In-depth reviews

Skoda Octavia review - Interior, design and technology

With a sharp exterior design and improved on-board tech, the Octavia looks and feels a lot more upmarket.

Skoda has introduced a smarter, more stylish look for the fourth-generation Octavia. The revised grille and new standard LED headlights are complemented by sharper creases running along the side panels, while the previous square-style taillights have been redesigned to include slimmer LED units. The Czech manufacturer has also succumbed to the current badging trend of placing its name in wide script across the boot, although it certainly adds to an overall classier feel.

Inside, the materials are of a quality to compete with the Volkswagen Golf and there’s a good level of standard kit. The entry-level SE First Edition includes 16-inch alloy wheels, a leather-trimmed multi-function steering wheel, cruise control, climate control and rear parking sensors, along with upgraded infotainment tech.

The SE Technology trim adds sat-nav and front parking sensors, while the SE L and SE L First Edition cars feature upgraded Microsuede upholstery, heated seats, rear privacy glass, power-folding mirrors, adaptive cruise control and electric adjustment controls for the driver’s seat.

Sporty vRS models get 19-inch alloy wheels, full LED Matrix headlights, LED rear lights, black vRS sports upholstery with red stitching, Canton premium sound system, Dynamic Chassis Control, head-up display, panoramic sunroof and a motion sensor for opening the boot.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The infotainment is one area where the Octavia has really moved on. SE L First Edition trim features a 10-inch touchscreen with some significant changes. There’s no volume knob, with a slider function located beneath the screen allowing you to adjust the level. This works okay, and at least you can tap the slider to a point for your desired volume.

There are also no physical climate dials, with the left and right temperature controls integrated into the bottom of the touchscreen. There’s an advanced climate-controlled function to warm your feet or cool your face, but you can still set everything up manually, too.

The menus are well laid out, the screen response is good, and the graphics are sharp. You also get lots of kit, with sat-nav, Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay, but no wireless charging option. The standard digital dash is a plus point and, overall, the digital approach is a positive step, but could be better with a few analogue touches.

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