Skoda Octavia (2013 - 2020) review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
It's pretty simple. If you need more space than the Octavia offers, buy a van...
The current generation Skoda Octavia is much bigger than the previous model, and the ‘Simply Clever’ marketing line attached to the car is not just spin, it actually rings true.
Skoda has been sensible with the interior of the Octavia, and there are plenty of storage spaces and cubbies. There are cup holders, boot holders, a reversible boot floor, umbrellas in the front doors, a litter bin and even an ice scraper hidden inside the fuel filler flap – these little touches all add to the Skoda Octavia's sensible and practical appeal.
But it’s comfortable too. All models have a steering wheel that’s adjustable for height and reach, and the driver’s seat has plenty of adjustment. Forward visibility is good, but you are likely to rely on the parking sensors at the rear, as there’s quite an overhang to contend with. If you’re opting for the estate version, you’ll be in load-lugging heaven – its interior is cavernous.
The Skoda Octavia boasts more interior space than a Volkswagen Golf or Ford Focus. In fact, it can match larger cars such as the Ford Mondeo and Volkswagen Passat for practicality. It's a real selling point for the Octavia, and one that attracts a lot of potential buyers
Car group tests
- Volkswagen Golf vs Skoda Octavia: 2023 twin test review
- Peugeot 308 SW vs Skoda Octavia Estate: 2022 twin test review
- Skoda Octavia vRS (Mk1, 2000-2006) icon review
- New Skoda Octavia iV 2021 review
- New Skoda Octavia vRS 2021 review
- New Skoda Octavia e-TEC 2021 review
Used car tests
So how do they actually measure up? Well the 4,670mm long Octavia five-door hatch gives only 20cms away to the Ford Mondeo five-door, but is 40cms longer than the five-door VW Golf. Switch to the estate and the numbers are the same for the Octavia and Mondeo, but VW hits back by giving its Golf estate a longer body than the hatch – it’s almost identical to the Octavia at 4,657mm.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
The Octavia’s interior is cavernous, offering the sort of leg and headroom for passengers that you’d expect in the class above. No wonder the model has been a perennial favourite with mini-cabbers. The rear doors open wide too, and SE L spec cars even get cupholders in the back.
The Octavia hatch has a huge 590-litre boot that expands to 1,580 litres with the rear seats folded flat. The estate can handle 610 litres with the seats still in place, but really comes into its own with the 60:40 split rear bench folded flat – suddenly you’re in the removals business, with a remarkable 1,740-litres.
But it’s not just the space that impresses. The ‘Simply Clever’ thinking means the boots of both hatch and estate feature shopping bag hooks, a 12 volt power supply and a pair of bright load bay lights – just the thing when you need to unpack the boot to change a flat tyre in the dark (it's worth noting that a space-saver spare wheel is an option, though). The estate also features a secure storage area under a removable deck, there’s a ski flap in the rear bench and you can also spend extra on a powered tailgate.
The versatile Octavia will tow up to 2,000kg, but if that far exceeds your towing needs, there are alternatives limited to as little as 1,500kg. If you do need the maximum amount, then the you need to opt for either the 148bhp or 181bhp 2.0-litre diesels, with four-wheel drive and DSG gearbox.
In this review
- 1VerdictThe Skoda Octavia is a subtle alternative to the Volkswagen Golf that offers more space and better value
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe engine range is impressively efficient, and the Octavia is more fun than it looks
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsImpressive economy is one of the Octavia diesel's strengths
- 4Interior, design and technologyRestrained and sensible styling wraps up a full house of technology options
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingIt's pretty simple. If you need more space than the Octavia offers, buy a van...
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe Skoda Octavia has an enviable reputation for reliability, and a five-star Euro NCAP rating