Review: Skoda Octavia (2013)
Saloon shape but actually a practical hatchback. Far superior interior quality than outgoing model. Very practical with a large boot. Feels solid.
Comfortable but not exciting to drive.
Skoda Octavia (2013): At A Glance
- New prices start from £18,310, brokers can source from £16,555
- Contract hire deals from £137.16 per month
- Insurance Groups are between 12–25
- On average it achieves 81% of the official MPG figure
The Octavia is Skoda’s most popular car in the UK, so it’s no surprise this new model sticks to the formula that made its predecessor such a success. It’s practical, well equipped and offers excellent value for money – but this time around there’s more technology, better fuel economy and more space.
On the surface it might not look like a radical step forward. The styling is neat but subdued and in profile the car looks similar to the last generation model – but this time around it’s both larger and lighter, with weight savings of more than 100kg - which translates to useful fuel economy improvements.
There are plenty of thoughtful ‘Simply Clever’ touches throughout the Octavia. Features like a built in ice-scraper, reversible rubber boot carpet and door-pocket waste bin add to the appeal and make it stand apart from rivals, as does the large, 590-litre boot.
Four engines are initially available, two petrol and two diesel, all of which are familiar from other Volkswagen Group cars. The entry level 1.2-petrol and 1.6-litre diesel engines both have the same 105PS power output, while the 1.4-litre TSI petrol produces 140PS and the top 2.0-litre TDI engine produces 150PS.
For the best efficiency and lowest running costs the 1.6 TDI is the one to go for – it has CO2 emissions of 99g/km and a combined cycle economy figure of 74.3mpg – but none of the engines are particularly thirsty. Buyers won’t just save on fuel and tax bills, either – the new Octavia is in cheaper insurance groups than the outgoing model.
What does a Skoda Octavia (2013) cost?
Skoda Octavia (2013): What's It Like Inside?
The interior of the new Octavia is exactly as you’d expect after looking at the understated exterior. Everything is sensibly placed, neatly laid out and solidly screwed together, with plenty of soft touch materials. It’s decidedly upmarket and feels as though it should stand the test of time.
Understated and neat though it may be, there is a broad range of technology neatly packed in to the Octavia, including a full complement of seven airbags across all models. There’s also a system which applies the brakes following a crash to prevent the car rolling into the path of oncoming traffic.
All models get a touch-screen infotainment system as standard, which lets you control various car settings, as well as choose what music to listen to via the standard USB-in, aux-in or DAB radio. In top-spec Elegance trim this screen is replaced with a larger, high-resolution system.
Like the previous generation Octavia there is plenty of space in the back seats – more so this time around. Leg and headroom are good even with a six-foot driver in the front seat, making this the ideal family car. Only the very tallest passengers will struggle for headroom.
While the Octavia has a saloon car profile it’s actually a hatchback – and it has a big boot. Capacity is 590 litres with the seats in place, expandable to 1580 litres with them folded down, which is noticeably larger than rivals like the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus.
Standard equipment from launch (March 2013)
S models come with 16-inch alloy wheels, hill start assist, climate control, stop/start, front electric windows, touch screen infotainment, DAB radio, aux-in and USB.
SE trim adds rear electric windows, voice control for mobile phone, driver fatigue assist, dual zone climate control, driving mode selector and front foglights.
Elegance adds larger alloy wheels, Alcantara and leather upholstery, automatic lights and wipers, front and rear arm rests, cruise control, larger infotainment screen with sat nav, multi-function steering wheel and headlight washers.
Child seats that fit a Skoda Octavia (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 (2013) like to drive?
There are four engines in the Octavia range – two petrol and two diesel. The entry level 1.2-litre TSI produces 105PS and has official economy of 57.7mpg with CO2 emissions of 114g/km. You might expect it to be the poor relation but it’s got a decent amount of torque at low revs and is surprisingly nippy. If you don't spend much time on the motorway it's a good choice, especially considering it's the cheapest version.
That said, the 140PS 1.4 TSI petrol is more versatile and better suited to long motorway runs. It's only slightly less efficient, with a claimed of 53.3mpg. The most efficient engine is the 1.6 TDI which produces 105PS and 250Nm of torque. CO2 is just 99g/km meaning zero VED and making it congestion charge exempt. It’s hardly an exhilarating performer but there’s good in-gear performance and it’s both quiet and refined, even at motorway speeds.
It only has a five-speed gearbox as opposed to the six-speed manual transmissions offered with the rest of the engines, but that’s not the end of the world. Fifth is tall enough to make for quiet motorway cruising. This engine will be used in the upcoming 87g/km Greenline model, which will have additional economy measures such as low rolling resistance tyres.
The engine line up is completed by the 2.0 TDI - the most powerful engine offered until the vRS version arrives. It’s almost as efficient as the smaller diesel, with emissions of 106g/km and economy of 68.9mpg. It’s probably the best choice for drivers who cover huge distances on the motorway or will be towing caravans or trailers. Unlike the 1.6 TDI it's also available as an automatic.
Regardless of engine choice the Octavia is easy to drive and comfortable. The steering is well-weighted and precise and the ride is comfortable over all but the most badly rutted and potholed roads. It’s not an exciting car to drive by anyone’s standards, but it feels safe and very composed, with little body roll through corners.
The gearchange is smooth and slick, while controls for things like the heating, audio and sat nav are all well-placed, so you can keep your eyes on the road. Those who have a sizeable CD collection will be frustrated by the location of the CD player though, which is now in the glovebox to de-clutter the centre stack – so no changing discs while on the move. Those who want an automatic can, from May 2013, choose either the 2.0-litre TDI or 1.4-litre TSI engines in combination with a seven-speed DSG transmission.
|1.0 TSI 115||60–63 mpg||9.9–10.0 s||104–110 g/km|
|1.0 TSI 115 DSG||61–63 mpg||10.0–10.1 s||106–108 g/km|
|1.2 TSI 105||58 mpg||10.3 s||114 g/km|
|1.2 TSI 105 DSG||57 mpg||10.5 s||115 g/km|
|1.2 TSI 110||58 mpg||9.8 s||114 g/km|
|1.2 TSI 110 DSG||58 mpg||9.9 s||113 g/km|
|1.2 TSI DSG||-||-||119 g/km|
|1.4 TSI 140||53 mpg||8.4 s||121 g/km|
|1.4 TSI 140 DSG||57 mpg||8.5 s||116 g/km|
|1.4 TSI 150||54–55 mpg||8.1 s||118–124 g/km|
|1.4 TSI 150 DSG||58–59 mpg||8.2 s||112–114 g/km|
|1.4 TSI DSG||-||-||124 g/km|
|1.5 TSI 150||55–59 mpg||8.2–8.3 s||112–115 g/km|
|1.5 TSI 150 DSG||55–58 mpg||8.3 s||114–116 g/km|
|1.6 TDI 105||74 mpg||10.8 s||99 g/km|
|1.6 TDI 105 DSG||72 mpg||10.9 s||102 g/km|
|1.6 TDI 110||72–74 mpg||10.6 s||99 g/km|
|1.6 TDI 110 DSG||72–76 mpg||10.7 s||99 g/km|
|1.6 TDI 110 Greenline||81–88 mpg||10.6 s||85–90 g/km|
|1.6 TDI 115||69–72 mpg||10.1–10.2 s||106–109 g/km|
|1.6 TDI 115 DSG||71–72 mpg||10.2–10.4 s||103–105 g/km|
|1.6 TDI DSG||-||-||102 g/km|
|1.8 TSI||48 mpg||7.0 s||141 g/km|
|1.8 TSI DSG||50 mpg||7.1 s||131 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 150||64–71 mpg||8.4–8.5 s||106–114 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 150 DSG||63–67 mpg||8.2–8.9 s||112–119 g/km|
|2.0 TSI 190 DSG||48 mpg||7.3 s||133 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Skoda Octavia (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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