Skoda Octavia (2020) Review

Skoda Octavia (2020) At A Glance

+More practical and more premium than before.

-On sale 2020.

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.

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Child seats that fit a Skoda Octavia (2020)

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Satisfaction Index

Satisfaction Index What is your car like to live with?

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Ask Honest John

I'm looking for a medium-sized hatchback. What's the best model to buy?
"I've got up to £25k to spend. I'm looking at the Volkswagen Golf Mk8 (either the Style or the R). It's a Golf-size car I want, with a diesel engine and automatic gearbox. Is the Golf a better option than a Focus, Astra etc?"
The latest Golf is an excellent car and is unlikely to disappoint – but it's no longer the class leader it once was. If practicality is a concern, look at the Skoda Octavia, while the Ford Focus is a good alternative that's a little more enjoyable to drive. Alternatively, premium contenders like the BMW 1 Series, Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz A-Class will all feel a bit more special but won't cost a great deal more to run.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Can you recommend a hybrid estate that'll be suitable for dogs and towing?
"I'm looking to replace my Mistubishi Outlander PHEV. I need an estate car with hybrid/plug-in, large boot (I've got dogs) and, ideally, occasional 4WD. I do sometimes use the car to pull a caravan, and I do sometimes do long journeys - but not all the time, and I'm still not convinced about an all-electric car (doubtful about the infrastructure). I don't want anything too expensive either! I wondered about another Mitsubishi, a Honda or a Skoda - but would really appreciate some advice."
There are some great plug-in hybrid estate cars on the market. We'd recommend the new Skoda Octavia iV or the bigger Superb, if you need more space. Both are very practical, will be cheap to run and should comfortably tow a caravan (provided it's not too big and heavy – the Octavia has a braked towing capacity of 1500kg while the Superb can tow 1600kg). Alternatively, consider a hybrid SUV – the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V are two very good choices.
Answered by Andrew Brady
I'm thinking of getting a new diesel car. Can you suggest a model?
"The lease on my Volvo V40 petrol auto is due to end in 6 months time so I need to start thinking about what to replace it with. In the main, I have been impressed with the Volvo except for the fuel economy. Mileage is approx. 15k per year with a round trip of 230 miles once a week. PCH / PCP budget is around £300 per month. I'm tempted to go back to diesel once last time (a Tesla Model 3 is still out of my price range and I don't like any of the electric cars that are within budget), but I'm very aware of the anti diesel brigade. Essentials are automatic gearbox, adjustable driving position and comfort. The seats in the Volvo are excellent."
Diesels still make a lot of sense for some drivers. We'd say that 15k a year warrants a diesel, particularly if you don't cover many town miles. Take a look at the new Skoda Octavia – it's a very comfortable choice that represents excellent value for money.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Can you suggest a family car for London and occasional longer drives?
"We have a maximum budget of £14,000 for a reliable, used SUV or estate with good economy and lots of space. We were originally drawn to the Renault Kadjar having hired them a few times, liking the panoramic roof, the great sound system, driving comfort and huge boot. But living in London we really want to avoid diesel cars. The real MPG/economy of the petrol Kadjar engines raised concerns. Ok for driving around London but worried the much longer runs to we regularly do would cost more than other more economical cars. We're finding it difficult to find something that fits our needs. Thanks."
It's a tricky one, but don't write off a diesel Kadjar. It might make sense, as long as you take it for a good run every 300 miles or so for the diesel particulate filter (DPF) to regenerate. It'll be ULEZ compliant and more efficient than a petrol on your trips further afield. If you do want a petrol, you'll probably have to swallow worse fuel economy. An estate like the Skoda Octavia might be a good compromise. You could also look at a Volkswagen Golf estate if you'd prefer a slightly plusher interior. Also look at the Renault Megane.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What does a Skoda Octavia (2020) cost?

Buy new from £16,636 (list price from £21,210)