autoevolution

2020 Skoda Octavia Review

BODY TYPE: Hatchback / Station Wagon
One of the oldest nameplate in the Skoda lineup is the Octavia. Born in 1959, the nameplate died out a couple of decades later, only to be revived as one of the workhorses of the Czech car manufacturer back in 1996.
72 photos
2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury2020 Skoda Octavia Debuts With Hybrid Engines, 200 HP TDI, and More Luxury
Three generations of the model have passed since the revival, and the fourth was presented in the company’s home town in early November 2019. 

The new generation is bigger than what came before it, and brings a host of never-before-used technologies by Skoda in the range, including head-up display, shift-by-wire technology and, most importantly, the first plug-in hybrid. 

For the fourth incarnation, the Octavia will be offered in both hatchback and Combi bodies – the latter is Skoda speak for station wagon. 

1Exterior design & features

As said, the new Octavia is bigger than the one it replaces, for both body styles. The hatchback now measures 19 mm more then before (total 4,689 mm), while the Combi is even more generous, with 22 mm gained in length. 

Other than that, the changes between generations are not all that great. The main things that stand out at the front are the newly reshaped front grille and the reinterpreted headlights, which are now narrower and more aggressive. Skoda spared no expense in making all of the car’s lights shine in LED, from the front ones to the tail, brake and fog lights. 

From the side, the new Octavia shows an elongated roofline for the Combi, while the hatchback has stepped one foot into coupe-territory. Both cars ride on a variety of wheels, sized up to 19 inches.

To make the new car stand out, Skoda mixed three new paints for the model, Crystal Black, Lava Blue and Titanium Blue, and will also throw in a Chrome and a Dynamic visual package.

2Interior design, features
and passenger space

Given the increased exterior dimensions, interior space has gained some volume as well, especially when it comes to cargo space. When talking about the Combi, the space in the trunk gained 30 liters, increasing to a total of 640 liters, while the hatchback, with its 600 liters, is 10 liters roomier than the previous version. 

When it comes to how the new Octavia is perceived by its occupants, it’s important to note the car, for the first time in the Czech lineup, comes with specially-designed Ergo seats complete with massage function. 

The driver is treated with a new, heated two-spoke steering wheel, complete with new control buttons and knurled scroll wheels that allow control over 14 of the car’s functions. The dashboard has been upgraded too, and is adorned by a free-standing central display.

As for materials, Skoda went for new and soft-touch ones, sprinkling chrome here and there, especially on the center console and door trims.

There is also the availability of LED ambient lighting in ten colors and lighting scenarios.

3Gadgets

Borrowing a lot from other cars in the Volkswagen Group, the Octavia was launched with an unprecedented level of gadgetry, including some never before features. Such hardware is the optional head-up display used to relay information about speed, navigation, detected traffic signs and activated driver assistance systems, directly onto the windscreen.

For the Octavia, Skoda cooked up four infotainment systems, with their screens sized between 8.25 and 10 inches. The largest screen goes with the top of the range Columbus system that, for the first time, shows the “navigation system’s maps in a different level of zoom than the 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit.”

The car is always connected thanks to the eSIM it uses, has five USB-C ports, and inductive charging. Other highlights are the Tri-zone Climatronic offered for the first time in the range, and an optional keyless vehicle entry system Skoda likes to call Kessy.

4Performance

The new Octavia, as always, has been built to satisfy the needs of a variety of customers when it comes to the powertrain options. One the table are all the configurations one can think of, save for a fully electric variant. Power outputs range from 100 to 204 ps, and for the first time there is a shift-by-wire technology operating the DSG transmissions. 

Part of the usual range of gasoline engines now comes with a mild-hybrid tech, allowing for improved fuel consumption, while the diesel units have been tweaked into releasing into the air 80 percent less nitrogen oxide than before. 

As with other VAG cars, one of the Octavias is equipped from the factory with a natural gas fuel system. Called G-TEC, this variant can go for 523 km on a single tank of gas at a fraction of the cost for the usual fuel. 

But the biggest news when it comes to the car is the fact that for the first time it is offered as a plug-in hybrid. The Octavia iV uses a 1.4 TSI gasoline engine mated to an electric motor. Coincidently, this is the most powerful car in the new generation, at 204 ps, and it can also drive in full electric mode for up to 55 km (34 miles, as measured under WLTP).

5Safety

The new Octavia comes with the usual complement of safety systems that include, for example, the nine airbags spread throughout the cabin. Some other technologies, like the collision avoidance assist, turn assist, exit warning, and the traffic warning, have been deployed for the first time. 

The car also comes with area view, side assist, and predictive cruise control. These features, and a host of others, make up Skoda’s Travel Assist system.

Separately, although it lacks a self-driving feature, the car is equipped with a tech that checks whether the driver’s hands are on the steering wheel.

6Conclusion

Together with the Superb, the Octavia is one of Skoda’s main products. Since its introduction in 1996 it managed to stay at the top of the sales chart in its segment, at times even beating – if not in terms of sales at least in terms of perception - nameplates belonging to the mother company, like the Golf.

The new generation, the most advanced yet, comes to cement the car’s hold in the segment and, despite not being a revolution compared to what came before it, it will definitely turn heads and empty bank accounts.