Skoda’s new family hatchback has grown in size and is on sale in the UK later this month; vRS models are due in the summer
5 March 2013

This is the new Skoda Octavia, the third generation of the firm’s successful family hatchback. Revealed at the Geneva motor show, it’s larger than before and is claimed to provide class-leading interior space.

Based on the stretched version of the Volkswagen Group’s new MQB platform, the Octavia is now 4659mm long, an increase of 90mm over its predecessor. Width is up by 45mm to 1814mm, but the real gain is in the wheelbase, which has grown by 108mm to 2686mm. 

The enlarged size keeps the Octavia in its unusual position of being larger than its perceived rivals (VW Golf, Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra) but not as big as a car from the class above. It’s 125mm shorter than a Ford Mondeo, for example. 

The new Octavia has what Skoda claims is class-leading interior space, with 1782mm of interior length, and increased head, knee and legroom for front and rear passengers. Boot space is also up, albeit by just five litres to 590. It’s still the largest in its class, easily beating the Golf’s 380 litres. 

The entry-level engine is a 1.4 TSI with 120bhp and 147lb ft. There is also a more powerful 1.4 with 138bhp and 184lb ft. Initially, the range-topping petrol model will be the 1.8 TSI, with 177bhp and 184lb ft. A few months after launch, the 2.0-litre turbo engine from the Golf GTI will be introduced in a hot new Octavia vRS. 

The diesels kick off with a 103bhp 1.6, and there’s a frugal 108bhp Greenline version of the 1.6 that returns a claimed 83mpg and emits 89g/km of CO2. Two 2.0 TDIs are also on offer, with 147bhp and 181bhp.

The vRS will surface next July at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. As with the current Octavia, both petrol and diesel vRS models will be offered.

Six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearboxes will be available, and it’s thought that the DSG has been redesigned to take higher torque outputs. 

An estate will join the range next May, and four-wheel-drive models, including a rugged Scout, will arrive in 2014. 

Inside, the new dashboard is much crisper than today’s, and the Golf-based architecture is obvious. There’s a touchscreen multimedia system, keyless start and entry and plenty of small, clever touches, such as rubbish bins in the doors and a reversible boot floor, with carpet on one side and rubber on the other. Higher equipment levels include a lane departure warning system and a pop-up bonnet to improve pedestrian safety.

The new Octavia will go on sale next March. Prices are set to rise slightly compared with the current range, which starts at about £14,000.

Click here for more Geneva motor show 2013 news.

Dan Stevens

Our Verdict

Skoda Octavia 2004-2013

The Skoda Octavia is a dependable, quality car which is comfortable and pleasant to drive

Join the debate


11 December 2012

"The enlarged size keeps the Octavia in its unusual position of being larger than its perceived rivals (VW GolfFord FocusVauxhall Astra) but not as big as a car from the class above. It’s 125mm shorter than a Ford Mondeo, for example. "

Although it is still shorter than a Mondeo, the fact that it is now longer than a Toyota Avensis makes it a Mondeo class car to me.

11 December 2012

Handsome car. There is much to be said about the 'simple, straight to the consumer' approach and Skoda really do it better than anyone.


Probably won't win any dynamic, style or performance prizes (fingers crossed for the vRS though), but practicality, reliability and customer satisfaction will be nailed. In such a crowded marketplace, it's surprising how few cars of this size offer that kind of substance amongst the tech-wizadry and creative designs. I'm all for this being another success for Skoda.



11 December 2012

I like it. It looks clean and purposeful. Interesting that the base engine is a 1.4 and not a 1.2.

11 December 2012

Looks a lot like, let me guess, the old Octavia. A bit bigger, it seems. The grill is new. The head lights are squarer. Ah. The exteriror changes stop just about here. The interior seems to have had a decent upgrade though. I am sure it suffices to say that most of the changes are hidden from sight. For instance it's based on the VW's new MQB platform which is lighter therefore must be more efficient.

11 December 2012

fadyady wrote:

Looks a lot like, let me guess, the old Octavia. A bit bigger, it seems. The grill is new. The head lights are squarer. Ah. The exteriror changes stop just about here.

It's a new version of an already existing car therefore it is unlikely to be revolutionary.. but if you can't see any changes beyond a new grille and headlights then I'm not sure what you're doing on a car website?!

The interior is very nice, better than the Golf with it's wonky dash IMO.

11 December 2012

From many angles it has a hint of A4 about it.

A nice looking car from the part of VW which actually makes peoples cars. 

We'll see many of these around.  Looking forward to the estate.

11 December 2012

Looks really upmarket, they are definetly pitching this higher than the outgoing Octavia. Perhaps not up to the same levels of quality the Golf/ A3 offer but certainly above the Leon and other manufacturers in that class. Not just a taxi now, suspect they'll swap to the Rapid! Guess at that size it must be thereabouts the same as the VW Jetta? Wonder if SEAT will use this as a basis to replace the Exeo.


11 December 2012

Maybe, this looks more useful than a Golf. Can impage the vRS petrol as desirable and useful. 

11 December 2012

In the front it is the previous generation A3 especially in the headlights.

Inside it is typical VW Jetta spec. I hope the quality is better than that though.

All of the middle class cars like mondeo insignia etc are way bigger than this, especially in the back seats.

Wouldn't buy it to be honest. Too simple and looks like a rapid. Even the dash looks like the rapid on top. Not nearly as complete as the older octavias...Sorry...


11 December 2012

VW is still insisting in their dumb and boring designs "clean and simple" LOL! lazyness.... that wath their design boss have... I would buy the new Dacia instead of that 8cTVya!!! no, serious, I wouldnt buy that skoda... the current gen looks better than this one...


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