Skoda Octavia hatchback
Price £16,525 - £28,150
- Value for money
- Practical interior
- Big boot
- Firm suspension
- Dull styling
- Noisy diesel engines
At a glance
"No family hatchback can match the Skoda Octavia when it comes to combining space, quality and value for money."
The Skoda Octavia is a great-value five-door family hatchback that features a spacious interior, low running costs and plenty of standard kit. It's based on the same platform as the Volkswagen Golf, SEAT Leon and Audi A3, and benefits from a similar line-up of smooth petrol and efficient diesel engines.
At the heart of the Octavia's appeal are its roomy interior and huge boot, which will accommodate a very useful 590 litres of luggage with the rear seats in place. There's also an estate version, with a vast maximum carrying capacity of 1,740 litres. Rivals can’t come close to those figures, with the standard Ford Focus hatchback offering a measly 316-litre boot.
There are five trim levels to choose from: S, SE, Elegance, the top-of-the-range Laurin & Klement and the fast Volkswagen Golf GTI-rivalling vRS. We’d go for the mid-spec SE version due to its good balance of equipment versus list price, but all models get alloy wheels, air-conditioning, Bluetooth and a DAB digital radio.
Buyers can choose from the excellent 1.2 and 1.4-litre TSI petrol engines, or the efficient 1.6 and 2.0-litre TDI diesels. Drivers wanting a little more excitement can choose the vRS performance model, which is available with either a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol or a more powerful 2.0-litre TDI diesel. The latter makes the most sense if you cover lots of miles, but realistically the standard 2.0-litre TDI diesel is our favourite, as it offers almost as much performance as the vRS, but costs much less to buy.
A slick six-speed manual gearbox is standard in every Octavia, but we’d recommend test-driving the smooth and fast-shifting seven-speed DSG automatic, too. It's available as an option on 1.2, 1.4 and 1.6-litre models, while a six-speed version is optional on 2.0-litre cars.
The 1.6 and 2.0-litre TDI diesels are also available with a sophisticated, electronically controlled four-wheel-drive system, which is great at dealing with slippery conditions and giving you extra confidence in our occasionally unpredictable winters.
Nearly every Skoda Octavia will return more than 50mpg
Every Skoda Octavia is good to drive, but it’s not as much fun as some rivals
The Skoda Octavia boasts a well built, classy and comfortable cabin, with generous standard equipment
No other family hatchback can match the Skoda Octavia’s huge boot and practical interior
Skoda topped the 2014 Driver Power survey, and all Skoda Octavia models were awarded five stars by Euro NCAP