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Car Review

Skoda Octavia review

£26,500 - £34,030
810
Published: 31 May 2024
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Driving

What is it like to drive?

In heartland 148bhp 1.5-litre TSI petrol spec, the Octavia feels more sensible than ever. It’s a well-refined, quiet engine which shuts down two cylinders whenever possible to improve its efficiency. A 0-62mph time of 8.5 seconds isn’t glacial, but you’re never encouraged to drive too quickly anyway.

Skoda quotes 50.4mpg on the combined WLTP cycle, plus emissions of 129g/km, and from our experience real world economy in the low to mid-forties is easily achievable.

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We’ve also tried the lesser 109bhp 1.5-litre mild hybrid Octavia with the DSG gearbox. This too is an exceptionally smooth powertrain, and admirably keen to switch the engine off whenever you lift off the accelerator. Efficient too – we saw around 50mpg (versus Skoda’s claimed 56.5mpg) – but not fast. Zero to 62mph takes over 10 seconds, but it keeps up with traffic well enough and manages not to feel underpowered.

That said... load the Octavia’s boot to the gunwales and its cabin with people, and it might struggle.

Is it comfortable?

There’s minimal road noise in the Octavia and the ride is supremely soft, even on the 18-inch wheels but especially on the entry-level car’s 16s and balloon tyres. It’s certainly set up to be spongier than either the Golf or the Leon, which does make it roll through corners, but in reality that floaty, lollopy nature suits the Octavia’s character to a tee and makes it properly comfortable.

Top-spec Sportline models get progressive steering and sports suspension which lowers the ride height by 15 millimetres, with seemingly little detrimental effect on ride quality. Dynamic Chassis Control – which provides different levels of damping and five drive modes (Eco, Comfort, Normal Sport and Individual) – is a £1,125 option. But based on our experience, not a necessity. 

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Are the diesels worth considering?

The flagship 148bhp diesel manages 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds and easily gets mid-fifties mpg: great if you’re doing big motorway miles, but it's marginally louder and less refined than the petrols.

Same goes for the 113bhp diesel too, which sees off 0-62mph in a slightly more lethargic 10.0s, although with its quoted 65.7mpg, great for high mileage motorway drivers. Hardly exciting, but very impressive all the same.

Highlights from the range

the fastest

1.5 TSI 150 e-TEC Sportline 5dr DSG
  • 0-628.5s
  • CO2
  • BHP147.5
  • MPG
  • Price£34,030

the cheapest

1.5 TSI SE Technology 5dr
  • 0-6210.4s
  • CO2
  • BHP114
  • MPG
  • Price£26,500

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