Skoda Octavia Review 2024

Written by Andrew Brady

heycar ratingSkoda’s sensible hatchback moves upmarket
  • 2020
  • Family hatch
  • Petrol, Diesel, PHEV

Quick overview


  • Practical Octavia is more stylish than ever
  • High levels of standard equipment across the range
  • Frugal petrol and diesel engines


  • Not the budget option it once was
  • Media system is a little frustrating 
  • Still too new to attract huge savings on the used market

Overall verdict on the Skoda Octavia

"The Skoda Octavia is as brilliant as it always was, but now it offers something a bit extra with a notable increase in interior quality. That puts it even closer to its in-group rival the Volkswagen Golf, and thanks to the significant advantage in terms of interior space, it is arguably the better buy of the two. While it's not as cheap as it used to be it's still cheaper than the Volkswagen, and deals are out there if you look around."

Skoda Octavia Review 2024: driving dynamic

While the Skoda Octavia is posher than ever before, it continues to hold the title of most practical car in its class. In fairness, that's because it's huge – it seems daft comparing it to cars like the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and Kia Ceed. It's almost eating into Skoda Superb territory, with practicality rivalling the likes of the Volkswagen Passat and Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport – and it will hold a lot more luggage than SUV alternatives like the Nissan Qashqai, Skoda Karoq and Peugeot 3008. Read our full Skoda Octavia review to find out how it stacks up against its many rivals.

Skoda added the Skoda Scala to its line-up to sit between the Octavia and smaller Fabia in terms of size and price, allowing the Octavia to command a slightly higher price tag. However, with list prices starting in the region of £27,000, it's far from expensive. And you'll notice that standard equipment is pretty generous, too, so it's not just a big boot that you'll get for your cash.

Go for a high-spec Skoda Octavia SE L or SportLine and it feels particularly plush, with highlights including microsuede seats (and a microsuede dash covering), as well as ambient interior lighting and various splashes of chrome (both inside and out). While a more affordable Skoda Octavia SE Technology is the current entry-level model and is comprehensively equipped, with highlights including a larger 13-inch media system (we'll come onto that shortly...), rear parking sensors and 16-inch alloy wheels.

There's a choice of engines including petrol, diesel and mild hybrid power. The big seller is likely to be the 1.5-litre petrol which is available with manual or automatic gearboxes, but Skoda no longer offers the little 1.0-litre unit and there's no plug-in hybrid for the time being.

High-mileage drivers are catered for with the 2.0-litre TDI diesel which is available with 116PS or 150PS, letting you prioritise performance or fuel economy (not that any Octavia will be expensive to run).

If you're looking for an Skoda Octavia to drive around town, the plug-in hybrid Skoda Octavia is available as a used buy and can travel 37 miles under electric power alone, saving its 1.4-litre petrol engine for longer trips. If you're looking to find out more about hybrid cars, our guide to the best hybrid cars is a great place to start, while we also cover what is a hybrid car as well. 

No matter which engine you go for in your Skoda Octavia, new or used, it's good to drive. And we don't mean in a 'cornering on the door handles' way – the Octavia is a really comfortable choice with a cushioned ride and impeccable refinement. It feels safe in the corners (if not as fun as a Ford Focus or SEAT Leon), while there's plenty of technology to make tackling city centres that bit easier.

Talking of technology, the 13-inch media system which is standard across the range looks pretty swanky but isn't the easiest to use on the move. It's something that you'll get used to with time, but what's wrong with old-fashioned buttons for adjusting the climate control or changing the volume? Maybe we're stuck in the past.

It's hard to overemphasise how much space there is in the Skoda Octavia. It's a very comfortable car for those in the front, while there's plenty of space in the back too. And the boot is massive – easily capable of swallowing up baby paraphernalia or golf trolleys. If you need even more space, there's the Skoda Octavia Estate, too. 

Looking for a used car for sale? We've got 100s of Skoda Approved Used Cars for Sale for you to choose from, including a wide range of Skoda Octavias for sale. Looking for the older version? If you're looking for the older version, you need our used Skoda Octavia (2013-2020) review.

If you want a premium-feeling car with a huge boot but don’t want to pay over the odds for a badge that’s going to impress the neighbours, the new Skoda Octavia’s looking like an excellent choice. It’s more stylish and more spacious than ever, which means it’s going to tick a lot of boxes for a lot of buyers. If you need more room there's the Skoda Octavia Estate.

If you don't need a car quite so huge as the Skoda Octavia, you should also look at the new SEAT Leon and Volkswagen Golf. Both share platforms and engines with the Skoda Octavia, so they're very similar.

There are loads of very good non-Volkswagen Group alternatives, too. The Ford Focus is an ever-popular choice with stylish looks (and it's more fun to drive than the Octavia), while the likes of the Kia Ceed and Vauxhall Astra represent excellent value for money. You could also consider bigger alternatives like the Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport or Ford Mondeo – or even premium models like the BMW 3 Series.

Comfort and design: Skoda Octavia interior

"While the Skoda Octavia's exterior isn't going to turn many heads, its interior feels fresh and modern. It's packed with stylish features, from the two-spoke steering wheel to the fancy shift-by-wire automatic gear selector."

Skoda Octavia Review 2024: interior and infotainment

The Skoda Octavia's cabin emphasises the hatchback's shift up-market. From the cool aluminium strip running along the dash to the fancy ambient lighting and digital dials, you could almost mistake the Skoda Octavia for a premium car. Naturally, you'll have to stretch to the pricier Skoda Octavia SE L for the fanciest of features, but the SE Technology model feels far from entry-level. 

The Skoda Octavia is a car that's long been popular with high-mileage company car drivers so Skoda's got plenty of experience designing seats that keep you comfortable over the longest of journeys. They're very supportive, with adjustable lumbar support on higher-spec models, while there's plenty of adjustment built into them.  

One gripe we have is that, while the relatively button-free interior looks clean and tidy, it's not the most user-friendly. We'd like a dial for adjusting the volume of the radio and some buttons for quickly tweaking the temperature of the climate control.

Inside, the Skoda Octavia feels just as posh as the more expensive Volkswagen Golf and a step above cars like the Vauxhall Astra or Peugeot 308. The range-topping Skoda Octavia SE L is particularly plush, with standard kit including microsuede upholstery and a padded dash panel. You get chrome air vent surrounds, too, and fancy silver square inserts on the dash. There's also the SportLine for a more athletic look to your Octavia.

All Skoda Octavia models feel like they're built to last. It's too new to know for sure what it will be like for creaks and rattles a few years down the line, but the old model aged well so we suspect this one will do so too. The Skoda Octavia should have no issues coping with family life.

Apart from the early Skoda Octavia SE First Edition when this generation was introduced in 2020, all models featured a 10-inch media system perched (as is the trend) high up on the dashboard. Its positioning actually makes it very easy and safe to glance at on the move, but the same can't be said for the irritating lack of buttons to navigate it.

It's purely a touchscreen system, while there's a touch-sensitive slider below to adjust the volume. As we hinted at above, adjusting the climate control settings requires fiddling around with the infotainment - there are some handy shortcut buttons below but not a simple dial or button for adjusting the temperature. 

It's something which we found quite annoying at first but, with time, you'll soon get used to its quirks. At least its graphics are sharp and it responds quickly to inputs, while Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring is standard across the range. This makes up for the lack of standard navigation on all but top-spec Skoda Octavia SE L models – you can just use Google Maps via your phone instead.

For the 2024 update of the Octavia, Skoda upped its game for the infotainment in size and ability. There's now a 13-inch infotainment touchscreen and the 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit dash display is standard across the range. Swanky? Yes, and it all works better than before, though we still miss those physical buttons for the heating and ventilation controls.

You really could swing the proverbial cat in the Skoda Octavia, there's that much space on offer. 

The boot is massive compared to rivals like the Ford Focus and Mazda 3 – there's enough room for up to 600 litres of luggage, which is even bigger than a Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport or Ford Mondeo (two cars which are more expensive and technically sit in the class above). It's worth noting that, if you buy the plug-in hybrid Skoda Octavia, this drops to 450-litres – the batteries and electrical gubbins eat into boot space, unfortunately.

The rear seats can split 60/40 and are dropped easily using levers in the boot, leaving up to 1555-litres of space (1405 litres for the iV hybrid hatch). The sheer length of the Skoda Octavia compared to rivals makes it the perfect choice for IKEA trips – it will happily gobble up a Billy bookcase or three.

With the rear seats left up, there's plenty of space for rear-seat passengers. That's providing you're not expecting to transport three adults side-by-side (in which case, the middle seat is a little on the narrow side and there's a lump in the floor eating into foot space). Head and legroom are both generous and you'll find enough storage for your knick-knacks – there's an armrest with cupholders and pockets on the back of the front seats.

If you're expecting a compromise, you certainly won't find it in the front. There's loads of space up front, including surprisingly big door pockets and a generously large (and cooled) glove box.  You'll find a useful mobile phone tray in front of the gear lever and some conveniently positioned cup holders. If you need even more space, check out the Skoda Octavia Estate.

Of course, the main reason the Skoda Octavia is so practical is that its exterior dimensions are so much larger than rivals. It measures 4689mm long, 1994mm wide (1829mm not including door mirrors) and 1470mm high.

Handling and ride quality: What is the Skoda Octavia like to drive?

"The Skoda Octavia is a refreshingly wafty hatchback. It might not be quite as agile as a Ford Focus or SEAT Leon, but it's considerably more comfortable on a bumpy road."

Skoda Octavia Review 2024: driving dynamic

It generally copes very well indeed with speed bumps and broken road surfaces, with only the biggest craters causing some discomfort for passengers. If you want the ability to sharpen up the suspension when you're in the mood, look for an Skoda Octavia with the optional dynamic chassis control. This is a £1185 option that few buyers will tick and, to be honest, it's not really necessary. Plus, it's only available on the more powerful models.

While it might lean a bit more in corners than sportier alternatives, the Skoda Octavia actually has a surprising amount of grip. It's not an exciting car to drive but, ultimately, it feels very safe and assured – which is exactly what you want in a family car.

Around town, you'll notice the Skoda Octavia's chunky dimensions compared to smaller alternatives like the Volkswagen Golf or Toyota Corolla. It's something you'll soon get used to, though, helped by good visibility and light steering. |Front and rear parking sensors are standard across the range now with the 2024 facelift but, if you want a camera, you'll have to choose the SportLine, order it as part of the Light and View pack, or find a used car with this fitted. There's also an optional park assist feature available. This is capable of manoeuvring the car into parallel or bay parking spaces itself.

Whether you're after petrol, diesel or hybrid power, there's an engine to suit every buyer in the Skoda Octavia.

The range kicks off with a 1.5-litre TSI turbo petrol motor. It has 116PS and comes in standard or mild hybrid forms. There isn't a lot to separate them beyond the hybrid's marginally better CO2 emissions, 4mpg improved economy and, the big one, it has a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox in place of a six-speed manual gearbox. There is also a 150PS version of this engine that is more suited to the Octavia and the one many drivers will choose.

Of course, a lot of people buy Skoda Octavias to cover a lot of motorway miles. If that's you, we'd recommend the 2.0-litre TDI, which is available with 116PS or 150PS. The 116PS model is fine but we'd recommend the 150PS version if it's in budget – that extra grunt makes it much more relaxing to drive, especially with a full complement of passengers. Prior to the facelift, the lower power diesel came with 115PS, so you'll be hard-pressed to feel much difference between the two.

There was a 1.0-litre petrol available prior to the 2024 facelift, which produces a fairly conservative 110PS. This might be a little out of its depth on the motorway (although a six-speed manual gearbox helps here), but it's perfectly powerful enough for day-to-day town driving. Buy an Octavia with this engine and the DSG automatic transmission and you'll also get mild-hybrid technology to help you save fuel.

There was also the the plug-in hybrid model badged the Skoda Octavia iV. This combines a 1.4-litre petrol engine with a big battery pack and an electric motor, producing a total of 245PS. That like quite a lot of power but, with the weight of the batteries, it takes 7.7 seconds to accelerate from 0-62mph. Quick but not shove-you-back-in-your-seat rapid.

If you want a quick Octavia, look for one of the Skoda Octavia vRS models. It was offered with petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid power – each one with 200PS or more. However, from 2024, it reverted back to a petrol-only 2.0 TSI with 265PS.

As the Skoda Octavia majors on comfort, it's no surprise to see that its move upmarket has seen an improvement in refinement. It's not quite as civilised as something like a BMW 3 Series, but it's really not that far off.

Avoid the optional 18-inch or 19-inch alloy wheels and you'll notice very little road noise making its way into the cabin. Wind noise is slightly more noticeable, but it's no worse than rivals – and certainly nothing that can't be drowned out by the radio.

The most refined Skoda Octavia is the plug-in hybrid Skoda Octavia iV, now only available as a used car. When it's fully charged, you can select E-mode and it mimics an electric vehicle for as long as possible. That means you can bimble around town without the sound of a petrol engine kicking in for the ultimate in refinement. The mild-hybrid e-TEC 1.5-litre petrol models are impressive in this regard, too – while they can't travel under electric power, they will turn the engine off and let you coast silently to a halt. 

Euro NCAP handed the Skoda Octavia a maximum five-star rating when it was crash-tested in 2019, including impressive 92% scores for adult occupants and 88% for children.

There's plenty of driver-assist technology available in the Skoda Octavia but, unfortunately, very little of it is provided as standard. Blind spot detection was standard on the SE L First Edition, for example, but is a costly extra on the SE L (and isn't even on available on the SE). Travel Assist (with traffic sign recognition, adaptive lane assist, predictive adaptive cruise, traffic jam assist and – on DSG models – emergency assist) is only available as an option on the hot vRS model.

Skoda has now added Attention and Drowsiness Assist as standard, which assess driver behaviour and gives an alert if it thinks your attention is wandering. In addition, the updated Octavia comes with up to 10 airbags.

MPG and fuel costs: What does a Skoda Octavia cost to run?

"If you wish to cover a lot of miles as frugally as possible, the Skoda Octavia 116PS 2.0 TDI officially returns up to 66.2mpg. That should be fairly achievable on a relaxed motorway drive, while the more powerful 150PS diesel provides up to 63.4mpg.

Skoda Octavia Review 2024: driving dynamic

The petrol engines are far from inefficient. Go for the 1.5 TSI and it can deliver 54.3mpg with the manual gearbox or, in e-TEC spec with the DSG auto, up to 57.5mpg.

In fuel economy tests, the 1.5 TSI before the 2024 facelift returned up to 52.3mpg, or 53.3mpg with the DSG automatic gearbox.

The previous 1.0-litre TSI with manual gearbox could offer up to 54.3mpg (according to the latest more accurate WLTP fuel economy test) while the e-TEC version with its mild-hybrid tech and DSG automatic gearbox had an official figure of up to 56.5mpg. Not so long ago, that kind of economy was only provided by the smallest of petrol city cars.

If you're looking to move towards electric motoring and have off-road parking with access to electricity, the plug-in hybrid iV could be a good option for used buyers. This officially returns up to 282.5mpg which, on paper, sounds almost unbelievable. You'll have to cover a lot of short journeys and charge it regularly to see anywhere near this fuel economy but, with an electric-only range of around 43 miles, you could cover the school run without the petrol engine kicking in at all. 

Over an extended period, we've seen an average of 54.9mpg from the Skoda Octavia iV plug-in hybrid. When it's fully charged, the electric range is around 30-34 miles – a little less than the official figure, but still enough for day-to-day mooching about.

Don't discount diesel as an option, either. The 2.0 TDI in the Octavia claims up to 66.2mpg in 116PS form, and the 150PS e-TEC version with DSG auto has an official best of 63.4mpg.

As a brand, Skoda generally performs very well for reliability. It was named one of the more reliable car manufacturers in the latest Satisfaction Index, while the last-generation Skoda Octavia was one of the most reliable cars.

The Skoda Octavia SE Technology will be the cheapest to get cover for as it sits in group 14 with the 1.5-litre petrol engine. Take this trim with the diesel and insurance increases to group 17E.

The SE L sits between groups 18 and 22, while the SportLine is in groups 20 to 21. At the time of writing, the vRS hot hatch was yet to be given an insurance rating.

All new Skoda Octavia hatch models pay the same £220 for the first year of road tax. After that, they pay the standard rate of £190 per annum. However, expect the vRS to sit in a higher band.

How much should you be paying for a used Skoda Octavia?

"A new Skoda Octavia starts from less than £27,000. That's more than some alternatives like the SEAT Leon and Vauxhall Astra, but you do get a huge amount more for your money."

Skoda Octavia Review 2024: profile

There is a way you can pick up an as-new Skoda Octavia for the price of a Fabia. Dealers often order and register cars before selling them from their showrooms for big savings over list price. Advertised as 'pre-registered' or 'ex-demonstrator' models, these are a brilliant way of both saving money and skipping the waiting list.

Just £24,000 will get you a pre-registered Skoda Octavia SE L 1.5 TSI with only a few hundred miles on the clock. That's incredible value for money and undercuts the new list price by more than £7000.

For a three-year old Octavia 1.5 TSI SE L with 30,000 miles on the dials, reckon on spending £18,000.

When it first launched this generation of Octavia, Skoda skipped the basic S model and started with the Skoda Octavia SE trim level. Standard kit included 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and a chrome grille surround. Inside, you'll find cloth seats (height-adjustable in the front), a leather steering wheel and gearshift lever and aluminium decorative inserts.

With the 2024 facelift, the SE Technology takes over as the entry point to the range. It comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, LED lights front and back, electric folding and heated door mirrors, parking sensors all round, fatigue alert, lane assist, and traffic sign recognition. You also have heated front seats, an umbrella in the door, cruise control, air conditioning, keyless ignition, and height adjustable front seats with lumbar support. This trim also comes with the 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit display and 13-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Upgrade to the Skoda Octavia SE L for 17-inch alloy wheels, some extra chrome exterior highlights (namely the window surrounds and a strip in the lower front bumper), rear privacy glass, puddle lights, heated windscreen, predicitve cruise control with jam assist, and a powered tailgate with virtual pedal opening where you wave your foot under the bumpber. There's microsuede upholstery, too, as well as ambient cabin lighting, and rear privacy glass. The SE L also gains lane assist plus and electrically worked child locks.

For a sportier take on things, the SportLine builds on the SE Technology trim with its 18-inch alloys, metallic paint, rear privacy glass, and gloss black finish for the spoiler and sports body kit. There's part fabric, part faux leather upholstery, front sports seats, three-spoke steering wheel in place of the two spoke item, alloy pedals, and carbon effect trim inserts. It also has a rear-view camera, drive modes, and progressive dynamic steering included.

The Octavia vRS has a similar spec to the SportLine but comes with 19-inch alloys, LED Matric headlights, with adaptive lighting, vRS suspension that sits the car 15mm lower, and black-finished exhaust pipes. The vRS also has unique Design Selection fabric for its seats, a second umbrella in the passenger's door, and a storage box in the centre console. 

Adding to the vRS experience is its electronic engine sound, plus it has further safety kit such as blind spot detection. You also get an electronic limited slip differential for improved handling.

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

The Skoda Octavia is one of the best family cars on sale. It’s practical, bigger than its rivals inside, with a nicely finished interior and long equipment list. It’s also comfortable and easy to drive at all speeds.
The Skoda Octavia makes a good used car thanks to its durable build and solid interior. As with any used car, you need to choose wisely and avoid anything with huge miles, but the diesel engines are renowned for their longevity and economy. We'd suggest being wary of the DSG gearbox on older models as it has not been without its faults.
It's not unheard of to find Skoda Octavias that have covered 250,000 miles. No wonder it's a favourite with taxi and minicab drivers. In terms of miles per gallon, the 2.0 TDI 115 returns up to 65.7mpg in combined WLTP fuel economy tests.
If you're not doing huge mileages, we think the 1.5 TSI is the ideal engine for the latest Skoda Octavia. It's quiet and smooth yet responsive when need be. It's also very economical for a petrol with a claimed 50mpg which is certainly achievable at a steady 70mph on the motorway.

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