Skoda Octavia Review

The current Skoda Octavia is the fourth generation of the model, launched in 2019, and upgraded many of the tech offerings and the overall design to keep it on par with competitors such as the Audi A3.

With these refinements Skoda has steadily pushed the Octavia into a more upmarket sector of family cars, meaning that is does now cost a little more to buy than previous versions, but has paid off or them thanks to its practicality and great position as an all-rounder family car.

Skoda models also benefit from being part of the Volkswagen Group, meaning that their initial build and mechanics are shared with the well known models that they offer, such as the VW Golf, but at a lower price.

Let us guide you through the different options available in our full Skoda Octavia review to help you decide which is the best option for you.

Design and Style

The latest Skoda Octavia has all of the functionality that you've come to expect from a car in Skoda's range but it's overall style and design has been seriously upgraded.

The actual size of the car has been increased from the Mark 3, adding 19mm to it's overall length and 15mm in width. This makes it larger than the Audi A3, the BMW 1 Series, and the VW Golf and costs less than each of these too.

If you opt for the Skoda Octavia estate there's actually no difference to the size of the car itself, but it ditches the sloped roof in favour of a higher and squared off rear to accommodate more space at the back.

They've kept the crease that runs from headlights to tail lights, streamlining the design but also giving it an imposing feeling as a saloon car. It's matched with Skoda's classic wide front grille and slim headlights to make it instantly recognisable as belonging to the brand.


Skoda have added a range of finishes to the interior of the Octavia that makes it feel more upmarket than the previous model. There's soft touch plastics, decorative aluminium inserts, cloth upholstery, and a leather steering wheel, but it is designed to be functional. You can expect the same high level of finish and fit from other cars from the VW group though.

The Octavia’s dashboard has some shared elements with the Volkswagen Golf, but it manages to look very different. Skoda calls the design ‘multi-level’ and it comes with the use of chrome and suede to dress up some of the surfaces.

There's also a sound system with 8 speakers as standard, a 10 inch touchscreen, and a phenomenal 5 USB C ports throughout the cabin. This is a larger screen than in previous models and includes wireless Smartlink for Apple Carplay. As with other Skoda models Android Auto and Mirrorlink both require a wired connection, which is disappointing for these users.

Comfort and Practicality

Skoda prides itself on utilising all of the space in their models and the Skoda Octavia is no exception. It's larger build than it's previous model means that there's even more room for passengers.

In the front seats passengers have 1040mm of headroom, 21mm more than the BMW 1 Series and 16mm more than the Mercedes A Class, which is ideal for taller drivers. In the rear seats it gives more headroom than both of these models too. It gives tall passengers 970mm headroom, compared to 956mm in the 1 Series and 952mm in the A Class, which isn't a huge amount more but will make the difference between having your head skimming the roof or not. The estate increases this further to 985mm for rear passengers.

It's also a standout for boot space too. With all five seats in use it boasts a 600 litre capacity (640 litres if you choose the estate) although this is reduced to 450 litres if you choose any of them plug in hybrid models to accommodate the battery.

Rivals don't offer nearly as much room with all five seats in use, making it a really unique selling point of the Skoda Octavia. For comparison, the SEAT Leon, BMW 1 Series, and Audi A3 all offer 380 litres, and the Mercedes A Class offers 355 litres. The Octavia is clearly set worlds apart for storage space.

Performance and Engine Options

The Skoda Octavia has a wide variety of engines to suit everyone with three petrol engines, two mild hybrid, two plug in hybrid, and three diesel options available across the range.

The petrol options start with the 1.0 litre TSI which offers a decent 110PS and a combined mpg of up to 54.3. It's a six speed manual gearbox and offered only on the SE trim level. It's also available as a mild hybrid, which drops the CO2 emissions from 117g/km in the full petrol to 117g/km and improves the mpg to 56.0.

There's also a 1.5 TSI petrol engine with 150PS if you want something a bit more powerful or you can go all out with the 2.0 TSI petrol engine which will give you 245PS. The former is only available on the SE trim whilst the latter is a performance engine and therefore only available with the top spec vRS. The 1.5 TSI is also available as a mild hybrid which brings the CO2 emissions down to 120g/km and raises the mpg to 53.5.

For diesel, all options are 2.0 litre TDI with varying amounts of power. The 150PS gives much better fuel economy than its petrol counterparts with as much as 64.7mpg. The 200PS is available as front wheel or four wheel drive and offers 56.8mpg and 51.2mpg respectively. However the four wheel drive has higher emissions with 130g/km compared to the front wheel drive compared to the 145g/km for the 4x4.

There's also a 116PS version of the 2.0 litre diesel engine which is only currently available as an upgrade option for the Octavia vRS trim level. This is the most economical offering with 68.2mpg and only 109g/km in CO2 emissions before looking at a plug in hybrid option.

Skoda Octavia iV

Finally there are two plug in hybrid options available too. These have an electric motor which works in tandem with the traditional combustion engine to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. The full electric range is as large as 68km. For the Skoda Octavia iV there's a choice between two 1.4 TSI iV engines; one offering 204PS and the other 245PS across the SE L and vRS. The 204PS can offer as much as 289.5mpg and only 22g/km in CO2 emissions whilst the 245PS gives 233.2mpg and 27g/km of CO2 emissions.

The plug in hybrid version of the Skoda Octavia is only available when you take it in the SE L or vRS trim levels, with the higher powered 245PS only being an option on the vRS trim.

Trim Levels

The Skoda Octavia has three different trim levels available: the SE, the SE L, and the vRS.

The SE has a serious amount of kit for an entry level trim. As well as 16 inch alloys you get LED headlights with LED daytime running lights and LED rear lights, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, rear parking sensors with manoeuvre assist, and a light and rain sensor. Inside there's a two spoke leather multifunction steering wheel, height adjustment and lumbar support for the front two seats, dual zone climate control, cruise control with a speed limiter and keyless start/stop for the engine. The main attraction is the 10 inch touchscreen in the centre console which is home to the infotainment system and has wireless Smartlink for Apple Carplay.

The middle trim, the SE L, builds on the great offering from the SE. The alloys are upgraded to 17 inches and rear privacy glass is added alongside headlight washers, electrically folding mirrors, front parking sensors, and keyless entry. There's also Microsuede upholstery, front heated seats, drive mode selection, adaptive cruise control, and an integrated Columbus sat nav, all of which really enhance your driving experience.

If you'd like something a little more special you can turn to the Octavia vRS. Marketed as the sports performance option in the Skoda Octavia line, it has the more powerful engine options which are paired with a selection of aesthetic enhancing features. These include 19 inch alloys, red brake calipers, vRS rear spoiler and sports bumper, and black vRS sports upholstery inside with red stitching. For practicality there's full LED matrix headlights with adaptive lighting system, sport suspension that's 15mm lower than the standard Octavia, and a virtual pedal for the tailgate.

Reliability and Safety

Like most cars in the Skoda range, the Skoda Octavia has a five star Euro NCAP rating across all models, including the newer plug in hybrid variants. It outperforms the Audi A3 across all categories, and is on par with many other cars in the same category such as the Ford Focus.

The Skoda Octavia has a full range of standard safety features which contribute to this rating including a driver knee airbag, front assist, lane assist, a visual and audible seatbelt reminder, warning reflectors in the front door, turn assist, and a driver fatigue sensor.

There's also a number of features which make your driving experience easier like an electronic parking brake, cruise control and speed limiter, boot lid release from inside the vehicle, and rear parking sensors with manoeuvre assist. Whilst you still obviously have to concentrate, these features are designed to take away some of the stress of driving so that you can focus on the road in front of you.


As with other models in the range, the Skoda Octavia is well priced against other models.

The entry level SE starts from £23,335, putting it between the Ford Focus and the SEAT Leon with a decent amount of kit going with it.

The middle trim, the SE L steps up to £27,475, which is on par with an entry level BMW 1 Series and cheaper than an entry level Mercedes A Class.

The high spec Octavia vRS jumps up in price a little again to £33,630, which is to be expected with a trim level that offers as much as the vRS does. It's a little cheaper than a Ford Focus ST and considerably more so than luxury brand counterparts like the 1 Series and the A Class.

The plug-in hybrid iV is available only in the upper trims, but is still really well priced when compared to any of the aforementioned rival hybrid options, starting at £34,800 according to Skoda's website.


The Skoda Octavia is an excellent option is you're looking for a large family car. It provides enough space for five passengers of all ages and the things that come along with them without feeling cramped and still offers a great amount of tech and equipment too.

It's incredibly practical thanks to Skoda's continuous commitment to clever design and easier on your wallet than rivals such as the BMW 1 Series or the Mercedes A Class. Overall, the Skoda Octavia is a great value car that's great to drive too, especially with mild and plug in hybrid options which keep it a more sustainable option for the future.

Skoda Octavia