1655 litres
The quality of the cabin impresses as much as the exterior. It's solid, nicely put together using decent quality fabrics and plastics. Seat and steering wheel are adjustable in every plane apart from sideways. And there are plenty of cubbies and grippy holes to put things.
Child seats that fit a Skoda Octavia (2004 – 2013)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Skoda Octavia (2004 – 2013) like to drive?
We tried two versions, both diesels, first the 105PS 1.9 TDI PD, then the 140 PS 2.0 TDI 16v 6-speed.
Instead of being merely amiable, the 105 can lift its skirts and is a quick cruiser. There's still plenty to come at 80 - 90 and no problem hitting 120. I'm emphasising this here so you won't think the 105 involves any significant sacrifice for much less money than the 140. It's easily as quick as most people are ever likely to want it to be. Like the Golf V TDI 105 PD, fifth gear gives you about 30mph per 1,000 rpm.
It not only reaches the speeds, it also handles them with excellent road feel and stability in fast cornering. This counters a slight criticism that the ride is on the firm side of soft. It doesn't crash and bang over pot-holes and ripples, but it doesn't completely absorb them either. And a downer of the 1.9 TDI is that so far it remains Euro III, so is subject to an 18% rather than 15% BIK tax base for company car drivers.
So, on to its more powerful big brother, the TDI PD 140 16v 6-speed. I had the same problem with this as I did with the SEAT Altea. At low speeds on tight roads in second gear it feels almost too powerful. You get no power then too much of it all once, like a catapult. Obviously an owner would get used to this and adapt to it. But on first acquaintance it really wasn't very pleasant. Where the car comes into its own is that, like the Golf V TDI PD 140, it's a stunning main road high-speed cruiser.
Top gear gives about 33.5mph per 1,000 rpm, so at 100 the engine is only turning a happy and quiet 3,000 rpm. This means it's very relaxed, yet at the same time, between 85 and 95 you feel you're bang on optimum power, and if that isn't enough for you, you can block-change from 6th to 4th and whack past anything as if it isn't there. So it's a very safe overtaker too.
Which to choose between the 105 and the 140 depends on how much you have to spend and what sort of discount you can get. But on list price the 105 starts at £12,780 and the 140 at £15,300. I'd find it hard to justify spending an extra £2,500 of my money to buy the 140.
There is obviously a lot more to the Octavia range than these two diesels. The launch range includes a 75bhp 1.4 16v at a low £10,750. There will be automatic TDI PD 105s, a TDI PD 140 DSG and 1.6 and 2.0 litre FSIs with 5-speed manual, 6-speed manual, 5-speed Tiptronic or 6-speed DSG transmissions. The fire breathing petrol turbo will not come until next year, probably with 190 - 225 bhp.
Should you go for one? Well obviously if a larger body, much bigger boot and lower price have more appeal to you than the status to be derived from buying a Golf, then definitely. While the boot size, handling and general performance also make the new Octavia worth considering against cars the next size up, like the Mondeo, Vectra, Primera and Laguna. More importantly, Skoda has finally thrown off the old mantle of joke cars. The new Octavia is a proper, well-built car, in the same class as a Golf. It's a car to be proud of, if that wasn't already Toyota's line.
|1.2 TSI||50 mpg||10.8 s||134 g/km|
|1.2 TSI DSG||48 mpg||10.8 s||136 g/km|
|1.2 TSI DSG Estate||48 mpg||10.9 s||136 g/km|
|1.2 TSI Estate||50 mpg||10.9 s||134 g/km|
|1.4 16V||40–44 mpg||14.2–14.3 s||149–167 g/km|
|1.4 16V Estate||44 mpg||14.4 s||149 g/km|
|1.4 TSI||45 mpg||9.7 s||148 g/km|
|1.4 TSI DSG||45 mpg||9.7 s||147 g/km|
|1.4 TSI DSG Estate||45 mpg||9.8 s||147 g/km|
|1.4 TSI Estate||45 mpg||9.8 s||148 g/km|
|1.6 FSI||43 mpg||11.2 s||158 g/km|
|1.6 FSI Estate||43 mpg||11.4 s||158 g/km|
|1.6 MPI||38–40 mpg||12.3 s||166–176 g/km|
|1.6 MPI Estate||38–39 mpg||12.4 s||168–176 g/km|
|1.6 TDI||63 mpg||11.8–11.9 s||119 g/km|
|1.6 TDI 4x4 Estate||52 mpg||12.7 s||141 g/km|
|1.6 TDI DSG||60 mpg||12.0 s||123 g/km|
|1.6 TDI DSG Estate||60 mpg||12.1 s||123 g/km|
|1.6 TDI Estate||63 mpg||11.9 s||119 g/km|
|1.6 TDI Greenline||74 mpg||11.4 s||99 g/km|
|1.6 TDI Greenline Estate||69 mpg||11.4 s||107 g/km|
|1.8 FSI||38 mpg||8.1 s||176 g/km|
|1.8 TSI||38–43 mpg||7.8–8.1 s||155–176 g/km|
|1.8 TSI 4x4 Estate||37 mpg||8.1 s||180 g/km|
|1.8 TSI DSG||43 mpg||7.8 s||155 g/km|
|1.8 TSI DSG Estate||43 mpg||7.9 s||155 g/km|
|1.8 TSI Estate||36–43 mpg||7.9–8.4 s||155–182 g/km|
|1.9 TDI||48–58 mpg||11.8–12.2 s||130–155 g/km|
|1.9 TDI 4x4 Estate||47 mpg||12.9–13.0 s||159 g/km|
|1.9 TDI Estate||48–55 mpg||11.9–12.3 s||135–155 g/km|
|2.0 FSI||37 mpg||9.3 s||181 g/km|
|2.0 FSI 4x4 Estate||33 mpg||9.7 s||205 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 4x4 Estate||45 mpg||9.9 s||165 g/km|
|2.0 TDI CR||58–59 mpg||9.5–9.6 s||126–129 g/km|
|2.0 TDI CR 110||59 mpg||11.0 s||126 g/km|
|2.0 TDI CR 110 Estate||58 mpg||11.1 s||129 g/km|
|2.0 TDI CR 4x4 DSG Estate||48 mpg||9.9 s||156 g/km|
|2.0 TDI CR 4x4 Estate||50 mpg||9.8 s||148 g/km|
|2.0 TDI CR DSG||53 mpg||9.6 s||138 g/km|
|2.0 TDI CR DSG Estate||52 mpg||9.7 s||143 g/km|
|2.0 TDI CR Estate||48–58 mpg||9.6–10.1 s||129–155 g/km|
|2.0 TDI PD||47–51 mpg||9.6 s||145–158 g/km|
|2.0 TDI PD 4x4 Estate||45 mpg||9.9 s||166 g/km|
|2.0 TDI PD Estate||44–51 mpg||9.7–10.2 s||145–173 g/km|
|Scout 2.0 FSI||33 mpg||10.0 s||207 g/km|
|Scout 2.0 TDI CR DSG Estate||46 mpg||10.2 s||162 g/km|
|Scout 2.0 TDI PD||44 mpg||10.2 s||173 g/km|
|vRS 2.0 FSI DSG||37 mpg||7.2 s||180 g/km|
|vRS 2.0 TDI CR||50 mpg||8.3 s||149 g/km|
|vRS 2.0 TDI CR DSG||47 mpg||8.3 s||159 g/km|
|vRS 2.0 TDI CR DSG Estate||47 mpg||8.4 s||159 g/km|
|vRS 2.0 TDI CR Estate||50 mpg||8.4 s||149 g/km|
|vRS 2.0 TDI PD||50 mpg||8.5 s||151 g/km|
|vRS 2.0 TDI PD Estate||48 mpg||8.6 s||156 g/km|
|vRS 2.0 TFSI||36–38 mpg||7.2–7.3 s||175–188 g/km|
|vRS 2.0 TFSI DSG Estate||37 mpg||7.3 s||180 g/km|
|vRS 2.0 TFSI Estate||36–38 mpg||7.3–7.5 s||175–188 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Skoda Octavia (2004 – 2013)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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