Skoda Octavia hatchback - Interior & comfort
The interior has been given a technological overhaul
The Octavia's interior has been completely revamped, with a new design that feels upmarket and modern. Gone are the days when the Octavia felt basic compared with the equivalent Volkswagen Golf; in fact, some will prefer sitting in the Skoda to the VW.
Perhaps that should be no surprise given that less than £2,000 now separates the closely related cars, but you also get more space in the bigger Octavia, which could be a winning factor if you have a family.
Skoda Octavia dashboard
Thanks to a digital revolution at the Volkswagen Group, the Octavia's dashboard has undergone a transformation. Even entry-level versions get a Virtual Cockpit instrument display, along with a large infotainment screen that now appears to hover in front of the fascia.
A sweeping metallic band spans from the front doors across the dash, giving it a strong look. It's also somewhat functional, providing a place to anchor your hand while using the touchscreen and a structure for the single row of buttons and middle air vents. An electric handbrake and small gear selector (in automatics) provides more central storage space for your smartphone and drinks.
The Octavia launched with SE First Edition and SE L First Edition trim levels, both of which offer decent amounts of equipment. A set of 16-inch alloy wheels, a 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit, rear parking sensors, an eight speaker sound system, climate control and cruise control are all standard. The infotainment system is also compatible with wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink, satisfying smartphone users.
The SE Technology trim is aimed primarily at business users, it gets a 10-inch infotainment touchscreen, sat nav, plus keyless entry/start, front parking sensors and 16-inch alloy wheels.
SE L adds 17-inch alloy wheels, chrome exterior trim and tinted glass, 'Microsuede' upholstery, heated front seats, a 10-inch infotainment screen with sat nav and voice control, front parking sensors and adaptive cruise control. The related launch model, SE L First Edition, also gets ambient lighting, blind-spot monitoring and a powered driver’s seat.
It's possible to add a variety of options to the Octavia, from styling items like 18-inch alloy wheels, to practical items like a temporary space-saver spare wheel that costs £180. Dynamic chassis control (DCC) can be fitted to adjust the suspension through Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport and Individual modes, costing just under £1,000.
Other items that owners may be drawn to include a powered bootlid (£640) and factory-fitted tow bar that can be folded out of sight, costing around £1,000.