Skoda Octavia review

Category: Family car

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:hybrid, diesel, petrol
Available colours:
Skoda Octavia hatchback 2020 infotainment
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RRP £20,965What Car? Target Price from£19,506
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

The Octavia’s model hierarchy is a little different to Skoda’s norm; the usual SE variant is there, but currently only in higher spec First Edition form, while SE L is available both as a ‘standard’ SE L and a SE L First Edition. A wider range will arrive in due course, though, including an entry-level S. Meanwhile, spec for spec, First Edition cars are competitive in price with rivals such as the Ford Focus and Seat Leon, and will set you back much less than equivalent premium models, such as the BMW 1 Series and Mercedes A Class

Skoda is usually generous with deposit contributions, too, so expect a competitive monthly PCP finance rate unless you go for the business-oriented SE Technology model. Similarly, you'll find plenty of discounts on our New Car Buying pages for all but SE Technology trim. Meanwhile, insurance costs sit between the Focus and Toyota Corolla.

Official CO2 emissions are broadly in line with those of the Focus, although the hybrid Corolla performs noticeably better. It’s worth pointing out that the Octavia's diesel engines aren’t currently RDE2 compliant, so company car users will be liable for a 4% BIK surcharge. This will change towards the end of the year, when updated versions of the 2.0 TDI 115 and 150 are introduced.

Equipment, options and extras

At first glance SE Technology trim offers the best value for money, costing barely any more than SE First Edition trim despite gaining voice control, floor mats and more distinctive alloy wheels, plus the aforementioned front parking sensors and infotainment upgrade.

Not that SE First Edition is poorly equipped; it gives you 16in alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, auto lights and wipers, heated door mirrors, keyless start and even an umbrella in the door.

There’s a bit of a price jump to SE L, but you get plenty of extra luxuries and some useful kit for your money, making it an excusable indulgence. Crucially, SE First Edition and SE L trims offer the biggest incentives to private buyers, making them more affordable than their list prices suggest.

Skoda Octavia hatchback 2020 infotainment

Reliability

This generation of Octavia is too new to have appeared in the 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey, but Skoda as a brand ranked an impressive 5th out of 31 manufacturers.

If things do go wrong, you’ve got a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty that can be extended to five years and 100,000 miles for a fee. Toyota gives you a five-year, 100,000-mile warranty as standard, however, while Kia trumps that with its seven-year, 100,000 miles of cover.

Safety and security

The Octavia received Euro NCAP’s top five-star safety rating and was found to be better at protecting adult occupants than the Focus in the event of a crash. It’s true that the Corolla scored better marks for side impact protection than both, but that car didn't perform as well as the Octavia in some frontal crashes.

Automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance and an e-call system that notifies the emergency services if you’re involved in an accident are standard on all models. SE L First Edition adds a handy system that flashes a light on the exterior mirror if something’s in your blind spot, as well as adaptive cruise control (also standard on ‘regular’ SE L), which maintains a steady gap between you and the car in front, braking to match its speed where necessary.

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Overview

First and foremost, the Skoda Octavia offers generous space for occupants and a massive boot that dwarfs most competitors from the class above. It's far more than just a big box on wheels, though; its plush interior, cosseting ride and frugal engines make it a fantastic car for covering big distances in.

  • Plush ride
  • Huge boot
  • Loads of rear-seat space
  • Company car tax is fairly high
  • Floaty over undulations
  • Touchscreen can be tricky to use on the move

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