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In-depth reviews

Skoda Octavia review - Engines, drive & performance

The Skoda Octavia is smooth, quiet and assured from behind the wheel

Carbuyer Rating

4.7 out of 5

Owners Rating
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Engines, drive & performance Rating

4.0 out of 5

​The Octavia is a big car for the family hatchback class, and while it can handle faster driving, it’s not engineered to excel at it. There's little in the way of feel from the steering wheel – although it does feel a bit weightier in the facelifted car – and the engines offer smooth and usable performance without blowing you away.

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Refinement is impressive, though, possibly even edging the larger Skoda Superb in some areas. Even its diesel engines settle to a quiet murmur when warm, and only sound coarse if you rev them far above the point you'd normally change gear.

Skoda Octavia petrol engines

The line-up previously started with a thrummy 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, followed by a four-cylinder 1.5-litre TSI engine producing 148bhp. For 2024 the 1.5-litre engine is instead offered with either 114bhp or 148bhp. Thanks to its larger size and turbocharger, the 1.5-litre engine is responsive even from low revs, and gets the Octavia from 0-62mph in 10.4 seconds, or a competitive 8.5 seconds in the top version, with a possible maximum speed of 142mph. It comes fitted with a six-speed manual transmission, while a seven-speed DSG automatic is available for around £2,000 extra from SE L trim.

Diesel engines

Diesel buyers are catered for with a 2.0-litre TDI engine, with power outputs of 114bhp or 148bhp. The entry-level version is fitted with a manual gearbox and takes 10 seconds to get from 0-62mph, while the 148bhp is fitted with a DSG automatic and takes 8.6 seconds.

An output of 114bhp doesn't sound like much in a car this size, but it's the 300Nm of pulling power that's more important. So long as revs don't drop too far below 1,500rpm, the engine pulls strongly enough and encourages early shifts into the next gear.

Hybrid engines

The popular Skoda was also available as a plug-in hybrid Octavia iV, although supply issues meant orders appear to have been halted in late 2022. This boasted a 1.4-litre petrol engine, electric motor and 13kWh battery pack, giving a combined total output of 201bhp and a 0-62mph acceleration time of 7.6 seconds

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Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.0 TSI SE 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £23,665

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.4 TSI iV SE Technology DSG 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £33,395

Fastest

  • Name
    2.0 TSI vRS 5dr DSG
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £35,245

Andy is Carbuyer's managing editor, with more than a decade of experience helping consumers find their perfect car. He has an MA in automotive journalism and has tested hundreds of vehicles.

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