Skoda Octavia hatchback (2005-2013)

"Classy, well built and comfortable to drive, the Golf-based Octavia makes a smashing family car for drivers seeking space and quality on a budget."

Carbuyer Rating

3.5 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.7 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Masses of space
  • Comfortable over long distances
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Comfortable over long distances
  • Noisy 1.9-litre diesel
  • Tacky fake wood trim

Value for money is at the core of the Octavia’s appeal, but just because it’s comparatively cheap, that doesn’t mean it lacks desirability elsewhere. It’s also a very well built car with a spacious interior and boot. An update in 2009 resulted in a redesigned front, an improved interior and the addition of new engines. The diesels are the best sellers, with the Greenline version being the most economical of the lot. The sportier vRS version is available with a choice of powerful petrol or diesel engines.

MPG, running costs & CO2

Good economy and affordable servicing costs

The newer TSI petrol engines boast good economy figures given their performance, but the economy champions are the TDI diesels. Skoda’s GreenLine model offers 64.2mpg and emissions of 114g/km, and the regular 1.6 TDIs are almost as economical. The 1.9 and 2.0-litre TDI diesels use more fuel, as does the high-performance vRS with a petrol engine. Parts, servicing and insurance are quite affordable. The only potential downside is that resale values aren’t as strong as some rivals – although that’s improving for the Skoda brand in general now.

Engines, drive & performance

Good blend of performance and smoothness

Thanks to supple suspension and light, accurate steering, the Octavia is a fine long-distance cruiser. It soaks up bumps in the road well and there’s plenty of grip on offer. Stability is impressive – for example, the car is unaffected by motorway crosswinds. The cheapest 1.4-litre petrol engine is impressive for its size, but the other TSI turbocharged petrol engines all offer a better blend of performance and smoothness. TDI diesels are the most popular. The vRS versions feature sportier suspension settings, which makes them less comfortable, although buyers will like their hot-hatch-rivalling power and acceleration.

Interior & comfort

One of the most comfortable cars in its class

The Octavia is one of the most comfortable cars in its class. The supportive seats may feel a little firm at first, but they prove to be excellent on longer journeys. The driver has plenty of seat and steering wheel adjustment, so it’s easy to find the ideal driving position. The rear seats are spacious, and offer plenty of head and legroom for passengers. Wind and road noise are average rather than class-leading. Most of the Octavia’s engines are quiet, although the ageing 1.9 TDI diesel is noisy.

Practicality & boot space

Very spacious, even for tall adults

There’s a lot of room on offer inside the Octavia. It’s more spacious than equally priced cars from other makers, and even six-foot tall adults should feel comfortable in the rear seats. Additionally, the Octavia’s boot holds 585 litres with the car full of people or up to 1,455 litres with the rear seats folded. A small step with the seats folded and a high load lip the width of the opening do make access a bit tricky, but the space on offer for luggage is vast.

Reliability & safety

Reliable, but only four stars for safety

All modern Skodas are built using parts that are shared throughout the Volkswagen Group – and that includes Volkswagens, Audis, SEATs and even Bentleys. The Octavia finished third place overall in the 2010 Driver Power Survey, rating particularly well for build quality, although it was 23rd overall for reliability. The car scored only four stars in the Euro NCAP crash test, but is still reasonably safe.

Price, value for money & options

Good value, but avoid basic S models

As the Octavia is larger and cheaper than its direct rivals, it’s considered very good value for money. However, the cheapest S models lack standard kit. Basics such as an alarm and electric rear windows are extra. Also, many models don’t have curtain airbags or electronic stability control as standard. Mid-level SE and Elegance-spec cars are best value.

Recommended

Top 10 best four-door sports cars 2022
Skoda Octavia vRS iV
Best cars
14 Dec 2021

Top 10 best four-door sports cars 2022

Top 10 best hot hatchbacks 2022
Hyundai i20 N
Best cars
8 Oct 2021

Top 10 best hot hatchbacks 2022

Skoda Octavia vRS hatchback review
Skoda Octavia vRS hatchback
Skoda Octavia vRS hatchback
24 Sep 2021

Skoda Octavia vRS hatchback review

Have You Considered

Ford Focus ST hatchback review
Ford Focus ST Edition driving
Ford Focus ST hatchback
19 Oct 2021

Ford Focus ST hatchback review

Hyundai i20 N hatchback review
Best Hot Hatchback: Hyundai i20 N
Hyundai i20 N
8 Oct 2021

Hyundai i20 N hatchback review

Most Popular

UK road tax costs 2021/2022 explained
2021 Road Tax explained
Tips and advice
7 Jan 2022

UK road tax costs 2021/2022 explained

Top 10 best economical 4x4s, SUVs and crossovers 2022
Peugeot 3008 SUV front cornering
Best cars
6 Jan 2022

Top 10 best economical 4x4s, SUVs and crossovers 2022

Best 0% APR car deals
Hyundai Bayon deals
Deals
5 Jan 2022

Best 0% APR car deals

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
29 Sep 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
1 Dec 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
17 Jan 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
27 Oct 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022