The front exterior of a blue Skoda Octavia

Skoda Octavia review

The Skoda Octavia is super spacious with excellent front and rear legroom, as well as a massive boot. It comes with plenty of kit, is comfortable to drive and offers good value for money.

Pros

  • Excellent Bluetooth connectivity through the infotainment system
  • A good range of efficient engines
  • A huge amount of boot space

Cons

  • The best models are still expensive
  • Town driving isn't as good as some competitors
  • Styling could be more exciting

Summary

“Fantastic value for money with excellent features. It’s almost worth buying for the massive boot space alone.”

The Octavia has loads of interior space and a massive boot. It features the very latest technology including a touchscreen infotainment system and USB ports. 

It boasts a wide range of engines, including some very frugal diesels that come with driving modes to select depending on your mood. There are plenty of options to look out for when buying used, such as the Virtual Cockpit, which features a digital speedometer that allows you to control everything from music to navigation features.

It rides well, particularly on longer trips taking in motorways and A-roads. This is where you can really enjoy the comfort this car provides, especially when you engage the cruise control.

The Octavia was updated in 2017 with a few engine changes and tech updates ensuring it’s still state-of-the-art.

Dash shot of the Skoda Octavia

What's the interior like?

“It's spacious, well equipped and has a premium feel in higher specification models.”

The Octavia is a spacious, airy car which feels well built from quality materials. Its equipment levels are high with plenty of technology on show. The basic S has a touchscreen infotainment system with DAB radio and Smartlink Bluetooth connectivity.

The controls are all nicely placed, the dashboard is well laid out and there are handy storage solutions, which makes both the hatch and estate ideal family cars.

The great thing about the Octavia is the amount of generous space it offers for the driver and passengers. It also has a huge 580 litres of boot space which is large enough for several large suitcases. If you fold the rear seats down the boot space expands by 1000 litres and your car becomes as useful as a van. This is even more impressive when you realise you’re paying the same price as you would for much smaller vehicles. Legroom eclipses anything in its class and the seats are both comfortable and hard-wearing with a great range of interior trims. 

Depending on the model and options fitted, the interior can be anything from basic up to highly premium. Some models, such as the SE Technology, have lots of tech such as sat nav and parking sensors included but many previous owners will also have added features when new.

Fascia shot of the Skoda Octavia

What's it like to drive?

“It's best cruising on motorways and A-roads but is still comfortable in town.”

The Octavia is not as much about driver enjoyment as some of its rivals and feels slightly light around town. But, hit the motorway or some A-roads on a longer drive and you’ll immediately understand why it’s become so popular. The steering is spot on, the level of comfort is very high and the car soaks up most bumps and potholes as though it was a far more expensive executive model. With this level of refinement, the Octavia is definitely one of the most relaxed drives available.

The engine range provides some great petrol and diesel choices and all are responsive and economical. The DSG dual-clutch automatic and six-speed manual gearboxes are both smooth and easy to use. The DSG transmissions are popular in this class so you may find more models available. 

If you want more performance, the VRS petrol and diesel models are really powerful and there’s even a capable off-road crossover model which is the all-wheel drive Octavia Scout, based on the estate.

Grille shot of the Skoda Octavia

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“The wide range of choice means there’s a model to suit most budgets, while all models have low running costs.”

It’s very popular so there are lots of Octavias around at a wide range of prices. That means you’ll certainly get great value compared with some of the more premium competitors. All Octavias are efficient to run with the 1.0 TSI petrol delivering an excellent 60 mpg, while the 1.6 TDI even achieves 72 mpg. 

Insurance costs are cheaper than most rivals and the same applies to parts and repair costs.

Gear stick shot of the Skoda Octavia

How reliable and safe is it?

“This is one of the most reliable and safe cars in the market.”

The Octavia was named the best Compact Car in the 2019 JD Power Vehicle Dependability Study so you can expect excellent reliability from the Octavia. 

Safety is also a strong point for the Octavia, particularly in higher specification late models which can have parking assist and blind spot detection, which alerts the driver if there’s a vehicle in the blind spot to the side and rear of the car.

Boot space shot of the Skoda Octavia

Which one is best for you?

Best for economy - 1.6 TDI

Best for family - 1.4 TSI SE

Best for fun - VRS

The S spec is a little basic but you’ll be able to find one with all the extras you need. The SE spec has a better level of equipment. If you’re looking at a post-2017 updated model, you’ll get lots more equipment at a great price. 

There’s little to differentiate between petrol and diesel in terms of economy. The 1.4 TSI and later 1.5 TSI petrol units will suit most needs.

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