Skoda Octavia hatchback

Price  £16,285 - £27,750

Skoda Octavia hatchback

reviewed by Carbuyer

  • Spacious interior
  • Great value
  • Huge boot
  • Bland looks
  • Ride could be better
  • Diesel engines are noisy

At a glance

The greenest
Greenline III 1.6 TDI CR 110PS 5dr £20,225
The cheapest
S 1.2 TSI 105PS 5dr £16,285
The fastest
Laurin & Klement 1.8 TSI 180PS 5dr £26,630
Top of the range
Laurin & Klement 1.8 TSI 180PS DSG 5dr £27,750

"The Skoda Octavia has the best blend of space, quality and value for money in the family hatchback class."

The Skoda Octavia is one of the most spacious family hatchbacks on sale and although it rivals mainstream models such as the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf, it's a far bigger car. The boot is truly enormous for this class, at 590 litres, and it extends to 1,580 litres when you fold the back seats down. There's a good choice of petrol and diesel engines, all of which are economical, smooth and punchy, while build quality is excellent, too.

There's plenty of equipment as standard, which adds to the Octavia's sense of good value. Every model comes with alloy wheels, air-conditioning, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a touchscreen infotainment system and DAB digital radio. Trim levels start with the entry-level S and move up through SE and SE L to the top-spec Laurin & Klement, which is named after Skoda's founders.

The mid-range SE model strikes the best balance between value and equipment, as it adds the likes of all-round electric windows, dual-zone climate control, front foglights and rear parking sensors all for around £1,400 more than the S. The top-of-the-range Laurin & Klement model is really quite luxurious and includes an automatic parking system and electrically adjustable leather seats, but it costs between £27,000 and £30,000, which is pretty expensive for a mainstream family car.

There's also a hot-hatchback version called the Skoda Octavia vRS, which is available either as a conventional high-performance petrol or a more efficient diesel. It's much faster than the rest of the Octavia range and has sharper handling, but it's a practical yet fun car rather than supremely focused like the Ford Focus ST or Volkswagen Golf GTI.

Engines in models lower down the range comprise three very quiet and economical petrols and a trio of even more frugal diesels, the best of which is the GreenLine III, which returns 80.7mpg and emits just 90g/km of CO2. The 1.2-litre is our pick of the petrols, as it offers a good balance between power and fuel economy and is pretty cheap to buy. For higher-mileage drivers, we’d recommend the 146bhp 2.0-litre diesel. It's smooth as well as powerful, which makes it great on the motorway, and it's also very economical.

Every engine is available with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic gearbox. In many cases, there's virtually no difference in fuel economy and emissions between the two, although the DSG automatic is more expensive than the manual. The Octavia handles well and has responsive steering, however slightly firm suspension takes its toll on ride quality and the interior can be a little noisy.

Safety is impressive, as the Octavia scored the full five stars in Euro NCAP crash-testing and comes with seven airbags and electronic stability control as standard. Go for the SE L model and you get Skoda's Safety Assist feature, which automatically applies the brakes if it senses an impending impact with the car in front.

Both Skoda as a brand and the Octavia itself are consistently high scorers in our Driver Power owner satisfaction surveys, with practicality, running costs and reliability cited as particular strong points.

MPG, running costs & CO2

4.6 / 5

Nearly every Skoda Octavia will return more than 50mpg

Engines, drive & performance

4 / 5

Every Skoda Octavia is good to drive, but it’s not as much fun as some rivals

Interior & comfort

3.9 / 5

The Skoda Octavia boasts a well built, classy and comfortable cabin, with generous standard equipment

Practicality & boot space

4.8 / 5

No other family hatchback can match the Skoda Octavia’s huge boot and practical interior

Reliability & safety

4.8 / 5

Skoda topped the 2014 Driver Power survey, and all Skoda Octavia models were awarded five stars by Euro NCAP

What the others say

4.7 / 5
based on 3 reviews
4 / 5
"It majors on value and space, with a stylish and well made interior. Ultimately, it's not quite as good as the VW Golf dynamically, but it's close and it's better value."
5 / 5
"Whichever way you look at it, the new Octavia is superb value for money. It's more expensive than the outgoing model, but gets better standard kit, lower CO2 emissions and, on average, is cheaper to insure."
5 / 5
"The Skoda Octavia is going to make its buyers very happy. Though the pricing has gone up, we can't fault the value, and that good old cliché "a lot of car for the money" has never been so apt."
What owners say 
4.5 /5 based on 206 reviews
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
9 Nov 2015
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