4.3 out of 5 4.3
Parkers overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 4.3

Stylish Skoda offers acres of room and bags of tech for Ford Focus money

Skoda Octavia Hatchback Review Video
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At a glance

New price £20,965 - £28,055
Lease from new From £238 p/m View lease deals
Used price £15,690 - £24,365
Used monthly cost £392 - £608
Fuel Economy 42.2 - 65.7 mpg
Road tax cost £150
Insurance group 12 - 21 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Roomy passenger compartment and massive boot
  • Smooth ride and excellent handling
  • Excellent fuel consumption from diesel model

CONS

  • Prices have crept up, so it's no longer cheap
  • Keen drivers might want less bodyroll
  • Avoid the manual gearbox in the diesel - it's unpleasant to use

Skoda Octavia Hatchback rivals

Written by Keith Adams on

The fourth-generation Skoda Octavia boasts cutting-edge tech and a sharper new style, while promising to deliver loads of passenger room and practicality for a competitive price – just like its predecessors. It's a good-looking car that will have many people assuming it's a premium model when they first see it in the metal – a result Skoda won't be unhappy with.

Fittingly, Skoda's answer to the latest Golf Mk8 shares much of the Volkswagen's technology under the skin – and despite its familiar-looking proportions and overall look and feel, this one is a huge leap forwards. As before, it feels like the Octavia has its own bit of family car market to itself – there's little to touch it that offers the same level of interior space and practicality for the money.

The thing is, it might be roomy, but is it as clever and as capable as Skoda would have us believe? To be worthy of your money, it's going to have to be a very good all-rounder, and not just brilliant at one thing – and with rivals that include the aformentioned Volkswagen Golf, the Parkers award-winning Ford Focus or its excellent sister car, the SEAT Leon, as well as the excellent Kia Ceed/Hyundai i30 cousins, it's a big ask.

How the Octavia range looks right now

As it's fresh on the market, the complete Octavia range has yet to arrive in the UK. Currently, there are four trim levels and three engines on offer, as well as the hatchback and estate bodystyles. Want a fast Octavia? You'll have to wait until later in 2020 for the plug-in hybrid vRS model, which offers 245hp.

Unusually there are not one but two high-spec 'First Edition' models plus a more business-focused trim. Prices start with the petrol SE First Edition hatchback, which costs £22,390, rising to £29,515 for the top of the range, diesel-powered, SE L First Edition.

If that sounds a bit pricey for a Skoda, remember that the Octavia is being offered initially with two heavily-specced trims and the more powerful 1.5-litre petrol engine. A base-spec S model and a 1.0-litre petrol will come later in 2020 and we'd expect this combination to come in for less than £20,000.

Touchscreens and digital dials across the board

The entry-level car is called the SE First Edition and it features a raft of safety systems unavailable to previous Octavia owners. On the safety front, there's lane-keeping assist and front assist, while the tech takes a leap forward with an 8.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, full smartphone connectivity and Skoda's new 10.25-inch digital dials.

Sat in the middle is the SE Technology trim – from £22,640 – which is aimed squarely at company car drivers. With this car you get 16-inch alloys, 10.0-inch Columbus infotainment system, and front and rear parking sensors with manoeuvre assist.

The range-topping SE L First Edition gets 17-inch alloys, chrome window surrounds and trim on the outside, heated, electrically-adjustable microsuede seats and LED ambient lighting on the inside. The larger Columbus infotainment system is standard, and comes with voice control and online services. This car also ups the safety tech with blindspot protection, front and rear parking sensors and adaptive cruise control that can bring down down to s complete stop.

So, the Octavia is looking good for drivers who want the latest Volkswagen Group tech to accompany their roomy family car choice. But is this combination of tech and space enough to compensate for the upward move in prices – is it still the most rational family car for your money?

Click through these pages to read everything you need to know about the Skoda Octavia including its practicality, how much it costs to run - and whether we'd recommend buying one.

Skoda Octavia Hatchback rivals

Other Skoda Octavia models: