Skoda breathes new life into popular Octavia
- Credit: Skoda
Skoda has updated its popular Octavia range. Jack Evans finds out what's different about it.
As far as refreshes go, this is a subtle one. The popular Skoda Octavia benefits from an smart updated face, claimed to make it look wider and sportier than before.
Look closely and you'll see the headlights have been split in two, while the rear light units now use LEDs.
The rear track has been widened to increase stability levels at higher speeds.
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Inside, the infotainment system has been updated, with even base-spec cars receiving an eight-inch touchscreen. A wealth of safety equipment, including blind spot detection and predictive pedestrian protection, is now available, too.
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Looks and image
The old Octavia wasn't bad looking, though never one to set pulses racing. The new car is similar, save for those lights, and is more appealing in brighter colours.
Skoda has been knocking it out of the park recently – the Kodiaq is a great example of that. As with many refreshes, there's not a huge amount of new features to point out on the new Octavia – but it's just as compelling to own as the outgoing car.
Space and practicality
There's plenty of legroom in the back, even with a taller passenger up front. Headroom is also impressive all round, while large windows help give a better impression of space in the cabin.
The hatchback boot is also excellently sized – 590 litres with the rear seats up, rising to a capacious 1,580 litres with them down. If you want even more space, the estate can offer up to 1,740 litres.
Behind the wheel
Thanks to its quiet, refined engine, the Octavia is a relaxing car to cover many miles in. The steering feels a touch light at times but it benefits town driving. At higher speeds, this lightness can be addressed by putting the car into Sport mode, which adds weight to the steering.
It's hard to knock the Octavia's ride. It's a relatively softly sprung set-up, so has a tendency to 'float' over crests in the road, but gives good ride quality, even on the larger 18inch alloys on the test car, ironing creases in the road very well. Opt for a smaller wheel and there will be little to grumble about in terms of ride quality.
Value for money
SE L spec has a wealth of standard equipment. For a base price of £23,365, you get 17in alloy, rear parking sensors, Alcantara seats and full HD headlights. A full SmartLink suite comes as standard too, incorporating smartphone connectivity options such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The test car had options such as 18in alloys and £1,050 Columbus infotainment system with 9.2in touchscreen. Altogether, it came out at £26,695 – still huge value given the amount of technology and equipment.
Who would buy one?
The Octavia is a smart choice for those who want a great-value car loaded with standard equipment for a relatively small outlay. It's immensely practical thanks to a large boot and plenty of rear legroom. It's an ideal car for families, as well as business drivers who want good economy figures with decent performance.
TECH AND SPEC
Price: Skoda Octavia 2.0 TDI SE L hatchback £23,365. Hathcback range £17,195 to £28,630; estate £18,395 to £30,030 Engine: 1,968cc, 150PS, four-cylinder turbo diesel with six-speed manual gearbox
Performance: 0-62mph: 8.4 seconds; top speed 135mph
MPG: 65.7 combined
CO2 emissions: 113g/km