Skoda Octavia Estate - Interior & comfort
A step up in quality gives the interior an upmarket feel
Both the exterior and interior now seem to exude a level of sophistication and quality that the Octavia has never quite reached before. Unfortunately, that's also reflected in the price, which easily hits close to £30,000 for a 2.0-litre diesel in a higher trim.
Add some of the new optional extras and the cost can spiral well into BMW 3 Series territory. The winter pack, which includes heated front and rear seats and triple-zone climate control costs over £900, while the top driver assistance package, including a rear-view camera with LED headlight and taillights, costs close to £2,000.
Skoda Octavia Estate dashboard
No mere makeover, the Octavia's interior takes a fresh new approach. Its dashboard is dominated by a wide span of metallic trim, above which sits a slim infotainment display. This measures 8.25-inches in entry-level cars and 10 inches in higher trims, with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.
Soft-touch materials and ambient lighting help the Octavia feel more upmarket and it's pleasantly uncluttered inside, with even the volume taken care of by a slider at the bottom of the screen. Touch-sensitive controls have proved frustrating in some models but they work pretty well here, and can also be used to zoom in and out on the sat nav. Below this, there's a discreet row of rocker switches and a centre console with a small toggle-style gear selector for automatics. This frees up lots of space, even allowing your smartphone to sit in front of it and charge wirelessly.
There are digital instrument dials (measuring 10.25 inches) with clear graphics, sitting behind a new two-spoke steering wheel. A built-in eSIM and modem means the Octavia is always connected, enabling features like eCall. They also allow owners to access vehicle information remotely. Up to five USB-C ports allow every occupant to charge their portable device while on the move. Clever touches include a conveniently placed USB-C port in the headlining next to the rear view mirror, which allows you to power a dashcam while keeping the wiring neat.
All versions of the Octavia Estate come well-equipped. Standard kit includes a DAB radio, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, sat nav, wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto connectivity. Dual-zone air conditioning and cruise control are also standard. Lower trim level cars feature 16-inch alloy wheels as standard, with LED fog lights and rear parking sensors.
Three trim levels are available, with additional models expected later in 2020. SE First Edition spec cars get 17-inch alloy wheels, an electrically operated tailgate, LED interior lighting, heated front seats and a heated windscreen. LED rear lights and a rear-view parking camera are also standard fit, including dynamic rear indicators.
SE Technology focuses more on business users, but it’s a great fit for private buyers too. It benefits from front and rear parking sensors and the upgraded 10-inch touch screen with sat nav, but only costs slightly more than the SE First Edition model.
Stepping up to the SE L First Edition model adds chrome exterior trim, rear privacy glass, headlight washers and electrically adjustable and folding wing mirrors. Inside the larger 10-inch infotainment touchscreen is standard, including voice control. Front heated seats and microsuede cloth upholstery and LED ambient interior lighting are also included. Additional safety features include adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors and blindspot detection.
While Skoda hasn't confirmed exactly the full trim level line-up that will be coming to the UK yet, it’s expected to follow with an S-badged entry-level trim model later this year. The rugged Scout model will only be available in certain European countries, and will not be coming to the UK. Athletic-looking Sportline and high-performance vRS models will also follow, along with a range-topping luxury Laurin & Klement (L&K) version.
Options already revealed by Skoda include heated, ventilated and massaging seats, a double loading floor and a rear-view camera. Buyers can also add an upgraded navigation system with live traffic updates and a Comfort Package that adds items including heated seats, three-zone climate control and a heated steering wheel. Upgraded LED headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels and a head-up display also make the options list.