2020 Skoda Octavia first details revealed

A new Octavia is coming and it’s larger and more high-tech than ever. Here’s everything you need to know about this top value new Skoda

Gavin Braithwaite-Smith
Dec 10, 2019

Chances are you’ve encountered a number of Skoda Octavias at certain points in your life - whether you noticed or not. An Octavia taxi may have whisked you home from a club in the early hours of the morning or back from the airport and that really sensible guy down the road probably owns one.

Perhaps you’ve been pulled over by a traffic cop in an Octavia, or maybe it was the rental car you and your mates picked up on holiday last year. These things are everywhere, with owners appreciating their cavernous boot and no-nonsense approach to family motoring. Thankfully the new model adds a little extra excitement to the menu, with sharper looks and desirable new high-tech kit.

Skoda has just revealed the all-new Octavia, which is set to go on sale in the UK in 2020. There’s a lot resting on its shoulders – the Octavia is Skoda’s biggest-selling car and is available in hatchback and estate bodystyles. It also shares much in common with the more expensive - and smaller - VW Golf, so if you like the idea of a Golf, but either can't stretch that far or need extra space, you'll want to consider the Octavia.

Quick facts

  • Bigger than outgoing Octavia
  • More details to be revealed shortly
  • New model replaces Skoda's best seller
  • Features more up-to-date interior
  • Estate model boasts 640-litre boot
  • Plug-in hybrid to be introduced

Launched in 1996, and on sale in the UK since 1998, the Octavia has helped to transform Skoda’s reputation. It might not be the last word in cool – unless you opt for the sporty vRS model – but thanks to a huge boot, excellent value for money and strong customer service, the Octavia is practically brilliant and brilliantly practical.

So, you might not think the fourth-generation Skoda Octavia is that interesting, but we’re here to tell you why it’s such a big deal. We’ll also show you how to bag a great deal on the outgoing Octavia as it makes way for the new model.


Skoda has been teasing us with news about the new Octavia for a while, but we’re not expecting a revolution. Instead, Skoda is likely to play it safe with evolutionary styling tweaks, more efficient engines, improved technology and a revised cabin. The new model looks a notch or two sharper than the current Octavia, but the resemblance is strong, so even if your budget only stretches to a used model, most of your friends and family wouldn't notice that it's not the latest one.

Details on pricing and specifications haven't been revealed yet, but you can read on for all the news on the new Skoda Octavia's design, engines and technology.

2020 Skoda Octavia design

Fortunately, Skoda looks set to ditch the controversial split headlight design in favour of a front end that looks similar to the current Superb. In fact, the new Octavia will hold a strong resemblance to the Superb, which is no bad thing.

Skoda has confirmed the use of LED headlights and LED rear lights, plus full LED Matrix headlights on the most expensive models. In simple terms, this means high beam can be on at all times, giving you the clearest possible view of the road ahead without dazzling oncoming traffic, making nighttime driving a little easier.

For the first time, the Octavia will also feature dynamic indicators - where individual light elements illuminate in sequence, pointing in the direction you're going - much to the annoyance of your Audi-owning friends who won’t be too happy to discover that the glitzy tech has filtered down to humble Skoda models.

2020 Skoda Octavia interior

The Octavia’s cabin has never been the most exciting place in which to while away a few hours, but Skoda claims it has “completely revamped” the new car’s interior. Don’t get too carried away, it’s not going to be all disco lights and glitter balls, but the quality should be pushed up a notch or two.

Some models will benefit from a multifunction steering wheel with no fewer than 14 different functions – calm yourself – while the dashboard, door trims and centre console have been redesigned for a more upmarket feel, too.

The seats will include optional massage and cooling functions, which should be enough to send your Audi-owning mates over the edge. There’s three-zone climate control to keep your rear seat passengers happy - even if they want to be a completely different temperature to those in the front - plus a keyless entry system that allows you to select which of the four doors you want to open first.

2020 Skoda Octavia technology

We could talk to you about engines and transmissions – and we will in a moment – but we know that the size of the touchscreen and smartphone integration are more important considerations for many drivers.

A pair of USB ports in the front and up to five overall means there won’t be any squabbling over who gets to charge their phone, while some models will feature two 10-inch screens. The central screen works like a tablet, allowing you to adjust the volume or use the map with two fingers, while the digital instrument panel offers four different layouts. Throw into the mix an optional high-end sound system and you’ve got the makings of the most tech-laden Octavia to date.

For the first time, the Octavia will come with an optional sleep package, comprising two larger headrests in the back and a blanket. The famous Skoda umbrella is present in the driver’s door, along with space for a hand brush. What you do with the hand brush is up to you, but it’s there if you want it.

A ‘Rough Road’ version will be offered for drivers who commute to work on gravel tracks and across fields, while lowered sports suspension is available for those who don’t. Performance vRS versions will follow later in 2020 for those after a sportier feel.

2020 Skoda Octavia dimensions

In the world of the family hatchback, size matters, but this is one area in which the Skoda Octavia has always stood proud, measuring up as much longer than rivals including the VW Golf and Ford Focus. Not that this has stopped Skoda from making the new model even bigger.

It’s longer and wider than the outgoing model, which means 78mm more kneeroom than before. Useful knowledge, especially if you’re deciding which Uber to use when you’re suffering from the after effects of another night on the town.

There’s a larger boot, too, up from 590 to 600 litres in the hatchback and from 610 to 640 litres in the estate. Trust us, that's huge. What you do with this extra space is up to you, but booze cruises should be more fruitful, while loading the boot during a visit to a certain Swedish furniture store will be less like a game of Tetris.

2020 Skoda Octavia engines

While engines, fuel economy and safety systems may not be as sexy as touchscreens and the sound of Barry White being played through posh speakers, this promises to be the safest and most efficient Octavia to date.

Efficiency is the name of the game here, with the introduction of a plug-in hybrid option alongside a range of mild-hybrid petrol engines and cleaner diesels producing fewer emissions too.

We'll start with the petrols, and the entry-level 1.0-litre engine that produces 110hp and achieves a 0-62mph time of 10.6 seconds. Next up is a 1.5-litre, 150hp engine that reaches 62mph in just 8.3 seconds. Both of these units are available with just a six-speed manual gearbox.

At the top of the petrol tree is a 2.0-litre unit couple with a seven-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive offers 190hp and a 0-62mph time of 6.9 seconds - we're getting fruity now.

Moving on to diesel options, there's a single 2.0-litre engine available in in a variety of configurations. Coupled with a six-speed manual gearbox, it comes in either 116 or 150hp spec bringing up 0-62mph in either 10.4 or 8.9 seconds respectively. A seven-speed automatic is also offered with those two power outputs, but 0-62mph takes 10.8 or 8.7 seconds.

Diesel four-wheel drive models come with either the came 150hp spec or the top-level 200hp option. The most powerful achieves 62mpg in 7.1 seconds.

Finally we turn to the hybrid alternatives. Here, we have two mild hybrid variants of the 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre petrol engines. Both are offered with the seven-speed automatic gearbox and offer similar performance but reduced CO2 emissions. The plug-in hybrid is a stand-alone 1.4-litre petrol engine combined with an electric motor to produce 204hp and reach 0-62mph in 7.9 seconds. In electric-only mode, Skoda quotes a range of 34 miles, which is pretty par for the course.

Used Skoda Octavia

If you’re after an Octavia, you don't have to wait until the new model lands. Great deals on the ougoing model are available on BuyaCar now. It’s marginally smaller, the engines are slightly less efficient, and the tech is not as up-to-date, but as a result, you can save thousands - even on practically new cars.

Consequently, prices for 2019 models start around £13,000 - despite new prices starting at nearly £19,000 - so saving a few thousand pounds off the list price won’t be difficult. Indeed, pre-registered Octavias - many of which have covered less than 10 miles - are available from around £16,000 - a surprisingly low price for a rather large car.

Meanwhile, PCP finance deals make the Octavia even more affordable. Proof that you didn’t need to spend a huge amount to bag a big car.


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