2024 Skoda Octavia receives AI infotainment system

Facelifted Skoda Octavia family car receives design tweaks, more standard kit and an infotainment system enhanced by AI...

On sale June 2024 | Price from £27,000 (est)

Welcome, potentially, to a story of redemption. You see, the Skoda Octavia has, over the years, become one of the most decorated cars in What Car? history, winning our Family Car of the Year title five times. 

The current generation, however, hasn’t managed to continue that success, having been beaten by family car rivals including the Honda Civic, Seat Leon and Toyota Corolla in recent years. With this facelift, then, the Octavia aims to come out fighting, and to re-take its position at the top of the class.

The exterior has been given a nip and tuck, with a new front grille, new matrix LED headlights that can shape their beams to maximise illumination without dazzling oncoming drivers, and new front and rear bumpers that are designed to give the car an aggressive look.

2024 Skoda Octavia hatchback driving

Inside, the Octavia’s standard 10in infotainment screen can now be replaced with a 13in unit via the options list, and we expect it to be easy to get along with; after all, the current Octavia’s set-up has crisp graphics and faster responses than the systems you’ll find in its rivals.

Before long, the Octavia will include ChatGPT artificial intelligence, so you’ll be able to ask your car just about any question you like, from what the weather’s like at your destination to something that’ll help with your children’s homework. Last month, Peugeot announced its own AI integration, which is expected to work in a similar way.

Elsewhere, the Octavia’s USB charging ports – of which there are up to five – can now top up your devices faster, while dual-zone climate control has become standard across the range. 

2024 Skoda Octavia interior

As before, both the Octavia’s 1.5-litre petrol engines – available with 114bhp and 148bhp respectively – can be had as mild hybrids that employ gentle electrical assistance to help improve fuel economy. Or, if you’re looking for more power, there’s also a 2.0-litre petrol engine. This is available in 201bhp form with four-wheel drive, or in 261bhp guise in the sporty Skoda Octavia vRS.

High-mileage drivers might want to consider the 2.0-litre diesel, available in 114bhp or 148bhp forms. Gearbox options across the range are a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic.

These updates are also reflected in the Octavia Estate, which remains one of the most practical options in the class. Indeed, we managed to fit nine carry-on suitcases into the boot – only two shy of the more expensive Skoda Superb Estate.

2024 Skoda Octavia vRS Estate

Prices for the updated Octavia hatchback should start from around £27,000, making it significantly cheaper than both the Civic and Corolla – although those cars have the benefit of being full hybrids, so are even cheaper to run. The Octavia Estate, meanwhile, will be priced from around £28,000.

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