Used Skoda Octavia 2020-present review

Category: Family car

The Skoda Octavia is a practical and spacious family car with a cosseting ride. Reliability is an issue, though.

Skoda Octavia 2021 nose
  • Skoda Octavia 2021 nose
  • Skoda Octavia 2021 dashboard
  • Skoda Octavia 2021 touchscreen
  • Skoda Octavia 2021 side
  • Skoda Octavia 2021 rear
  • Skoda Octavia 2021 rear seats
  • Skoda Octavia 2021 touchscreen
  • Skoda Octavia 2021 side
  • Skoda Octavia 2021 rear
  • Skoda Octavia 2021 front
  • Skoda Octavia 2021 boot
  • Skoda Octavia 2021 nose
  • Skoda Octavia 2021 dashboard
  • Skoda Octavia 2021 touchscreen
  • Skoda Octavia 2021 side
  • Skoda Octavia 2021 rear
  • Skoda Octavia 2021 rear seats
  • Skoda Octavia 2021 touchscreen
  • Skoda Octavia 2021 side
  • Skoda Octavia 2021 rear
  • Skoda Octavia 2021 front
  • Skoda Octavia 2021 boot
Used Skoda Octavia 2020-present review
Star rating

What's the used Skoda Octavia hatchback like?

The Skoda Octavia is surrounded in the brand's range by a variety of popular SUVs but it's still the Czech firm's keystone model, and its best-selling one, too. It's not just the public who love it – we've always admired this clever and classy family car for its space, all-round competence and general affordability.

This is the fourth-generation model, and, like the previous versions of the Skoda Octavia, it moves the Octavia by gentle degrees upmarket. It's sharper to look at and plusher inside than the third-generation 2013-2020 Skoda Octavia it replaces, and also more aerodynamic, for greater efficiency. The Octavia has grown larger and more refined, with more technology than ever before, but still majors on being good value compared with its closest rivals.


The Skoda Octavia is a practical and spacious family car with a cosseting ride.

  • Comfortable ride
  • Enormous boot
  • Plenty of rear-seat space
  • Ride can sometimes be a little too floaty
  • Fiddly touchscreen
  • Some rivals are more refined
  • Reliability can be an issue

As ever, there's a decent selection of engines to choose from. The range kicks off with a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol (badged 1.0 TSI 110) with 109bhp, then moves up to a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol (badged 1.5 TSI 150) with 148bhp, followed by 2.0-litre TDI diesels with either 113bhp or 148bhp.

There's also a vRS version with a choice of engines. The 2.0 TDI diesel produces a respectable 197bhp, the standard 2.0 TSI petrol has 242bhp, and the plug-in hybrid vRS iV has 242bhp with CO2 emissions of just 26g/km thanks to a decent all-electric range.

Trim-wise, you'll find SE, SE Technology and SE L, as well as the sporty vRS. SE 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.

SE Technology trim is barely any more expensive than SE trim new, despite gaining voice control, floor mats and more distinctive alloy wheels, plus front parking sensors and an infotainment upgrade. There’s a bit of a price jump to SE L, but you do get plenty of extra luxuries and some useful kit for your money.

On the road, the 2.0 TDI 150 diesel-engined car is an impressive performer, polishing off the 0-62mph dash in a very respectable 8.7sec. The 1.5-litre petrol is similarly quick. The only caveat is that you need to work it a bit harder than you do the diesel. The manual gearbox is precise and the optional dual-clutch automatic delivers impressively swift shifts.

On motorways, the Octavia can waft along on its softly sprung suspension for mile after mile. The consequence of this soft set-up, though, is that it feel a little floaty over crests. Despite the softness of its suspension, it's perfectly capable when it comes to corners. In particular, its steering is precise and has plenty of reassuring weight.

Inside, finding an ideal driving position is easy. SE L models get a powered driver’s seat with a memory function to make getting comfortable even easier. All Octavias have adjustable lumbar support.

Skoda has positioned the infotainment touchscreen high on the dashboard so you don’t have to take your eyes far from the road to see it. In entry-level models, it's an 8.25in screen with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, as well as a DAB radio. Meanwhile, SE Technology and SE L cars feature a 10.0in screen with built-in 3D navigation that’s clear and easy to follow.

There’s plenty of space up front in the Octavia, and it's pretty generous on rear-seat space, too. Behind a tall driver with their seat pushed back, even taller passengers will be able to lounge in comfort.

The Octavia’s boot is not only huge compared with similarly-sized rivals, it is also bigger than most competitors from the class above. The load area is longer and taller than in most comparably priced hatches, and it’s a practical, squared-off shape. The only downside is that there is quite a significant lip to negotiate when lifting heavy items in and out of the boot.

If you're interested in buying a used Skoda Octavia, or any of the other cars mentioned here, check out our What Car? Used Cars classifieds site.

Skoda Octavia 2021 dashboard

Ownership cost

What used Skoda Octavia hatchback will I get for my budget?

You can make some good savings on the Octavia now, with prices now starting at around £15,500 for a low-mileage 1.5 TSI 150 SE. Spend between £16,000 and £20,000 on one of the higher-spec trims or a car from 2021 or early 2022. Spend over the £ 20,000 mark on 2022 cars and in excess of £25,000 on 2023 models.

How much does it cost to run a Skoda Octavia hatchback?


According to the latest WLTP official figures, the 1.0 petrol averages 56.5mpg, the 1.5 TSI 150 petrol averages 52.3mpg, the 2.0 TDI 115 diesel 68.9mpg and the 2.0 TDI 150 67.3mpg. The standard petrol 2.0 vRS averages 40.9mpg, the diesel 56.5mpg and the plug-in hybrid vRS 256.8mpg.

Road Tax

Annual car tax (VED) for cars registered after April 2017, like this one, is charged at a flat rate, currently £180 a year. Hybrids are charged at the rate of £170 a year. See our road tax costs advice page for the latest information.


Servicing for the Octavia is cheaper than for many rivals, and Skoda has a fixed price scheme for its cars that are over three years old. An oil change is £184, with periodic intervals for the air filter (£45), pollen filter (£35) and – where equipped – diesel fuel filter (£59).

It’s worth noting that all diesel Octavias and most petrols have a timing belt that needs to be replaced every five years at a Skoda dealer at a cost of £449. In addition, it makes sense to replace the water pump at the same time.


Insurance costs are slightly cheaper than an equivalent Volkswagen due to Skoda’s cheaper repair costs.

Skoda Octavia 2021 touchscreen

Our recommendations

Which used Skoda Octavia hatchback should I buy?


We love the smoothness and refinement of the petrol 1.5 TSI 150. It also offers a really good compromise between performance and economy.


Almost any version of the Octavia will be satisfying to own, but we like the SE Technology best of all for its extra kit over the SE.

Our favourite Skoda Octavia 1.5 TSI 150 SE Technology

Skoda Octavia 2021 side


What alternatives should I consider to a used Skoda Octavia hatchback?

Cheaper Skoda Octavias find themselves up against the Vauxhall Astra, a ubiquitous but pleasant hatch that’s good to drive and comes with a practical interior. Entry-level versions can be a bit sparse and the diesel engines can be gruff. On top of that, the low-speed ride is a little firm.

The Ford Focus is great to drive, with a smooth and quiet Ecoboost engine in some versions and low running costs. Some rivals are cheaper, though, and the Octavia offers more space and more kit, as well as feeling better-made.

The Volkswagen Golf shares its underpinnings with the Octavia, although VW's model is a shorter and less capacious car. It's brilliant to drive, well equipped, refined and comparatively cheap to run. On the other hand, it’s not as roomy inside as the Octavia and the interior is a little dreary.

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If you're interested in finding a used Octavia, or any of the other family cars mentioned here, search the What Car? Used Car Buying pages to find lots of cars listed for sale at a great price.

Skoda Octavia 2021 rear