Parkers overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 4.3

Long Termer - reports by Steve 'Percy' Lawman

Update 1: Welcome to Parkers - Skoda's magnificent new Octavia Hatchback

Well, this year has been far from ‘normal’ and my new long-termer (courtesy of our friends at Skoda UK’s press office) has just arrived after the first Covid-19 lockdown was lifted. The delivery driver dropped the car off directly to my house and whilst giving everything the customary wipe down with industrial strength alcohol, commented how much he liked it and how frugal it was. That’s always a good vote of confidence as the delivery drivers get to cover many thousands of miles each year in a multitude of different vehicles. 

Skoda Octavia 2.0TDi SE L First Edition Long Termer

Skoda’s current Octavia is a brand new model year from 2020 onwards, replacing the previous 2013-2020 generation car and comes in both hatchback and estate bodystyles. Pitched right into the mix of cars like the VW Golf, Ford Focus and SEAT Leon, the Octavia needs to excel as a great all-round proposition if it’s to stand its corner with this kind of heavyweight opposition. The Octavia has always been one of our all-time family favourites. It consistently scores well in all areas and from what we've been seeing so far, this next generation car isn't going to disappoint.

On launch, the new Octavia has four different trim levels. At the base is the SE First Edition, followed by the SE Technology, penultimately the SE L and then finally the range-topping SE L First Edition. Three petrol engines are on offer with the 1.0 TSi (110ps) and the 1.5 TSi with 150ps. A third variant [the 1.0 TSi e-TEC] is a mild hybrid. The mild hybrid is a brand-new power unit equipped with a seven speed DSG gearbox. It’s available in two trim levels and at the heart of the e-TEC powertrain is a powerful 48-volt Li-ion battery and a combined belt-driven starter-alternator.

Coupled with the three petrol variants, a single 2.0 TDi diesel is available which comes in both 115 and 150ps output options. A higher power 245ps vRS plug-in hybrid variant arrives later in 2020. This will be Skoda’s first performance plug-in. 

Skoda Octavia interior UK RHD 2020

Our own Octavia [KY20MKF] is the top-end SE L First Edition with the 115ps diesel power unit fitted and whilst the 150ps diesel is probably the choice for larger families and owners that will use the Octavia more as a load-lugger, you can’t dismiss the lower power unit as it genuinely has plenty of usable low-down torque. Both petrol and diesel engines are available with either manual or auto DSG transmission. Saying that, not every engine/trim-level variant offers the choice of both.

As mentioned previously, the new Octavia looks to be extremely frugal. We’ll be putting this theory into a full-blown evaluation later in the year, or early 2021 – depending of course on the Covid-19 situation. Saying that, and even after a few weeks of ownership, my own initial fuel consumption figures look to be in excess of the official WLTP figure of 55.4 – 65.7mpg and by a healthy margin. It certainly bodes well for the up and coming months so stay tuned for further updates.

Current pricing [as of 6/11/2020] shows the SE First Edition being available form £20,965. Then the SE Technology from £21,215, the SE L from £24,745 and finally the SE L first Edition from £25,150. As a side snippet, the vRS comes in from £23,300. The pricing on the new Octavia we feel is extremely keen especially when you pitch this against the equivalent competition.

Skoda Octavia 2.0TDi SE L First Edition Long Termer Boot

Where the new Octavia excels is equipment. As standard, the Octavia is brimming with plenty of new tech. On all SE L models, the standard equipment list is pretty impressive. 17” alloys, heated front seats, keyless entry, LED headlights and a 10.25” virtual cockpit are just a few key items that the new owner can indulge in. The full list is superbly impressive but we’ll drill down in future updates to see what’s on offer, and of course, all those optional extras that make your car just that little bit more special and individual to you.

Skoda has a very slick and easy to use website where you can explore the different trim levels and build your own bespoke car.

Skoda Octavia 2.0TDi SE L First Edition Long Termer - rear

This is Skoda’s fourth generation of the Octavia and this evolution now reveals a car that has heaps of new cutting-edge tech, a huge cabin interior and a cavernous boot big enough to put the contents of a good-sized supermarket in. On the face of it, the new Octavia is practicality done the right way. Inside, the interior has had a good update from the previous generation with a plusher cosier interior. The cabin can easily accommodate the tallest of occupants. I’m a ‘normal 6-footer’ and had oodles of extra space when sitting in either the front or the rear of the cabin.

Over the coming months, I’ll get deep under the skin of the Octavia and hopefully if at some point the Covid-19 issue subsides, I’ll be looking forward to getting out and about - stretching the Octavia’s legs on longer load-lugging journeys which will be very suited to the fundamentals of this car.

Update 2: Cabin, equipment and options

Inside, our new Octavia competes well with rivals such as the VW Golf and in our opinion is well ahead of the Ford Focus. Standard equipment on the Octavia is extremely generous and even the basic entry-level trim SE First Edition comes with cruise control, rear parking sensors, 16-inch ‘Velorum’ alloy wheels, a multi-function steering wheel and climate control to name but a small handful of the many desirable assets. LED headlamps with LED daytime running lamps also come as standard across the whole range as do an auto-dimming rear-view mirror.

Skoda Octavia interior rear passenger cabin

Inside, the cabin is smart and everything seems to be solidly assembled. It’s a cosy and very roomy place to be. There would certainly be no issues in seating five 6 foot+ adults in the Octavia and in comfort with room to spare.

Sitting in the driver's seat you appreciate just how much acreage there is. The forward field of view is excellent which you'd appreciate when pulling out from a junction. It’s handy having the rear parking sensors which are fitted to all trim levels as standard, as the car is quite long. I did notice [and others had mentioned it], that rear also seems to sit quite high when viewing through the rear-view mirrors [or looking backwards over your shoulder]. In some circumstances you can lose sight of the rear end and then begin to doubt yourself on how far you can go. Here, the parking sensors add that extra required degree of insurance when reversing and they are great piece standard fit kit, and in my view, essential on large or longer length cars.

Rather than just mention a selected handful of equipment that owners can expect, I’ve dissected Skoda UK’s website so you can get a rundown on what is fitted as standard equipment across the range, and on top - what is fitted as additional standard equipment to the SE L First Edition car.

Skoda Octavia Hatchback standard fitted equipment on all trim levels

Exterior

  • Electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors in body colour
  • Alloys wheels
  • LED front fog lights
  • LED headlights with LED daytime running lights
  • LED rear lights (low functionality)
  • Rear fog lamp (one side only)

Interior

  • Front centre armrest
  • Climatronic dual-zone air conditioning
  • Luggage compartment lighting
  • Electronic parking brake
  • Electric windows front and rear
  • Unsplit rear bench seat, split folding backrest
  • Wooden multifunction steering wheel for Tiptronic

Safety and Driver Assistance

  • 12-volt socket in luggage boot
  • Three-point seat belts in front and rear
  • Alarm with interior monitoring, tilt sensor and back up horn
  • Tyre repair kit and tyre pressure monitoring
  • ISOFIX on front passenger seat and outer rear seats
  • Rear disk brakes and wheel bolts with anti-theft protection (unlockable)
  • Driver knee airbag
  • Hill start assist
  • Child lock in rear doors (manual)
  • Three rear head restraints
  • Light and rain sensor
  • Curtain airbags and front side airbags
  • Skoda Connect eCall and 1-year Care Connect Remote Services

Radio, Telephone and Navigation

Our own car is the higher-end SE L Technology trim and sports the following additional and upgrade options.

Exterior

  • 17” Rotare alloy wheels
  • Chrome window surrounds
  • Blind spot detection
  • Power folding, heated and electrically adjustable exterior mirrors with memory feature

Interior

  • Heated front seats
  • Microsuede padded dash panel and upholstery
  • Privacy glass
  • Silver squares haptik decorative inserts
  • Electrically adjustable driver’s seat with memory
  • Electrically adjustable lumbar support for drivers seat

Safety and Driver Assistance

Navigation Screen

Here we can see where Skoda has really upped their game. The entry trim level models include a 8.25-inch screen which has Bluetooth. The SE Technology, SE L and SE L First Edition cars feature a 10.25-inch display screen with built-in 3D navigation. It’s very clear, sharp and easy to get your head round. Apart from being the central point of operating the sat-nav, climate control and audio, it also serves very well in displaying the rear-view camera. A true 'multi-function' screen.

Skoda Octavia interior multifunction screen

The capacitive touch-screen display is rapid with minimal lag featuring nice, large icons and it’s very responsive. The only oddity is that you find yourself sometimes switching through the many swaths of different menu options. Most [but not all] are logical and the touchscreen seems to control almost everything from audio to the climate control. I’d point out that some menus are buried quite deep down. The cabin actually looks really quite minimalistic with the lack of buttons and switches. Don’t look for an analogue volume button anywhere - you won’t find one, it’s all on-screen digital only.

Nearly all the functionality is centred around the touchscreen display and is digitally controlled. If you are happy in this type of environment, you’ll get to grips with it quite easily, although some of the menus can be a bit fiddly to find whilst driving - so it's best to pull over. For others, a small learning curve is in order just to get to up to speed with what all the different menu options offer.

Skoda Octavia logo downlighting

Options
As with most manufacturers, Skoda hope to whet your appetite and entice you with some additional goodies. Options vary quite widely across trim levels, but here’s what our very own car has fitted over and above the standard equipment.

Metallic paint - £575
Rear window wiper – FOC
Rear view parking camera - £595
Steel spacing saving spare wheel - £180
Removable lockable towbar with adaptor – £955

Total cost of car including factory fitted options: £28,383 [inc. VAT]

See a full list of equipment and options for our Skoda Ocatvia Hatchback here and if you're already considering the Octavia as your next car, check out Skoda's website where you can build your own virtual car online.

Update 3: Engines and first driving impressions

Skoda’s new flagship family car gives the owner a great choice of modern powerplants. The mainstay engines are the 1.0 and 1.5TSi units and the trusty 2.0TDi diesel, but as you can see below – there’s some new additions for 2020 bringing a mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid to the party.

There’s also a brand-new performance vRS trim which churns out 245ps from the 1.4 TSi plug-in hybrid power plant and coupled with 400nm of torque, promises to be a real rocket-ship. There’s also 245ps 2.0TSi manual and DSG options as well, so a great all-round choice.

We’ve got some initial info from the manufacturer here on the vRS, but we hope to be able to present a full review at some point in 2021.

Skoda Octavia 1.5TSi engine

Below we’ve listed engine availability for each different trim level as not all engines are available for every trim, but you can view all the technical data we hold for each trim level on parkers.co.uk

‘SE’ Trim
1.0 TSi 110ps 6 speed manual. 117g/km CO2 petrol engine with claimed WLTP of 54.8mpg combined
1.5 TSi 150ps 6 speed manual. 123g/km CO2 petrol engine with claimed WLTP of 52.2mpg combined
1.0 TSi e-TEC 110ps 7-speed DSG. 115g/km CO2 mild-hybrid engine with claimed WLTP of 56.0mpg combined
2.0 TDi 116ps 6 speed manual. 109g/km CO2 petrol engine with claimed WLTP of 68.2mpg combined
2.0 TDi 150ps 6 speed manual. 109g/km CO2 petrol engine with claimed WLTP of 67.6mpg combined
2.0 TDi 116ps DSG. 115g/km CO2 petrol engine with claimed WLTP of 64.6mpg combined

‘SE First Edition’ Trim
1.0 TSi 110ps 6 speed manual. 117g/km CO2 petrol engine with claimed WLTP of 54.6mpg combined
1.5 TSi 150ps 6 speed manual. 123g/km CO2 petrol engine with claimed WLTP of 52.0mpg combined
1.0 TSi e-TEC 110ps 7-speed DSG. 115g/km CO2 mild-hybrid engine with claimed WLTP of 55.8mpg combined
2.0 TDi 116ps 6 speed manual. 109g/km CO2 petrol engine with claimed WLTP of 68.2mpg combined

‘SE Technology’ Trim
1.0 TSi 110ps 6 speed manual. 117g/km CO2 petrol engine with claimed WLTP of 54.8mpg combined
1.5 TSi 150ps 6 speed manual. 123g/km CO2 petrol engine with claimed WLTP of 52.1mpg combined
1.0 TSi e-TEC 110ps 7-speed DSG. 115g/km CO2 mild-hybrid engine with claimed WLTP of 56.0mpg combined
2.0 TDi 116ps 6 speed manual. 109g/km CO2 petrol engine with claimed WLTP of 68.2mpg combined
2.0 TDi 150ps 6 speed manual. 110g/km CO2 petrol engine with claimed WLTP of 67.6mpg combined
2.0 TDi 116ps DSG. 115g/km CO2 petrol engine with claimed WLTP of 64.6mpg combined
1.4 TSi IV 6-speed DSG. 22g/km CO2 plug-in hybrid engine with claimed WLTP of 284.1mpg combined

Skoda Octavia 2.0TDi engine

‘SE L’ Trim
1.5 TSi 150ps 6 speed manual. 123g/km CO2 petrol engine with claimed WLTP of 52.0mpg combined
2.0 TDi 116ps 6 speed manual. 109g/km CO2 petrol engine with claimed WLTP of 68.0mpg combined
2.0 TDi 150ps 6 speed manual. 109g/km CO2 petrol engine with claimed WLTP of 67.6mpg combined
1.5 TSi e-TEC 150ps 7-speed DSG. 121g/km CO2 mild-hybrid engine with claimed WLTP of 53.2mpg combined
2.0 TDi 116ps DSG. 115g/km CO2 petrol engine with claimed WLTP of 64.4mpg combined
2.0 TDi 150ps DSG. 115g/km CO2 petrol engine with claimed WLTP of 64.3mpg combined
1.4 TSi IV 6-speed DSG. 22g/km CO2 plug-in hybrid engine with claimed WLTP of 282.6mpg combined

‘SE L First Edition’ Trim
1.5 TSi 150ps 6 speed manual. 123g/km CO2 petrol engine with claimed WLTP of 51.9mpg combined
2.0 TDi 116ps 6 speed manual. 109g/km CO2 petrol engine with claimed WLTP of 68.1mpg combined
2.0 TDi 150ps DSG. 115g/km CO2 petrol engine with claimed WLTP of 64.4mpg combined

‘vRS’ Trim
2.0 TSi (245ps) 6-speed manual. 157g/km CO2 petrol engine with claimed WLTP of 40.8mpg combined
2.0 TDi 200ps DSG. 130g/km CO2 petrol engine with claimed WLTP of 56.9mpg combined
2.0 TSi (245ps) 7-speed DSG. 157g/km CO2 petrol engine with claimed WLTP of 40.8mpg combined
2.0 TDi 200ps 4x4 DSG. 145g/km CO2 petrol engine with claimed WLTP of 51.3mpg combined
1.4 TSi IV 6-speed DSG. 26g/km CO2 plug-in hybrid engine with claimed WLTP of 249.9mpg combined

Click here to see an overview of the power units – courtesy of Skoda.

We can see that apart from the standard TSi and TDi power units, new for 2020 is Skoda’s e-TEC mild-hybrid engine which comes in both 1.0 and 1.5 TSI variants. Coupled with this is another new entry with the 1.4TSI IV plug-in hybrid.

The new e-TEC is a brand-new power unit which is equipped with a seven speed DSG gearbox. At the heart of the e-TEC powertrain is a powerful 48-volt Li-ion (Lithium ION) battery and a combined belt-driven starter-alternator. The 48v DC system means the car can effectively ‘coast’ with the engine completed switched off for extended periods. When this occurs, the car’s electric motor maintains power to crucial on-board systems. The mild hybrid system can also recover energy during braking and store it in the battery ready to support the ICE by providing it with an electrical boost.

Skoda Octavia eTEC engine

On board, a DC to DC converter takes a sample of the available power and converts it from 48v DC down to 12v DC which is the required voltage for the car’s internal electrical system. The e-TEC is a 3-cylinder turbo charged unit and Skoda tell us that it’s packed full with plenty of modern innovation.

The plug-in hybrid (PHEV) option features a 1.4 TSI petrol engine delivering 115kW (156PS) and a 75-kW electric motor. Combined they produce a total output of 150kW (204PS) and have a maximum torque of 350 Nm. The engine utilises a 37Ah, 13kWh lithium-ion battery, which we understand promises an electric range of up to 55km in the WLTP cycle.

Note the very close figures when checking over the 2.0TDi 116ps unit when compared to the 2.0TDi 150ps unit. The CO2 figures are actually the same and fuel consumption is within 0.6mpg. This makes the 150ps diesel look very appealing. However, our own car carries the 116ps diesel unit and we’re expecting big things from it.

Skoda Octavia driving

Out and about in our test car we find the 6-speed manual gearbox a precise experience. There’s plenty of pulling power from the lower powered diesel and it never failed to deliver a good amount of low-down grunt making brisk progress from a standing start. Although not yet tested, on paper the 150ps diesel looks like it could well be a really popular choice, especially as the unit has the same CO2 figures as the 116hp powerplant. The higher power engine delivers what looks to be a swift experience reaching 62mph in only 8.7 seconds.

Out on the open road is where the Octavia feels at its best and really at home. It’s a large car and makes for a great modern mile muncher. On the motorway, the Octavia will happily gobble up mile after mile with ease. As soon as ‘Lockdown 2’ is over, I am hoping to get a real long distance jaunt under my belt and put the Octavia through its paces in its natural environment.

Skoda Octavia driving

Riding on the backroads or undulating minor roads is where the Octavia feels a little out of its depth. It’s big and you need to gently remind yourself of that fact but the steering is precise and never gives any worries. Large potholes can cause a moment of caution but the car rapidly recovers its posture. Driving quickly into bends can cause a certain amount of body roll which is to be expected as the suspension is generally quite soft, but there is however an optional adaptive suspension package that will certainly help as the user could then dial in a specific setting for every occasion.

Our experience in driving the new Octavia so far has been very positive. It makes an excellent large family car and will transport a hefty gaggle of bodies plus a mega boot full of luggage with ease over many miles. Stay with us for future updates as I hope to give our Octavia quite a stiff task to achieve.

 The Latest Data:  Skoda Octavia Hatchback 2.0TDi SE L First Edition stats - Updated 03/12/2020
 Current mileage
 2456
 Real-world average fuel economy
 63.65 mpg average
 Real-world miles-per-litre (combined overall)
 14.01 mpl
 Official combined fuel economy (WLTP figures)
 55.4 - 65.7 mpg
 Total fuel used cumulative
 138.15 litres
 Total cost of fuel used
 £170.47
 Parkers 'MPP' (Miles Per Pound) calculation
 11.2 - 13.3
 Car joined Parkers fleet
 September 2020

Percy Lawman, Senior Product Content Manager - December 3rd 2020