Skoda Octavia SE L

First Edition

Skoda Octavia (1)
Skoda Octavia, 2020, front, action
Skoda Octavia, front
Skoda Octavia, front
Skoda Octavia, front
Skoda Octavia, front
Skoda Octavia, rear
Skoda Octavia, rear
Skoda Octavia, rear
Skoda Octavia, rear
Skoda Octavia, rear
Skoda Octavia, interior
Skoda Octavia, boot

THE automated voice control on my new Skoda Octavia must have felt left out of the conversation between myself and my wife.

Because during our drives Laura - as the disembodied robotic system is officially known - would regularly cut in for no apparent reason with "how can I help you".

It's a system that works well when you need it and Laura will carry out any number of commands from increasing the car's temperature to changing the radio station simply by you saying the magic words "Okay Laura" followed by an activation command.

But we clearly had a rogue female on board who had too much to say without being prompted.

Our Laura apart, however, the latest Octavia is a car it's hard not to like.

As the best selling model in the Skoda range the new, fourth generation version had to be right and it certainly is.

It's instantly identifiable as an Octavia but has changed and improved dramatically.

It's bolder, more elegant and certainly more dynamic in appearance thanks to the new coupe-like styling.

It's also 19mm longer and 15mm wider than its predecessor which means an already spacious car now offers even more room for passenger.

And while Octavias have always been renowned for having a capacious boot the new one gets an extra 10 litres of luggage room taking the total to 600 litres.

The car driven here, the 1.5-litre Octavia SE L, is expected to be the range's best seller with an on-the-road price of £25,150.

The 155ps engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox delivers punchy performance if you're happy to wind up the revs and boasts a top speed of 142 miles per hour and 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds. At the same time over a week's motoring I averaged just over 48 miles per gallon.

The interior of the new Octavia has now moved very much up-market with the seats upholstered in a good-looking, hard wearing warm to the touch suede finish.

The same material is used to excellent effect on the dashboard, finally getting away from plastic look of previous generation models. And the black is lightened by the clever use of brushed aluminium inserts.

The front seats are heated, the driver's is electrically adjustable and comes with three memory settings and ambient lighting offers a choice of 30 colours with the option of having different colours on the doors and dashboard to that of the footwells.

The Octavia is the first Skoda to get a new multi-level dashboard as well as a newly designed two-spoke steering wheel ensuring a better view of the car's dials and the virtual cockpit.

Many of the other onboard features are accessed via a 10-inch central display screen which also features the satellite navigation system.

By while this is easy to use the writing on each of the buttons in the row beneath it is much too small to absorb with a quick glance while you're driving.

One the road the new Octavia is quiet, refined and has a nice positive feel to it. The ride is spot on with the suspension just firm enough to let you push on with vigour when you want to without any nasty surprises and a chassis that strikes a nice balance between comfort and control.

The car is also sophisticated enough to offer you a choice of four selectable driving modes - eco, normal, sport and an individual choice of settings - so at the flick of a button you can change it to suit your mood.

And cleverly in an a move to increase fuel consumption this Octavia shuts down part of the engine by switching from four to two cylinders when you are cruising along on a light throttle, even at motorway speeds.

Being a Skoda you also still get the simply clever features the company is renowned for like an umbrella in the driver's door, an integrated funnel in the window washer bottle to prevent spillage and - among the most useful of all - retractable hooks for shopping bags in the boot.

Safety features include everything from adaptive lane assist and adaptive cruise control to blind spot detection and hill start assist.

With the Octavia SE L First Edition you get an awful lot of car for your money with a nice balance of performance, refinement and economy.


Skoda Octavia SE L First Edition

Price: £25,150

Mechanical: 150bhp, 1,498cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 142mph

0-62mph: 8.2 seconds

Combined MPG: 50.4

Insurance Group: 19

C02 emissions: 127g/km

Bik rating: 30%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles


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