Skoda Octavia (2013 – 2020) Review

Skoda Octavia (2013 – 2020) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The definitive model from the Czech brand? Quite possibly, as this generation of Skoda Octavia hatch perfectly sums up the company’s approach in its quality, practicality and value.

+Saloon shape but actually a practical hatchback. Far superior interior quality than previous model.

-Comfortable to drive, but not exciting.

Insurance Groups are between 12–25
On average it achieves 81% of the official MPG figure

The Czech firm had already shown it could make cars with a touch of class with its Skoda Superb range. In 2013, it was the turn of the Skoda Octavia and the firm knocked it right out of the park with this practical family hatch. It took on the best in the form of the Volkswagen Passat, the big-selling Ford Mondeo and stylish Mazda 6 and came out brilliantly. Read on for our full Skoda Octavia review.

The Skoda Octavia is the firm’s most popular car in the UK, so it’s no surprise this model stuck to the formula that made previous versions such a success.

It’s practical, well equipped and offers excellent value for money – but with more technology, better fuel economy and more space for family used car buyers.

On the surface, it might not look like a radical change from earlier Skoda Octavias. The styling is neat, but subdued, and in profile the car looks similar to the last-generation model – but 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 Skoda 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 were 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. The 1.4 petrol was later replaced with a 1.5 version.

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 is particularly thirsty.

Family car buyers won’t just save on fuel bills, either – this Skoda Octavia is cheaper to insure than the previous model.

Fancy a new Skoda Octavia? Read our review here.

Ask Honest John

I need a car that is dog friendly to replace my Citroen C3 Picasso, what are my options?

"I'm looking for a large boot, dog friendly 2nd hand replacement for my automatic Citroen C3 Picasso which is a 2015 version but starting to cost a lot in services. I live in rural Scotland so need something robust but don't want a monster as I have a narrow driveway with walls each side .Preferably no more than £10,000."
Given your size restrictions we would suggest either a mid-sized estate car or a small SUV to give you the boot space you need within budget. We would suggest looking at cars like the Skoda Octavia Estate - which is also available in Scout form with four-wheel-drive and raised suspension, the Toyota Avensis Touring Sports, Honda CR-V or Mazda CX-5.
Answered by David Ross

My car is missing its air filter inlet scoop, is this important?

"I have just bought a 2019 Skoda Octavia 1.5 petrol and the air filter inlet scoop is missing, is it important?"
The air inlet is an important part of the engine's componentry, as it ensures cool air from outside is fed through the air filter and into the engine. Your car will still function without this, but not at its optimal level. However, you should be able to find this part relatively cheaply, especially if you look for a used part from a breaker's yard or Internet auction site.
Answered by David Ross

I want an automatic car with good rear seat space, but should I steer clear of dual-clutch automatics?

"Various reviews of automatic gearboxes has meant we are nervous about buying a car with a CVT or DSG? (double clutch) types. Can you give your views on these gearboxes? I am searching for petrol automatic, 2017 upwards, a car that has good amount of room in the back for my parents who are getting older. Don't need huge boot space. Currently have a MINI Countryman, like mini SUVs but also like sporty saloons. Mazda has been on our radar. My husband has Skoda Octavia and he loves Skoda but they have the double clutch gear boxes. Budget is about £16/£17 tops."
Of the three types of automatic gearboxes, generally speaking dual-clutch gearboxes (DCT or DSG in Volkswagen Group cars) have been more problematic, but the reliability of these technologies has improved since they were first introduced in the early 2000s. Given your budget you would be looking at cars under five years old with relative few miles and possibly even with some manufacturer warranty, so you can feel more confident about choosing a car regardless of which type of automatic it has. The Skoda Octavia would be a good choice for your needs, and Octavias with engine capacities of 2.0-litres and above or more than 400Nm of torque use a wet-clutch variant which has proved to be more reliable than the versions used on smaller-engined versions. You may also want to look at the Skoda Superb, which has even more space and excellent rear leg and headroom. As for alternatives you could consider the Mazda 6 and CX-5, Ford Mondeo and Kia Optima, all of which offer good rear legroom, comfort levels and are available with an automatic gearbox.
Answered by David Ross

What's the best family car for £12,000?

"I'm looking at buying a used car for a young family, so ideally a five-door with ample boot space for a pram, plus extra for holidaying at home. It must be petrol as mileage will be around 8000/year and budget is around £12,000. Looking at running costs and reliability leads me to the Fabia Estate, but I'm not sure I could live with how dull it is. My partner doesn't want anything huge, which probably rules out Mondeo/Superb unless it has parking sensors/reverse camera. I'm scared of high mileage petrol cars, but should I be? Is a Peugeot 308 SW a good choice or is there something obvious I'm missing that would be reliable/cheap to run at higher mileage? "
A Skoda Fabia is a functional if unexciting choice - although you might be surprised how quickly you'll grow out of it as a family! It's quite a small car, even as an estate. We rate the Peugeot 308 (and 308 SW) - it'd be a good purchase and practical enough for your needs. Alternatively, a Honda Civic would be a very reliable and practical used car, especially if you can find a 2017 model within budget. We'd also recommend a Skoda Octavia - it's a very practical family car that represents excellent value for money. With regards to mileage, there's no need to be too concerned about high mileage, provided it's got evidence of regular servicing (and, obviously, the price reflects the higher mileage).
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

What does a Skoda Octavia (2013 – 2020) cost?