Skoda Octavia review

Category: Family car

Section: Performance & drive

Skoda Octavia hatchback 2022 rear tracking
  • Skoda Octavia hatchback 2022 front right tracking
  • Skoda Octavia hatchback 2022 rear tracking
  • Skoda Octavia hatchback 2022 interior dashboard
  • Skoda Octavia hatchback 2022 interior rear seats
  • Skoda Octavia hatchback 2022 interior infotainment
  • Skoda Octavia hatchback 2022 front cornering
  • Skoda Octavia hatchback 2022 front left tracking
  • Skoda Octavia hatchback 2022 rear cornering
  • Skoda Octavia hatchback 2022 headlight detail
  • Skoda Octavia hatchback 2022 grille detail
  • Skoda Octavia hatchback 2022 interior front seats
  • Skoda Octavia hatchback 2022 boot open
  • Skoda Octavia hatchback 2022 front right tracking
  • Skoda Octavia hatchback 2022 rear tracking
  • Skoda Octavia hatchback 2022 interior dashboard
  • Skoda Octavia hatchback 2022 interior rear seats
  • Skoda Octavia hatchback 2022 interior infotainment
  • Skoda Octavia hatchback 2022 front cornering
  • Skoda Octavia hatchback 2022 front left tracking
  • Skoda Octavia hatchback 2022 rear cornering
  • Skoda Octavia hatchback 2022 headlight detail
  • Skoda Octavia hatchback 2022 grille detail
  • Skoda Octavia hatchback 2022 interior front seats
  • Skoda Octavia hatchback 2022 boot open
What Car?’s Octavia deals
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Target Price from £22,323
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In this section:
  • Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
  • Suspension and ride comfort
  • Handling
  • Noise and vibration

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox

The Skoda Octavia's 148bhp diesel engine (badged 2.0 TDI 150PS) is an impressive performer, with 0-62mph in just 8.7sec. It pulls strongly from low revs, making it a great fit when you're travelling with the whole family and a boot full of luggage. We wouldn’t rule out the cheaper TDI 116, though – it has plenty of low-down shove and we suspect it’ll prove quick enough for many.

Still, good as the 148bhp diesel engine is, our favourite engine is the 1.5-litre petrol, which is similarly quick and a lot cheaper. The only caveat is that you need to work it a bit harder than you do the diesel, although not quite as hard as the little 109bhp 1.0-litre petrol, with its slower 0-62mph time of 10.8sec. The swift-shifting optional dual-clutch automatic fractionally improves that time, although it still dithers when trying to pull away quickly. 

Suspension and ride comfort

The Octavia’s natural habitat is the motorway: it can waft along on its softly sprung suspension for mile after mile. The consequence of the soft setup, though, is that it feels a little floaty over crests when you turn off the motorway and on to a more demanding stretch of undulating road.

Potholes and sharp expansion joints can send jolts through the Octavia’s structure, too, and its body can take a moment to settle after you've traversed a speed hump. It's rather like being in a small boat hitting a big wave. For the most part, though, it’s more comfortable than its direct rivals. If you prefer a more tightly controlled ride, try the Toyota Corolla or the firmer Seat Leon.

An adaptive suspension system that allows you to stiffen or soften the ride is available as an option on SE L trim. It's worth having because it allows you to dial out some of the float on undulating roads. Indeed, that extra composure over wavy crests and falls is something your passengers will thank you for.

New car deals
Save up to £1,708
Target Price from £22,323
Save up to £1,708
or from £268pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Nearly new deals
From £19,495
Leasing deals
From £277pm