Review: Skoda Octavia (2020)

More practical and more premium than before.

On sale 2020.

Skoda Octavia (2020): At A Glance

The latest Octavia takes a similar approach to the new Volkswagen Golf - a car with which it shares its underpinnings. By moving upmarket and growing in size, the Octavia is distancing itself from Skoda's recent Ford Focus rival, the Scala.

The interior is noticeably classier than its predecessor, with an abundance of soft-touch materials, a touchscreen infotainment display in the centre of the dash (available in sizes from 8.25 to 10 inches) and LED ambient lighting. Massage seats are available as an option, as is a head-up display - a first for Skoda. Buyers can also select an updated 10.25-inch virtual cockpit digital display instead of conventional dials.

Available as both a hatchback or estate, the Octavia continues to be one of the most practical offerings on the market. The hatch has a 600-litre boot (up 10 litres compared to its predecessor), while the estate has 640 litres of luggage space (up 30 litres). 

In terms of engines, buyers are offered the usual 1.0- and 1.5-litre petrols, now available with mild hybrid tech (provided you opt for the DSG automatic gearbox). This uses a 48-volt belt-driven starter motor and lithium-ion battery pack to recuperate energy normally lost under braking, allowing the car to coast with the engine off at certain revs.

There's also a 2.0-litre turbodiesel, available with a variety of power outputs from 116 to 200PS, while a plug-in hybrid combines a 1.4-litre petrol engine with an electric motor. Badged the Octavia iV, this produces a total of 204PS and uses a 13kWh battery to provide an official range of up to 34 miles when fully charged.

For the first time, the DSG automatic gearboxes uses shift-by-wire technology to electronically transmit the driver's gear selection to the transmission. This means there's a small rocker switch for selecting drive modes on the centre console in place of the conventional DSG lever. 

Full LED matrix headlights are now offered as an option, while high spec models will get LED tail lights as standard. There's a host of safety systems including collision avoidance assist, turn assist and a local traffic warning function. Up to nine airbags are fitted as standard.

What does a Skoda Octavia (2020) cost?

List Price from £20,285
Buy new from £15,270
Contract hire from £137.16 per month

What have we been asked about the Skoda Octavia (2020)?

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

Can you recommend a good diesel car for motorway journeys?

I’m considering changing our 2009 Ford Focus 1.8, which is still running well with 70,000 miles on the clock. It’s used as the second family car mainly for local journeys of 15 to 20 miles but we also use it for long motorway trips. My only dislike about the Focus is that it requires revs in excess of 4000 to cruise along motorways and, for this reason, I’m considering changing to a diesel. We like the Honda Civic, Mazda 3 the diesel Focus. I'd appreciate your comments on any models you think I should consider.
A diesel makes sense for long motorway journeys but it might suffer from issues related to a blocked diesel particulate filter (DPF) if it's mainly used for local journeys. If you do buy a diesel, make sure you regularly drive it on the motorway for a good half an hour or so to clear out the DPF. All the cars you've mentioned are good options. We'd also recommend a Skoda Octavia - it's a very practical choice and represents good value for money.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions