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17 Jun 2021

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Physical air-con fan and temperature controls would be better

With a sleek new look, a generously equipped cabin, outstanding practicality and pleasing drive comfort, the new Skoda Octavia sets a high bar in its segment.

Since the first Skoda Octavia left the brand's Mlada Boleslav factory more than 60 years ago, the model has radically transformed into a highly practical and sensible family sedan, with its value-for-money reputation becoming its key calling card.

With this new fourth generation Octavia, Skoda looks to further improve on its well-established reputation of providing smart and innovative solutions primed on practicality and safety.

Just how far has it raised the bar?

Looking good

The Octavia sports a refreshed design that is sleek and handsome
The new Octavia is certainly good-looking. With its sharp lines, more refined overall visual character and certainly more distinct edges, it's really quite a handsome car. I particularly like the rear end, especially the way the fastback boot and the rear end taper together to form a nice and clean pointed edge.

Shift inside the car and the upgrades are most evident - you get a fully digital dashboard, a 10-inch Bolero touchscreen infotainment system, new touch slider volume controls, a completely new centre console, as well as a chrome panel running across the cabin that echoes the look of the reworked front grille.

Wireless Apple CarPlay comes standard on the Style trim
Of note, I really do like the upgraded infotainment system. The new graphical interface is clean and fresh-looking, while operation is intuitive and easy. The home screen can also be extensively customised, allowing you to choose from widgets ranging from 1x1 to 3x3 in size. It's handy for keeping key functions just one touch away.

And while the car doesn't come equipped with onboard navigation, there is wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, so you can simply just use your phone's navigation function. 

Space for days

The cabin is sleek, spacious and well-equipped
I think the cabin is a fantastically conceived space. It feels premium and well-built, even if the materials aren't necessarily super high-quality. You get plush leather upholstery, nifty ambient lighting and some rather nice cushy fabric surfaces as well. It's certainly a space you won't complain about being in.

Rear passengers will have reasonable space - the slightly tapered roof eats into headroom slightly, but unless you are regularly ferrying passengers 1.8m and taller, that shouldn't be an issue.

The massive 600-litre boot is even bigger than most compact SUVs
Of course, storage solutions are aplenty - umbrella holder in both from doors, chilled glovebox, another small glovebox on the driver side, phone pocket on top of the magazine pockets for rear passengers, etc.

And, you get an absolutely massive boot as well. This liftback model boasts a 600-litre boot, which is outrageously huge. For context, this car's larger brother, the Superb, has a 625-litre boot.

Smooth sailor

The Octavia now comes powered by the same 1.5-litre mild-hybrid engine first introduced with the new Volkswagen Golf. Just as it was then, here it proves to be a smooth and capable powerplant.

The 1.5-litre mild-hybrid engine delivers 148bhp and 250Nm of torque in a smooth and refined manner
The mild-hybrid integration is also excellent - the 48V system allows for very quiet engine start up, and the engine start/stop is seamless and almost undetectable.

As far as drive quality goes, comfort is certainly the Octavia's strong suit. The soft suspension setup does an excellent job of smoothing out road imperfections, making for an extremely relaxing and smooth drive.

Couple that with excellent noise insulation, and the Octavia really is admirable on the road.

High bar

The mild-hybrid system allows the engine to be shut off while coasting
This new Octavia certainly raises the bar from the model that came before. With a sleek new look, ample equipment upgrades, as well as a more efficient and smoother powertrain, the Octavia really does tick all the boxes when it comes to a practical, sensible family sedan.

With this new Octavia, there is an obvious point of comparison against another recently launched car built on the same platform and sharing many of the same mechanical and electronic components - the new Mk 8 Golf.

The new Octavia once again delivers ample car for the money, and elevates itself above the competition
At $130,900 (at time of writing), this new Octavia isn't exactly a steal, but it's very good value for money. You get a good-looking car that boasts ample technology, outrageous boot space, and a very capable and agreeable drive. In fact, while the two are admittedly not the same segment as far as bodystyle is concerned, I think that the Octavia has leapfrogged the Golf as far as the overall proposition it offers, like for like.

The brand has again established the Octavia as the hard to beat value proposition within its segment, and this fourth generation model should prove to continue to be popular among buyers.
Car Information


: -

Engine Type


4-cylinder in-line 16-valve Turbocharged

Engine Cap








250 Nm / 3500 rpm



7-speed (A) DSG

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)



Top Speed



Fuel consumption



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