Plug-in hybrid Skoda Octavia iV set for UK launch next month

Plug-in version of latest Skoda Octavia will go on sale in November, with a maximum electric range of 43 miles and a starting price of £30,765

Skoda has expanded the new Octavia line-up again with the new plug-in hybrid powered iV variant. The new powertrain sits towards the upper end of the standard family car’s line-up, with a starting price of £30,765. It’ll be available to order from the 3 November in both hatchback and estate body styles.

Within the new Octavia line-up buyers have their choice of four trim-levels. There’s SE First Edition, SE Technology, SE L First Edition and a vRS variant with three powerful engine options - a turbocharged petrol, diesel and a plug-in hybrid petrol. An entry-level S model will also be introduced later this year.

Like the previous-generation Octavia, buyers also have their choice of either a hatchback or estate body style. Prices for the former start from £22,390, while the latter variant has a starting price of £23,370.

Skoda Octavia estate prototype review

Standard equipment for the Octavia SE First Edition includes 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and rear parking sensors. Inside, buyers get dual-zone air conditioning, a leather steering wheel, five USB-C ports, a 10.25-inch digital instrument binnacle and an 8.25-inch infotainment system with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Prices for the SE L First Edition start from £25,150. Upgrades over the SE include 17-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, headlight washers and a smattering of chrome trim. Interior improvements stretch to microsuede upholstery, heated front seats, a 10-colour LED ambient lighting system and a larger 10-inch touchscreen.

Between these two variants sits the Skoda Octavia SE Technology, which has been designed predominantly for business customers. It adds a unique set of 16-inch alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors and a 10-inch infotainment system with integrated sat-nav. Prices start from £22,640.

New 2020 Skoda Octavia: drivetrain and chassis

Skoda’s latest addition to the Octavia powertrain range is the new plug-in hybrid iV variant – marking the first time the Czech brand has fitted the technology to the Octavia. The system comprises a 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor for a combined output of 201bhp and 350Nm torque.

The electric motor is fed by a lithium-ion battery pack with a 13kWh capacity – and Skoda claims that the newcomer is capable of 34 miles on battery power alone under WLTP testing. The powertrain also boasts fuel economy figures of between 188.3–282.5mpg and claimed CO2 emissions of between 22–33g/km.

A six-speed automatic gearbox will be fitted as standard and Skoda says the Octavia iV’s battery pack will take 3.5 hours to fully recharge using a domestic wall-box charger. It won’t be offered as a separate model either – this plug-in option will be available on all but the base S grade car and the off-road inspired Octavia Scout.

The rest of the Octavia’s line-up comprises a familiar range of petrol and diesel engines. The entry-level powertrain is a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, which is paired with a dinky 48-volt lithium-ion battery pack and a belt-driven starter-alternator, to generate a combined output of 108bhp.

Fuel economy figures are yet to be confirmed, but Skoda says the engine produces just 115g/km of CO2. The company also says that the unit’s con rods are so well engineered that it doesn’t need a balancing shaft to offset the uneven rotation of the engine – which is unusual for a three-cylinder engine.

Between the 1.0-litre unit and the flagship vRS models sits the Volkswagen Group’s ubiquitous 148bhp 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, which sends power to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox as standard.

Two diesel units are also available, both belonging to the Volkswagen Group’s EA288 family of turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines. The entry-level model will be priced from £23,300 and generate 113bhp, while the more potent model will start from £29,515 and produce 148bhp. A 197bhp variant of the same engine will be available later this year.

The new Octavia is also available with optional Dynamic Chassis Control. Delve within the individual drive modes and the driver can now change parameters such as the suspension, damping, steering and the responsiveness of the DSG automatic gearbox to suit their individual preferences. Optional sports suspension, lowered by 15mm, and a rough road chassis option providing 15mm additional ground clearance, can also be specified.

New 2020 Skoda Octavia: design and interior

Design wise, the latest Octavia has grown ever so slightly. The hatchback is 19mm longer than before, while the estate is 22mm longer. Both cars are 15mm wider – and, as a result, practicality has improved too. The boot of the hatchback grows to 600 litres, with the Octavia Estate now fielding a 640-litre cargo area.

Skoda’s design choices for the new Octavia echo the company’s latest styling language. The front end looks and features LED headlights as standard, but there’s a clear visual nod to the previous generation Octavia. Changes at the rear are more dramatic, though – the square taillights have been replaced by thinner, wider LED units while, like the Scala, the badge has been replaced by Skoda lettering on the boot.

Four centrally mounted infotainment systems are available. The base setup is an 8.25-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Three ten-inch displays of varying functionality are offered optionally, adding features such as navigation, additional apps, voice control, gesture control and the new slider function on the range-topping Columbus infotainment unit. 

The interior moves further upmarket with the introduction of new softer touch plastics and chrome trim elements. Massage seats are also available for the first time, as is an optional head-up display, plus three-zone climate control and full LED matrix headlights.

Safety and driver assistance features swell to include collision avoidance assistance, steering assistance and predictive cruise control, which works alongside updated versions of traffic sign recognition, lane keep assist and traffic jam assist.

As with all Skodas, the brand has kitted the Octavia out with several trademark ‘Simply Clever’ features as standard. Alongside typical touches such as an ice scraper in the fuel filler cap and a convenient ticket holder on the driver’s side A-pillar, the new Octavia features a handy AdBlue nozzle for diesel variants and a new ‘Sleep’ package, consisting of larger, more comfortable headrests for the rear seats, stowed blankets and sun blinds.

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