All models come with firm but supportive seats that have a large range of adjustments including driver’s seat height and steering wheel rake and reach. The pedals are well placed, too, leading to a natural seating position that’s perfectly comfortable on a long trip. It’s worth stepping up to mid-spec SE trim, though, because this brings adjustable lumbar support for a little extra fine-tuning and a front centre armrest. The vRS models get even more supportive bespoke seats that are especially comfortable on long journeys.
The top-spec Laurin & Klement version has a powered driver’s seat, while the standard manual seat adjustments of the other models are perfectly fine and easy to use. As is using the Octavia’s main functions – the dashboard has a logical layout and the various switches and buttons are clearly labelled.
Thanks to a logical layout and clear labelling, using the various dashboard buttons is simple and straightforward.
Skoda Octavia visibility
Forward visibility in the Octavia is good; the windscreen pillars rarely obscure your view at junctions or roundabouts, and SE L models and above come with LED headlights that are super-illuminating at night. Over-the-shoulder visibility isn’t great, though, as the car’s chunky rear pillars restrict your vision when parking.
That said, rear parking sensors are standard from SE trim upwards (they’re option on S), while combined front and rear sensors are an option on most versions, but standard on the vRS 245 and Laurin & Klement model, while the latter also comes with parking assist. Trailer assist, which is an extension of parking assist and – as you may have guessed – helps you park a trailer, is an option on all but the S trim, as is a rear-view camera.
Skoda Octavia infotainment
The standard 8.0in colour touchscreen is extremely high-definition and is the medium through which you control the Octavia’s infotainment system. The system includes a digital radio, Bluetooth and audio streaming. Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink are standard, allowing you to use some of your smartphone’s apps through the touchscreen, including Google or Apple Maps. The touchscreen is responsive, has logical menu layouts and the big icons are easy to prod when you’re on the move.
An upgraded system with factory-fitted sat-nav and onboard wi-fi is standard on SE L, SE Technology, vRS and Laurin & Klement trims. You also get a year’s subscription for Infotainment Online, which delivers onboard connectivity for web browsing and live data access, including traffic and weather reports and the availability of local parking spaces. Laurin & Klement also includes a bigger 9.2in touchscreen.
With eight speakers as standard, the stereo’s sound quality is okay by class standards, but still a little tinny. An upmarket 10-speaker system is an option on most versions and standard on Laurin & Klement.
Skoda Octavia build quality
As with a Seat Leon, some of the materials around the lower parts of the cabin and around the seat bases feel more durable than upmarket, but the plastics in more prominent areas are textured and pleasant to the touch. That said, it’s not up to Volkswagen Golf standards, even if some of the switches are shared between the two models.
SE trim and above get contrasting trim highlights on the dashboard. They brighten things up and are an improvement on the entry-level car’s dour and darker finish.