Skoda Octavia Review

The Octavia is a practical and safe family car that now takes a step up market with new tech and hybrid power

Strengths & weaknesses

  • Hybrid powertrains
  • Spacious cabin and boot
  • Impressive media system
  • Ford Focus is so good to drive
  • Prices are expected to be higher
  • Larger body makes parking a tight squeeze
Skoda Octavia prices from £10,490.
Finance from £156.37 / month.

Used 2019 (old model) prices from £10,490   Finance from £156.37 per month

When it comes to making money, the Octavia is not only Skoda’s bread and butter but the sandwich filling too. This spacious family hatchback is significant for generating half the profits for the Czech based manufacturer, which doubtless explains why the new, fourth-generation model has been treated to such a substantial redesign.

Set to go on sale in the Spring, the new 2020 Skoda Octavia continues on its quest to win over buyers in the family car market. It's grown in size (19mm longer and 15mm wider in hatchback form) and brings more sporting appeal and interior quality in a bid to tempt drivers away from regular competitors such as the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf. Expect it to be slightly more expensive than the outgoing Octavia model as a result.

The introduction of brand new mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid models - badged as 'iV' - is also a first for the Octavia. Both help improve the car’s fuel efficiency and lower its CO2 emissions, while the new vRS iV brings extra performance too with its 245hp hybrid engine.

This new Octavia has been given a serious interior revamp as well. It looks and feels a lot more upmarket than previous models, there's a new two-spoke steering wheel and an 8.3-inch touchscreen media system with voice-activation tech as standard. Buyers will have an option to upgrade this to a 10-inch touchscreen and add the ‘Virtual Cockpit’ digital display that replaces the analogue dials. Skoda also offers configurable LED ambient lighting with ten different colours. And for those who want to be pampered, massage seats are available for the first time.

Every Octavia will include Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, while certain models will be available with fancy features such as gesture control – a system that recognises hand movements and is able to adjust certain functions – while voice control can be operated from the steering wheel or, depending on the model, by speaking to Laura, the Skoda Digital Assistant that works in a similar way to Apple’s Siri assistant.

One of the trump cards of Octavias of past is the generous level of space in the cabin and boot. The latest 2020 model improves on that, the hatchback now offers 600 litres of boot space while the Skoda Octavia Estate nudges that up to an even more accommodating 640 litres.

Needless to say, a Skoda wouldn’t be a Skoda without a range of nifty features that help make life just that little bit easier. These include an ice scraper in the fuel filler cap, a parking ticket holder, a stowed umbrella and even a funnel built into the screenwash reservoir. Parents with younger children might like to opt for the Sleep Pack, which includes more comfortable rear headrests, sun blinds and blankets that pack into pouches secured on the backs of the front seats.

It's also been confirmed that the new 2020 Octavia has achieved a five-star rating in the Euro NCAP safety test, with a 92% score for adult protection and an 88% child protection rating.

Key facts

Warranty Three years, 60,000 miles (unlimited in first two years)
Boot size Hatchback: 600 litres; Estate: 640 litres
Width 1829mm
Length 4689mm
Height Hatchback: 1470mm; Estate: 1468mm

Best Skoda Octavia for...

Best for Economy – Octavia iV plug-in hybrid

Skoda is still to announce the certified fuel economy and emissions for the new, 2020 Octavia range but without a doubt the most frugal model will be the new plug-in hybrid version. This combines a petrol engine with a rechargeable battery and in the larger Superb it can return between 148 and 201mpg, so we’d expect the Octavia version to be similarly frugal.

Best for Families – Octavia 1.5 TSI EVO

With so many families moving away from diesel power, we’d suggest that the 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine would be the optimum choice for drivers that want a car that delivers a good blend of economy and responsive performance at a reasonable price.

Best for Performance – Octavia .20 TSI vRS

The fastest model in the Octavia range has historically been the sporty vRS version. Skoda is still to announce details about the latest 2020 version, though.


  • November 2019 Fourth-generation Octavia revealed
  • April 2020 First deliveries of 2020 Octavia for UK drivers to begin 


Understanding Skoda Octavia names

Engine 1.5 TSI EVO

There is likely to be a choice of nine models, when taking into account the versions that feature mild hybrid assistance and the plug-in hybrid model. We expect to see three petrols (badged as TSI), three diesels (badged TDI) and three with hybrid technology.

Trim SE L

Historically, Skoda has offered six trim levels with the Octavia range: SE Drive, SE L, SportLine, vRS, L&K and Scout. These are yet to be confirmed on the 2020 model.

Gearbox DSG

Some models come with a six-speed manual gearbox fitted as standard, others feature a seven-speed automatic as standard. The plug-in hybrid model comes with a six-speed automatic.

Skoda Octavia Engines

Petrol: 1.0 TSI Evo, 1.5 TSI Evo, 2.0 TSI Diesel: 2.0 TDI Hybrid: 1.0 TSI e-Tec, 1.5 TSI e-Tec, iV 1.4 TSI PHEV

For the 2020 Octavia there is a choice of three petrol engines, three diesels and three that feature hybrid technology of differing levels, but no news as yet on the hot vRS version.

At the time of writing, Skoda was still to reveal the official fuel consumption and CO2 emissions data for the new Octavia range. However, the most frugal will be the new addition to the range, a plug-in hybrid known as the Octavia iV. This features a petrol engine and battery-powered electric motor that can be charged from the mains or by the petrol engine, and offers up to 34 miles of electric motoring. It is likely to be capable of more than 100mpg.

However, the Octavia iV will be expensive, so it’s likely to appeal most to company car drivers who wish to take advantage of its ultra-low Benefit-In-Kind tax status over the course of the next three years.

The range starts with the 1.0 TSI Evo, a 1.0-litre, turbocharged three-cylinder engine, which is small, light (around 300kg lighter than a 2-litre, four-cylinder diesel) and, with 110hp, reasonably spritely. 

The pick of the petrol range for all-round ability is the 1.5-litre TSI Evo. This 150hp, four-cylinder unit delivers all the performance most drivers could wish for, is smooth and quiet and comes with a six-speed manual gearbox. A more powerful 2-litre TSI is also offered in the range.

Historically diesel power has powered plenty of Octavias, which is why it remains a staple of the range for 2020. The 2-litre, four-cylinder 2.0 TDI isn’t the most refined but it comes in three power outputs – 85hp, 110hp and 147hp – and a choice of a manual or automatic gearbox. For the middle version, four-wheel drive is an option, and with the 147hp version it is standard.

Skoda is also introducing mild hybrid technology to the Octavia, with both the 1.0 and 1.5 TSI engines benefitting from what it calls the ‘e-Tec’ system. This helps eek out fuel efficiency and CO2 improvements, but the final figures are still to be revealed.

Heading up the range is a new plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). We’ve tried a similar system in the latest Skoda Superb, and it works well. However, for the company car drivers that are mostly attracted to such cars, the key consideration is the car’s OC2 figure, which Skoda is still to reveal.



Economy (WLTP)


Acceleration (0-62mph)

Top speed





10.6 sec


1.5 TSI




8.2 sec


2.0 TSI DGS 4x4




6.9 sec


2.0 TDI




10.3 sec


2.0 TDI




8.9 sec


2.0 TDI DSG 4x4




7.1 sec


1.0 TSI e-Tec DSG

Petrol mild-hybrid



10.6 sec


1.5 TSI e-Tec DGS

Petrol mild-hybrid



8.4 sec



Petrol plug-in hybrid





Skoda Octavia Trims

At the time of writing, Skoda was still confirm the trim levels and standard equipment that will be offered with the new 2020 Octavia.

Historically, the company has offered as many as six trim levels with the Octavia. These have been the entry-level SE Drive, followed by SE L, then SportLine, vRS, L&K and Scout.

Skoda Octavia Reliability and warranty

The outgoing Skoda Octavia performed well in terms of customer satisfaction, with an overall rating of 91.48% in the 2019 Auto Express Driver Power survey, which saw it finish ahead of any of its direct competitors. For further peace of mind, it’s good to see that Skoda ranked the fifth best manufacturer, overall, in the same survey.

The company offers a three-year, 60,000 mile warranty with all new Skodas sold in the UK. However, in the first two years the mileage is unlimited. Drivers also have the option to extend the warranty, with a further year (four years and 80,000 miles) costing £255, or a maximum of five years (upto 100,000 miles) adding £515.

Used Skoda Octavia

Because the 2020 Octavia is not yet on sale in the UK, there aren’t used examples available at Skoda dealers or on the wider used car market. However, over time this will change, as demonstrators and then former fleet and privately owned cars feed into the used car market place. To find out about what you could get for your money when buying a third-generation Octavia, click here.

Other Editions

Octavia (2013 – 2020)

The spacious and solid Skoda Octavia is one of the best-value new cars on sale today

Octavia Estate (2013 – 2020)

The Skoda Octavia Estate is a sensible family car, with the added bonus of a gargantuan boot and tonnes of rear seat space