Skoda Octavia (2012-2020) Interior Layout & Technology | Top Gear
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Car Review

Skoda Octavia (2012-2020) review

£18,380 - £38,885
Published: 09 Feb 2017


What is it like on the inside?

It’s ruddy lovely. Solid. Heavy. Reliable. Erm, Golf-like. All models gets the same central touchscreen as their VW cousins (with a near identical layout, too) but there’s nothing wrong with this when the ergonomics are spot on, the driving position is excellent and the ambience good. As expected, all the materials are mined from nearby asteroids, and the head, leg and boot space is exemplary. The latter is literally cavernous. Literally. It’s all just a bit too… VW. With each successive generation, the Octavia - and Skoda itself – is losing individuality. Still, we’ll take lack of individuality over the Ford Focus cockpit every day of the week. And the weekend too.

Optional is the same eight-inch touchscreen system present in the latest VW Golf, along with the same flaws. Deleting the rotary knobs for map zooming, list scrolling and volume control has made operating the interface without removing your gaze from the road trickier than keyhole surgery on a trampoline, and even for a passenger the hand steadiness required to successfully navigate the infernal sun menus would make an RAF drone pilot sweat.

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Interestingly, Skoda does not (yet) offer a virtual set of dials in the Octavia. If you want a screen-heavy cockpit, VW and Audi keep the gadgets for themselves. Cynical? A bit, but the Octavia's clocks are clear (take that, VW) and well, free of charge, so take that as more of an observation than a complaint. Tech for tech's sake is rarely an innovation.

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