New 2020 Skoda Octavia: prices, specs and release date

The 2020 Skoda Octavia iV plug-in hybrid joins range

  • Octavia iV plug-in hybrid capable of 43 miles of range
  • Orders open 3 November
  • Prices start from £30,785

Full details of the new Skoda Octavia iV plug-in hybrid have been revealed. It’s the most efficient Octavia ever offered and is capable of up to 43 miles of pure-electric running. Orders open on 3 November, with the hatchback starting at £30,765 and the estate from £31,745.

The conventional petrol and diesel versions of the Skoda Octavia range start at £20,965 (£21,945 for the estate). The standard Octavia is available in three trim levels, with a cheaper entry-level S trim due later this year. The sporty vRS model is also available to order with a choice of petrol, PHEV and diesel power.

As with previous generation models, the Octavia exists as a more practical rival to the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf.

2020 Skoda Octavia iV plug-in hybrid

The Skoda Octavia iV plug-in hybrid combines a 1.4-litre petrol engine, a 13kWh battery and an electric motor, and a six-speed automatic gearbox, producing a total power output of 201bhp. A WLTP range of 43 miles of pure-electric running is promised. Claimed economy ranges from 188.3mpg to 282.5mpg and emissions of 22-33g/km - with the latter figure giving the car a low 6% BiK banding for company-car drivers.

It features switchable driving modes, with ‘E-mode’ for pure-electric running. The car’s Hybrid mode limits power to 148bhp, and automatically regulates the use of both the battery and the petrol engine. It can top up the battery to a pre-set charge level as you drive using energy recovered from braking and the engine. The car’s full 201bhp power output is always available by accelerating hard or by switching into Sport mode.

When using a wallbox, the car’s battery can be fully charged in 3.5 hours using a 3.6kW charger. It can also be charged via a three-pin domestic plug socket.

The Octavia iV is only available in two trim levels, with SE Technology models starting at £30,765 and plusher SE L spec cars starting from £32,525.

Petrol and diesel engines

The choice of petrol and diesel options in the Octavia range consists of a familiar line-up of VW Group derived engines. The entry-point is the 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, which comes with 48-volt mild-hybrid electrical assistance producing 108bhp.

A 1.5-litre petrol engine is also offered; with 148bhp it offers decent performance and cylinder deactivation technology helps it 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.

Prices and specifications

The 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 £21,215 and estates from £22,195.

SE L spec cars start from £24,745 (£25,825 for the estate) and add microsuede upholstery, sat nav and a 10-inch touchscreen, and 17-inch aerodynamic alloy wheels. The SE L First Edition isn’t too much more expensive at £25,150 (£26,230 for estate versions) adding 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.

Do you want to know more about the new Skoda Octavia? Read our reviews of the Octavia Hatchback and the Octavia Estate.

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