Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
The Octavia is very competitively priced against its rivals and represents pretty much the cheapest way into a car of this size. Don’t discount the entry-level petrol, it’s surprisingly cheap for the class and is well suited to low-mileage drivers. Resale values, while not as good as those of a Volkswagen Golf, Kia Ceed or Audi A3, are still good by class standards and will better or match those of rivals such as the Ford Focus. PCP finance deals and leasing costs are competitive, if not class-leading.
The whole range delivers extremely competitive fuel economy. The 1.6 TDI 115 diesel is the one to go for if you really want to eke your fuel out, while the 1.0 TSI managed an excellent 46.0mpg in our real-world test. But for something with a bit more zip without a massive thirst, the 1.5 TSI 150 petrol is our top tip. It returns 38.3mpg in the real world and its company car tax bracket is low. The 2.0 TDI 150 diesel is also good.
For speed demons, the vRS models are great-value performance models, although not the most thrilling hot hatches around.
Equipment, options and extras
The Octavia is available in S, SE, SE Technology, SE L and Laurin & Klement trims. Hot hatch models are badged vRS.
All versions come with air conditioning, alloy wheels and the excellent infotainment system we detailed in the earlier section. There are a few key options you can’t add to S trim, though, so it’s worth stepping up to SE.
SE is our favourite trim level for value. It adds rear parking sensors, manual driver and passenger lumbar adjustment, a front centre armrest, a multi-function steering wheel, cruise control, dual-zone climate control and rear electric windows. Despite having all this, it remains competitively priced.
SE L trim is also worth considering for some nice additional extras, including privacy glass and power-fold door mirrors, as well as the lovely touch of an umbrella under the passenger seat – just like you'd find in a Rolls Royce.
The one to go for if you’re a company car user is SE Technology. It includes Infotainment Online connectivity with a wi-fi hotspot, plus front and rear parking sensors and adaptive cruise control.
Some of the options we think are worthwhile considering include metallic paint (for better resale values), a rear-view camera, a spare wheel and the Simply Clever package. This adds a double-sided rubberised and carpeted boot floor, rear-seat tablet holders and a waste bin.
The Octavia’s standard three-year, 60,000-mile manufacturer’s warranty is pretty average these days, especially while Kia offers seven years or 100,000 miles on its equivalent Ceed model. You can pay to extend the Octavia’s warranty for up to five years and 100,000 miles, and fixed-cost servicing is available to cover the first three years.
Skoda as a brand does well for reliability, though, appearing in seventh place out of 31 manufacturers examined in our 2018 What Car? Reliability Survey. That result places it above Volkswagen and Seat, as well as premium brands that include Mercedes and Porsche. The Octavia itself also did well, finishing fourth in the family car class.
Safety and security
The Octavia received the full five-star crash test rating from Euro NCAP back in 2013, although there are rivals that scored higher marks in the individual sections of the test.
All versions have seven airbags as standard and rear-side airbags are available as an optional extra. Other standard safety features include stability control, hill hold assist, tyre pressure monitoring (which can alert you to a slow puncture) and a system that automatically brakes the car in the immediate aftermath of a collision to avoid a second impact.
Disappointingly, only SE L and Laurin & Klement models offer automatic emergency braking with pedestrian protection (badged front assist) as standard. This important feature is standard on a number of competitors and should really be across the Octavia range, but at least it isn't an expensive option.
Blindspot detection, lane-keeping assistance and rear cross traffic assist, which automatically stops you if you’re about to reverse into something, are also available as options.
An alarm and engine immobiliser are fitted to every model and security experts Thatcham Research has rated it highly for its resistance to theft and break-in.
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A good choice if you want SUV styling and low running costs