Review

Skoda Octavia hatchback

Price  £16,310 - £27,805

Skoda Octavia hatchback

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Value for money
  • Practical interior
  • Big boot
Cons
  • Firm suspension
  • Dull styling
  • Noisy diesel engines

At a glance

The greenest
Greenline III 1.6 TDI CR 110PS 5dr £20,300
The cheapest
S 1.2 TSI 105PS 5dr £16,310
The fastest
Laurin & Klement 1.8 TSI 180PS 5dr £26,570
Top of the range
Laurin & Klement 1.8 TSI 180PS DSG 5dr £27,805

"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.

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

4.6 / 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
"The new Octavia will provide the VW Golf with a big challenge – it's a great car. It majors on value and space, with a stylish and well made interior. Ultimately, it's not quite as good as the Golf dynamically, but it's close and it's better value. It may lack the Golf's cache, but for an increasing number of Skoda buyers, that doesn’t (and shouldn’t) matter much at all."
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. It might not be the most desirable car in the world, but it's quite possibly the most sensible."
5 / 5
"The new 2013 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."

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What owners say

4.4740196078431
4.5 /5 based on 204 reviews
80%
 people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated
8 Oct 2014
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