In-depth reviews

Skoda Octavia hatchback - Engines, drive & performance

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

Carbuyer Rating

4.7 out of 5

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Engines, drive & performance Rating

4.0 out of 5

The Octavia is a big car for the class and while it can handle faster driving, it’s not a car engineered to excel at it. There's little in the way of feel from the steering and the engines offer usable performance without blowing you away.

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 kicks off with a 1.0-litre petrol engine that can muster 109bhp, followed by a four-cylinder 1.5-litre TSI engine producing 148bhp. Thanks to its turbocharger, the larger engine is responsive even from low revs, and gets the Octavia from 0-62mph in a competitive 8.2 seconds, with a possible top speed of 142mph. It comes fitted with a six-speed manual transmission, although a seven-speed auto is likely to be available with this engine later.

Diesel engines

Diesel buyers are catered for with a new 2.0-litre TDI engine, with power outputs of 113bhp or 148bhp. The entry-level version is fitted with a manual gearbox and takes 10.3 seconds to get from 0-62mph, while the 148bhp is fitted with a DSG automatic and takes 8.7 seconds.

An output of 113bhp 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

When the full engine range arrives, it will include the plug-in hybrid Octavia iV. This boasts a 1.4-litre petrol engine, electric motor and 13kWh battery pack, giving a combined total output of 201bhp. A DSG automatic transmission takes care of sending power to the wheels, and the driver will be able to choose between modes to alter the driving experience. For instance, it will be possible to drive in EV mode, a hybrid setting or tell the car to hold onto the charge in the battery pack.

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