Skoda Octavia hatchback - Engines, drive & performance
The Skoda Octavia is smooth, quiet and assured from behind the wheel
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 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 three-cylinder petrol engine that can muster 109bhp, followed by a four-cylinder 1.5-litre TSI engine producing 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 a competitive 8.4 seconds, with a possible top 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 buyers are catered for with a new 2.0-litre TDI engine, with power outputs of 114bhp or 148bhp. The entry-level version is fitted with a manual gearbox and takes 10.2 seconds to get from 0-62mph, while the 148bhp is fitted with a DSG automatic and takes 8.7 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.
The popular Skoda is also available as a plug-in hybrid Octavia iV, although supply issues meant orders were temporarily halted in late 2022. This boasts 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. A DSG automatic transmission takes care of sending power to the wheels, and the driver can choose between modes to alter the driving experience. It's possible to drive in EV mode, a hybrid setting or tell the car to hold onto the charge in the battery pack.
Power is delivered effectively by the electric and petrol motors, but the Mercedes A 250 e is even smoother in this respect. The Octavia iV is relaxing to drive, however, and its combustion engine only becomes thrashy if you press on the accelerator hard.
Which Is Best?
- Name1.0 TSI SE 5dr
- Gearbox typeManual
- Name1.4 TSI iV SE Technology DSG 5dr
- Gearbox typeSemi-auto
- Name2.0 TSI vRS 5dr DSG
- Gearbox typeSemi-auto