Review: Skoda Octavia (2013)

Rating:

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.

Recently Added To This Review

2 September 2019

"Horrible banging sound" reported from DQ200 7-speed dry clutch DSG of 2017 Skoada Octavia 1.5TSI whe pulling away in stop/start mode, but only on occasions. 55 problems reported Read more

17 July 2019

Owner of 23,700 mile 2017 Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI received an email from the supplying dealer advising him to book the car in for a timing belt and waterpump replacement. This might be a clerical error,... Read more

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Ongoing issues with the 1.5 TSI engine with no resolution from Skoda. Read more

Skoda Octavia (2013): At A Glance

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. 

Watch AgainOur live Q&A session at the unveiling of the 2013 Octavia

Skoda Octavia 2013 Road Test

Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI Long Term test

Skoda Octavia 2017 Range Road Test

What does a Skoda Octavia (2013) cost?

List Price from £18,610
Buy new from £13,406
Contract hire from £136.58 per month

Skoda Octavia (2013): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4659–4670 mm
Width 1814–2071 mm
Height 1458–1465 mm
Wheelbase 2680–2686 mm

Full specifications

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.

Which car seat will suit you?

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.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
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 55–58 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 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 8.2–8.6 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.

Average performance

81%

Real MPG

34–75 mpg

MPGs submitted

499

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.

What have we been asked about the Skoda Octavia (2013)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

What should I replace my Audi 100 with?

My father and I have owned a 1988 Audi 100 2.0e Avant that's been in the family since new. We've put over 210,000 miles on it. It's a lovely comfortable, reliable, strong car with bags of torque, still has the original clutch and exhaust and is still motoring on. I'm aware now though, that as various items fail, e.g. recent cracked handbrake lever, broken ignition key barrel, odometer and trip stopped working, plus fuel gauge unreliable, that the time is fast approaching when our lovely lady will have to be put to rest. Whilst all of the above have been fixed, it's all beginning to lose its charm. I have a 1963 Jaguar Mk10 and 1981 BMW R65 motorcycle that also need attention and my back condition is not getting any better, so what do I replace our Audi daily driver of 6000 miles per year with? I'm tempted by another Audi 100, but is there anything more modern out there that - say - with a £7k budget or less (though this could be stretched) I could get similar reliable, strong, useful and comfortable service from? Second hand obviously. All suggestions considered, and I would prefer petrol manual with a strong clutch.
First of all, it sounds like your Audi 100 has provided excellent service. Please think twice before scrapping it or part-exchanging it at a dealer (who'll probably scrap it...) - I'm sure an enthusiast would happily take it off your hands as a modern classic car, especially with the work you've had done on it recently. In terms of a replacement, a budget of £7000 provides a lot of choices. I'd recommend looking at a Skoda Octavia. It represents excellent value for money, is very comfortable and has a big boot (there's an estate version, too, if practicality is important). You could also look at a Kia Ceed, which will have the balance of its original seven-year warranty remaining. If you'd prefer something a bit smaller, the Honda Jazz is very practical and ought to be reliable.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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