Alex Bradley is a skilled writer and digital content specialist focusing on automotive and sports. He has a degree in Multimedia Journalism and previously worked for The Northern Quota as Head Sports Editor.
The Skoda Octavia is a family hatchback that's Skoda's most popular vehicle. Arguably one of the most practical cars on the market, the Octavia has a massive boot and a plush interior, making it an excellent choice for families.
Our Skoda Octavia review covers:
The Octavia is one of the most noticeable cars on the road because of that distinctive front grille. With vertical slats and slick headlights on either side, the front design of the Octavia is complemented by creases throughout the body and refined rear end.
The interior of the Octavia is about as spacious as it gets. There's loads of room in the cabin, and if you can't get comfortable, I don't think that's the Octavia's fault! There's loads of room in the front and back for adults over six feet tall, and our only criticism is that the middle rear passenger has limited leg space.
Boot space comes in at a massive 600 litres, which exceeds the 300-odd litres in the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf. You'll have no issue loading bigger items thanks to its large load area, and you can fold the rear seats 60/40 to accommodate those B&Q trips.
One area that the Octavia has improved is its interior quality. There are loads of soft-touch plastics on the dashboard, and everything you touch feels built to last. As you move up the trim levels, there are a few more premium features, such as microsuede upholstery and heated front seats.
All models of the Octavia have a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system with a DAB radio, Bluetooth, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. If you want a sat-nav, you must upgrade to the SE L trim. It's a sharp and responsive system that displays clear graphics but falls short of the more advanced and practical systems in the Mercedes A-Class and BMW 1 Series that can be used via rotary controllers.
Three trim levels are available: SE, SE L, and vRS.
SE has 16-inch alloy wheels, LED lights, cloth upholstery, a two-spoke leather steering wheel, aluminium decorative inserts, a 10-inch touchscreen, voice control, height adjustable front seats, rear parking sensors with manoeuvre assist, cruise control with speed limiter, and keyless start/stop.
SE L adds 17-inch aero alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, microsuede upholstery, heated front seats, sat-nav, adaptive cruise control, and drive mode selection.
vRS has 19-inch anthracite alloy wheels, a three-spoke sport steering wheel, full matrix LED headlights, and high-functionality LED rear lights.
There's plenty of choice under the bonnet for the Octavia. You can choose between three petrol engines, two diesel engines, and two mild hybrids. Most engines come with front-wheel drive, but four-wheel drive is available.
For the petrol engines, power outputs range from 110hp to 245hp. The entry-level 1.0-litre unit is probably worth avoiding if you plan on having a full car most of the time, so we'd recommend the mid-range 1.5-litre 150hp version.
Achieving 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds and coming with a fuel economy of around 50mpg, it's a quick and efficient engine that's perfect around town and at cruising speeds. If you want more power, you can go for the 2.0-litre unit that has 245hp and shoots from 0-62mph in just 6.6 seconds, however, at the expense of fuel economy.
Two 2.0-litre diesel engines are available, ranging from 150hp to 200hp. The entry-level unit is our pick of the two, pulling well from low revs and dealing with a full car easily. You'll also get a fuel economy above 60mpg.
Lastly, there are two mild hybrid versions: the 1.0-litre TSI e-TEC and the 1.5-litre TSI e-TEC. Using a small electric motor to help the engine, they slightly increase fuel economy compared to the original petrol versions.
Get on the road, and you'll find the Octavia is quiet, comfortable, and capable at low and high speeds. Around town, the Octavia has light handling and a tight turning circle, making navigating tight roads and car parks easy. You'll also find that the suspension deals with bumps in the road well, and you shouldn't notice potholes all too much.
Increase to motorway speeds, and the Octavia is one of the best in its class. Although not as silent as the Volkswagen Golf, the Octavia is calm and composed at 70mph, and you'll also get a good fuel economy of above 50mpg (for most units).
On a country road, the best Octavia to drive is the vRS version, which is more agile and fun than the original version. You get a range of driving modes, such as Sport and Individual, which make it that bit more interactive. For the rest of the range, country road driving can be a bit lacklustre and isn't as fun as the Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf.
Prices for the new Skoda Octavia start from £25,090.00 OTR* or to lease from £284.69 per month.
Leasing may be cheaper than an outright purchase, thanks to a low initial deposit and fixed monthly rentals.
*' On the road' price correct at time of publication and includes one year's road fund license, DVLA first registration fee and number plate fee. Prices are subject to change; always check with your nearest retailer.