New 2020 Skoda Octavia: prices, specs and release date

The 2020 Skoda Octavia starts at £22,390 and hybrid model is on the way

  • Three trim levels available from launch
  • Faster Octavia vRS models coming later
  • More engine options to arrive later

The new Skoda Octavia costs £22,390 at launch (£23,370 for the estate) and there are two First Edition models to choose from. Three trim levels will be offered initially on both hatchback and estate models, although a cheaper entry-level trim is due later alongside a wider engine range and a vRS model. As before, the Octavia exists as a more practical rival to the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf.

2020 Skoda Octavia prices and specifications

From launch, a new SE First Edition model is the entry point into the Octavia range. This model has LED headlights, alloy wheels, cruise control, two-zone air conditioning, DAB radio, rear parking sensors, keyless start, a digital instrument cluster and auto lights and wipers, so it’s likely to be a big seller as it offers great value for money.

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SE Technology, aimed mainly at business users, adds a bigger 10-inch touchscreen with sat nav, voice control, front and rear parking sensors, and aerodynamic alloy wheels. Hatchbacks in this trim level start from £22,640 and estates from £23,620.

SE L First Edition isn’t too much more expensive at £25,150 (£26,225 for estate versions) but adds microsuede upholstery, heated front seats, LED ambient lighting, privacy glass, adaptive cruise control and keyless entry.

Styling

The Octavia gets new styling that makes it look like the bigger and more expensive Skoda Superb. At the front, the two-piece headlights have been replaced with slim, angled clusters with LED headlights and daytime running lights, and these sit either side of a reshaped grille with spindly new inserts. The lower air intake stretches the width of the car, and the front fog lights are joined by a chrome bar. There are strong lines on the bodywork, wheel arches and on the bonnet.

On both the hatchback and estate models, the windowline and shape of the rear have been altered. Reshaped tail-light clusters are fitted, with LED elements as standard and, just like on the Skoda Scala, the tailgate-mounted Skoda badge has been replaced with chrome lettering.

Interior

It’s fair to say that the interior has been completely overhauled. In front of the driver, there’s a new two-spoke steering wheel with a range of buttons and features, while a large new storage cubby sits ahead of the gear lever. Above that, the dashboard is unrecognisable from the current car.

There are several new touchscreen options, which sit proud of the dashboard as if they’re simply perched in place. Entry-level cars get an 8.25-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, while a 10-inch touchscreen gets different levels of functionality depending on the chosen trim level - including a touch-sensitive volume slider for the top model. As shown in the pictures, there are just two shortcut buttons to go back to the home screen or settings menu. Beneath the screen is a row of rocker switches, which control most of the ventilation functions.

Technology

Besides the new touchscreens and switches, Skoda has fitted its bestselling model with an array of new safety technology. The new Octavia is the first of the brand’s models to be equipped with collision avoidance assist, which operates via the car’s front cameras and is capable of monitoring the road for hazards at a distance of up to 35 metres. It can also intervene to avoid a hazard if the driver fails to take action quickly enough at speeds of up to 90mph.

Turn Assist uses side-mounted cameras to detect oncoming traffic, cyclists and pedestrians, automatically bringing the car to a halt if a hazard is detected. Additionally, the car’s exit warning scans the road when you're stationary, sounding an alert if the driver or passenger tries to open a door when a car, cyclist or pedestrian is approaching.

Other standard safety features include an auto-dimming rearview mirror and an emergency calling function on all models, with SE L adding blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control.

Practicality

The Octavia hardly lacked boot space but Skoda has slightly increased these figures. The hatchback is said to offer 600 litres now - more than many estates - while the Skoda Octavia Estate has 640 litres to fill.

Just like previous models and new cars like the Skoda Kamiq, there are a number of ‘Simply Clever’ features. These include an ice scraper in the fuel filler cap, a parking ticket holder, a stowed umbrella and a funnel built into the screenwash reservoir. You can opt for a Sleep Pack, which includes more comfortable rear headrests, sun blinds and even some blankets that can be packed away when not in use.

Engines and hybrid models

Only three engines are available from launch, although we expect more options to follow. At the moment, one 1.5-litre petrol engine is offered; with 148bhp it should offer brisk performance and cylinder deactivation technology should help it to achieve almost 50mpg. Diesel options are 113bhp and 148bhp versions of a 2.0-litre engine. The latter is only available with an automatic gearbox and on the SE L First Edition trim level, while the other two engines are mated to a six-speed manual.

When Skoda introduces an automatic gearbox on the petrol engine, it’ll come with mild-hybrid technology to reduce fuel consumption. A 48-volt belt-driven starter motor and battery can store energy captured from braking, allowing the car to coast without the engine running (even at motorway speeds).

A plug-in hybrid version, called the Skoda Octavia iV, will also be available on every trim level except the base ‘S’ and the rugged all-wheel-drive Scout (both are set to join the range later on). It’ll combine a 1.4-litre petrol engine, a 13kWh battery and an electric motor, with a total output of 201bhp. Up to 34 miles of electric-only range is promised, as is wallbox charging. Skoda hasn’t revealed official fuel economy figures for any powertrain yet.

A luxurious Laurin & Klement (L&K), a racier-looking Sportline and at least one fast vRS model will also become available. The Scout will have 15mm higher suspension; Sportline and vRS models will get suspension lowered by the same amount.

The next Skoda Octavia vRS will feature a plug-in hybrid drivetrain, shared with the Cupra Formentor SUV.

Do you want to know more about the new 2020 Skoda Octavia? Why not read our prototype drive review.

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