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 an adjustable lumbar support and a front centre armrest for a little extra fine tuning. 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 (it���s an expensive and unnecessary option on the vRS) but the standard manual seat adjustment on all other models is easy to use, while all of the seat controls are conveniently located.
Thanks to a logical layout and clear labelling, using the various dashboard buttons is simple and straightforward, too.
Skoda Octavia visibility
Forward visibility in the Octavia is good; the windscreen pillars rarely obscure your view at junctions or roundabouts. 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 an expensive option on the S) while combined front and rear sensors are an option on most versions.
An automatic parking system that steers the car into parking spaces is standard on the Laurin & Klement version and, with the exception of S trim, is optional across the range. This can be enhanced with Trailer Assist, which as you may have guessed, helps you park a trailer or caravan. A rear-view parking camera is an option on all models, again with the exception of the entry-level S version.
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 also standard, which allow 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 on-board wifi is standard on SE L, SE Technology and includes a 9.2in touchscreen on Laurin & Klement trims (it’s an option on SE and vRS). With these systems you also get on-board connectivity that allows web browsing and live data access, including traffic and weather reports, and the availability of local parking spaces.
With eight speakers as standard, the stereo’s sound quality is good by class standards, but it is still a little tinny. An upmarket 10-speaker system is an option on most versions, and standard on Laurin & Klement.
Skoda Octavia build quality
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. The switches are nicely damped, too.
SE trim and upwards get contrasting trim highlights on the dashboard. They brighten things up and are an improvement on the base car’s dour and darker finish.