Genuinely great value for money, with bags of space and equipment
- Impressive build quality
- Spacious boot
- Generous kit levels
- Lots of rear legroom
- Non-vRS models are dull to drive
- No hybrid option
- Bland interior
- Still some brand image issues
Freshened up for 2017, the ever-dependable Skoda Octavia Hatch had a facelift featuring a subtle range of styling tweaks and equipment upgrades.
Chief among which are the revised front lights and grille – giving the Octavia an overall more distinctive look – and larger multimedia screen available in either 8.0- or 9.2-inch guise.
Up against fierce competition in the form of the Ford Focus, Honda Civic and Vauxhall's Astra, Skoda’s spacious family five-door has its work cutout if it wants to maintain its strong position within the market.
Attractive range of Skoda Octavia engines – but no hybrid yet
Skoda offers the Octavia with a competitive selection of conventional turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, arguably the most interesting of which is the 1.0-litre three-cylinder TSI.
Other motors include the usual spread of 1.6- and 2.0-litre turbodiesel engines, plus a 150hp 1.4-litre petrol capable of 0-62mph in 8.1 seconds.
Performance vRS models add flair
Adding to the Octavia’s broad spectrum of abilities are the performance vRS versions. Available with either a 184hp 2.0-litre diesel or a 2.0-litre petrol producing 230hp or 245hp, all deliver an impressive blend of practicality, pace and fuel efficiency.
All versions can be had in six-speed manual and seven-speed DSG automatic forms, while the diesel is also available with optional all-wheel drive.
Skoda’s quickest car ever: Octavia vRS 245
Despite the regular petrol-engined Octavia vRS being uprated to 230hp at the time of its 2017 facelift, there was still space above it for an even faster model. Enter the Octavia vRS 245 with – you guessed it – 245hp.
Available exclusively with a revised version of the 2.0-litre turbocharged TSI engine and the option of six-speed manual or a seven-speed DSG automatic gearboxes, this is the top-performing Octavia. In fact, it’s the quickest production Skoda full stop.
Exceptional practicality over rivals
One of the Octavia’s most impressive traits is its exceptional luggage capacity and room for passengers.
Boot space far exceeds its rivals at 580 litres with the rear seats in place and 1,580 litres with them folded down. In fact, there’s so much space that the Octavia could be seen as a legitimate rival to cars in the class above such as the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport.
Within the cabin itself there are storage cubbies aplenty, plus there’s even a handy ice scraper inside the fuel cap.
The Parkers Verdict
The Octavia is a talented all-round family car offering great value thanks to reasonable prices, a huge, high-quality cabin and a wide range of engines and trim levels in a choice of bodystyles. It’s not exciting, but it gets the job done without any fuss.
If you want to jump in a car and demolish a 500-mile journey in one hit, then this is the car for you. Not bad when you consider how good value this is…
Read on for the detailed review of the entire Skoda Octavia Hatchback range
What owners say about this car
It's a great car that's had a few very minor issues that have been and are currently being looked into. Read owner review
Huge luggage carrying capacity for mid-range family car. Read owner review
The sheer amount of space available is amazing and the boot in particular is big enough to take a... Read owner review