Car of the Year 2020: Skoda Octavia

The Auto Express Car of the Year for 2020 is the Skoda Octavia

To be crowned Auto Express Car of the Year, any vehicle has to have a special blend of talents that set it apart from not only rivals in its class – seeing it crowned a category champion – but also all of the award-winners from the different sectors we judge. The Skoda Octavia is that car.

There’ll be a plug-in hybrid version joining the range in time, but the Octavia also proves that a pure-combustion engine vehicle still has the ability to be brilliant.

A range of efficient petrol and diesel engines means there’s lots of choice, while even the relatively high-spec trims on offer at the moment, shortly after the Octavia went on sale, still have the Czech brand’s trademark focus on value, offering lots of practicality at an affordable price.

Yet it’s clear Skoda has an eye on the future, and the tech in this Octavia will underpin the model’s success for years to come. That’s because there are more semi-autonomous driver-assistance systems, with tech that should allow the Octavia and its platform to be further developed to offer more of these features in the future as legislation changes.

Here and now, the updated infotainment is excellent, with plenty of connectivity and clever tech, such as the smart climate-control feature and up to five USB-C points to keep gadgets charged. Skoda knows this will be a car people depend on, and such kit is what modern families are after.

Space is another key commodity it has vast reserves of, in either hatch or estate forms, hence both versions winning awards already. This shows how versatile the car is and that, pretty much, there’s an Octavia for everyone. A hot vRS will join the range soon, with petrol, diesel and plug-in powertrains.

But the Octavia hasn’t won for the models in the pipeline. It’s claimed overall victory for its mix of real-world attributes that car buyers want. It combines space and practicality with affordability and efficiency, tech and kit with refinement, comfort and solid driving dynamics, a new-found premium feel with robust, solid build quality and bags of usability. It’s a brilliant all-rounder; it’s our brilliant Car of the Year for 2020.

New Car Awards 2020: the winners

Recommended

Cheapest cars to run 2022
cheapest cars to run hero
Best cars & vans

Cheapest cars to run 2022

When it comes to total cost of ownership, cut-price entry models aren’t always the best. So what are the cheapest cars to run?
19 May 2022
Audi A3 review
Audi A3
Audi A3

Audi A3 review

Subtle exterior design and a tech-laden interior help the Audi A3 maintain its position as a premium family hatchback
12 May 2022
Top 10 cheapest cars on sale 2022
Cheapest cars - header image
Best cars & vans

Top 10 cheapest cars on sale 2022

Not looking to splash the cash and in need of a new car bargain? Then look no further as we list the cheapest cars on sale in the UK right now  
12 May 2022
Best new cars coming in 2022
Best new cars coming in 2022 - header image
Best cars & vans

Best new cars coming in 2022

From electric crossovers to hatchbacks, these are the new models set for debut in 2022
5 Apr 2022

Most Popular

Best motorhomes 2022: the top 5 picks for all budgets
Chausson motorhome
Tips & advice

Best motorhomes 2022: the top 5 picks for all budgets

In the market for a new motorhome? Here are our top-five recommendations...
18 May 2022
New all-electric Volkswagen Aero B saloon to rival Tesla Model 3
Volkswagen Aero B exclusive image - front
Volkswagen

New all-electric Volkswagen Aero B saloon to rival Tesla Model 3

The new four-door VW Aero B EV could come with up to 435 miles of range and our exclusive images preview how it could look
20 May 2022
New Kia Niro EV prototype review
Kia Niro EV  prototype - front
Kia Niro

New Kia Niro EV prototype review

We get behind the wheel of a pre-production prototype version of the 201bhp Kia Niro EV
22 May 2022