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Expert Review

Skoda Octavia (2024 - ) review

With revised looks and some extra tech the Skoda Octavia continues to set standards in its class.

Auto Trader

Words by: Auto Trader

Published on 17 May 2024 | 0 min read

The Auto Trader expert verdict:

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Available new from £26,775

While the Skoda Octavia competes in the same class as the Volkswagen Golf on which it is based its party trick is looking and feeling like a much bigger vehicle inside and out. Yet this isn’t just a case of ‘never mind the quality, feel the quantity’ – with its incredibly spacious interior, neatly revised exterior styling and choice of efficient petrol and diesel engines, this is the first car you should be considering in the family hatchback or estate segment. It is quite brilliant in every way.

Reasons to buy:

  • tickMassive cabin
  • tickHigh-quality feel
  • tickSmooth, efficient powertrains

At a glance:

Running costs for a Skoda Octavia

Even the manuals get efficiency tech for partly shutting the engine down on a cruise
This updated Octavia offers two 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engines, one with a lower power output and the other a bit punchier, as well as two 2.0-litre turbodiesels – again with two distinct levels of power. If you choose the DSG automatic gearbox both petrols get mild-hybrid assistance to save a bit of fuel, even if the car can’t power itself on the electric motor alone. Even the manuals get efficiency tech for partly shutting the engine down on a cruise, meaning nearly all the petrols score 50mpg by official numbers, the diesels more like 60mpg. Having hopped in and out of various different models on our test we have no reason to doubt these figures, given how close we got to them out in the real world. Furthermore, emissions are admirably low across the range so, as petrol and diesel cars go, Benefit In Kind tax isn’t extortionate, meaning the Octavia will appeal to company drivers as much as it will private buyers.
Expert rating: 4/5

Reliability of a Skoda Octavia

It uses tried-and-tested Volkswagen Group components in relatively unstressed specifications
Past generations of the Skoda Octavia have proven to be dependable, and the current model seems to continue that trend. It uses tried-and-tested Volkswagen Group components in relatively unstressed specifications, so it shouldn’t develop any serious issues. To aid with peace of mind, Skoda offers the industry-standard three-year, 60,000-mile warranty, with unlimited mileage cover in the first 24 months of that period. It’s not a groundbreaking level of cover by any means, but it is sufficient for the typical 36-month finance deals many people run their new cars on.
Expert rating: 4/5

Safety for a Skoda Octavia

Even base SE Technology models come with a lengthy list of passive and active safety functions
The Skoda Octavia has the highest five-star Euro NCAP result, with particularly impressive performances in the adult occupant, child occupant and safety assist departments. For this updated model Skoda has enhanced the Octavia’s driver monitoring system to a more advanced set-up, with a more sophisticated algorithm to detect the driver’s fitness to drive. It has also fitted an automated parking function and improved rear pedestrian detection for the emergency braking system will join the range later this year via an over-the-air software update. Even base SE Technology models come with a lengthy list of passive and active safety functions, with higher-grade Octavias adding even more, so it’s one of the most secure family cars around.
Expert rating: 5/5

How comfortable is the Skoda Octavia

The result is one of those cars in which you could comfortably cover hundreds of miles in one hit
This is the Skoda’s strongest suit. The feeling of supreme comfort begins before you’ve so much as turned a wheel for the fact no direct competitor car can match it for the sheer amount of space, be that in the cabin or boot. The hatchback holds 600 litres with all seats in use, rising to 1,555 litres with the second row folded away, and the estate holds even more. Trust us when we say that those are gigantic figures and the sort of numbers you’d expect from far more expensive and larger cars than the Octavia. Thankfully, it doesn’t then let itself down on the move. You can option Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) adjustable dampers, which can firm up or slacken off the ride comfort as required, but having driven most cars on the standard, ‘fixed’ suspension, DCC just doesn’t seem necessary. Even the racier Sportline models, which have a lower ride height and a firmer chassis set-up, ride with a grace and quality unparalleled in this class, while mechanical noise and wind buffeting about the cabin is kept to a bare minimum. The result is one of those cars in which you could comfortably cover hundreds of miles in one hit, without any degree of hardship or fatigue at all.
Expert rating: 5/5

Features of the Skoda Octavia

To benefit from items such as adaptive cruise control, keyless entry and a powered tailgate, you’d need to step up to pricier SE L trim
Trim levels for this updated Octavia comprise SE Technology, SE L and then Sportline, with every car in the range featuring a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and 13-inch infotainment system. This latter works well as touch-screens go, though there’s still the suspicion too many basic functions have been put through it. Unlike the larger TEXT Skoda Superb the Octavia doesn’t have any physical climate controls on its dashboard, for example. However, there are some useful shortcut buttons, and the layout of the screens and menus is intuitive, so it all operates smoothly in the main. Even SE Technology cars come with LED front and rear lights, the former in a new design that’s the main distinguishing feature of the facelifted Octavia, while 16-inch alloys, heated front seats, wireless connectivity for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a new 15-watt wireless smartphone charging pad – with an in-built cooling function to prevent your device getting too hot while it charges – are all part of a generous range-wide specification. However, to benefit from items such as adaptive cruise control, keyless entry and a powered tailgate, you’d need to step up to pricier SE L trim.
Expert rating: 4/5

Power for a Skoda Octavia

We’d recommend the automatic if possible as the manual gearbox often requires a lower gear than you might expect
The 1.5-litre petrol is a pleasant and smooth unit that should provide more than ample performance for most needs. We’d recommend the automatic if possible as the manual gearbox often requires a lower gear than you might expect, meaning a less relaxing driving experience. The petrol can become a little strained and vocal, but you don’t really need to rev it right out to that point to make swift progress. While it’s a smoother, quieter car with the petrol engine under the bonnet we think the diesel is a better match for the Octavia, unfashionable as that seems these days. It’s a stronger unit in the mid-range and, while it can be a little noisier and prone to vibrations through the steering wheel and base of the seat, it never sounds as intrusive as the petrol when working harder. The diesel also returned an easy 55mpg on a mixed testing route, which really can’t be sniffed at in such a car as big and practical as this.
Expert rating: 4/5