Currently reading: New-look Skoda Octavia undercuts rivals at £26,775
Updated family hatchback gets 13.0in infotainment touchscreen and greater sustainability

The new-look Skoda Octavia is now on sale in the UK, priced to undercut the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra and offering the choice of petrol or diesel power.

The updated family car – which introduces a new front-end design, a revamped infotainment system and a more powerful vRS range-topper – can be ordered in four trim levels and two bodystyles: hatchback and estate.

The base trim is SE Technology, priced from £26,775 with the 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine, £28,815 with mild-hybrid assistance and £29,320 with diesel power. The estate body adds around £1000 to the cost, depending on engine and trim. 

Standard kit includes 16in alloy wheels, LED lights at both ends, heated front seats, a 13in touchscreen, a digital driver's display, wireless smartphone mirroring and a charging pad. 

SE L trim bumps the entry price up to £31,250 – adding larger 17in wheels, dynamic indicators, plusher interior upholstery and a raft of extra tech – while fully equipped Sportline trim tops the line-up at £32,255.

The most expensive version of the new Octavia is the Sportline Estate with the mild-hybrid petrol engine, priced at £35,352.

However, that will be superseded by the hot vRS, which will be priced up "at a later date", Skoda said. 

2024 Skoda Octavia: what's new?

The Octavia's new look is distinct from the rest of the Skoda line-up, with more angular LED headlights nestled above a bold crease in the front bumper – said to be a reference to the Czech flag – which is especially pronounced on the vRS range-topper.

The most notable upgrades are inside, where a new 13.0in infotainment touchscreen (shared with the recently updated Volkswagen Golf) has been added as an optional extra.

Regardless of which screen is fitted, ChatGPT artificial intelligence is integrated into the infotainment software’s voice assistant, with Skoda promising flexibility and capabilities “far beyond” its current iteration.


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The options for charging devices have also been upgraded, with the new ‘Phone Box’ providing up to 15W wireless charging – and now with cooling to stop phones overheating. Plus, the USB-C connections now deliver 45W, triple what they provide in the outgoing Octavia.

The three ‘smart dial’ controls introduced on the new Kodiaq and Superb – which provide a physical interface for various functions, such as the air conditioning, sat-nav zoom and drive mode – have not been included, so the only way to adjust the temperature in the new Octavia is to use the touchscreen.

Skoda has placed an emphasis on the use of sustainable materials in the new Octavia: the leather seats featured as part of the Suite upgrade package are tanned using coffee husks, rather than chemical dyes, while the cloth seats featured as part of the Lodge and Sportline interiors are made from recycled fibres.

The ‘Simply Clever’ ice scraper and optional umbrella have also made the switch to more sustainable materials, according to Skoda.

Under the skin, the Octavia’s tweaks are primarily aimed at boosting efficiency. The entry-level 114bhp 1.5-litre powerplant’s turbocharger has been reworked to minimise thermal losses and boost economy. It’s paired with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, but it can be had with a seven-speed dual-clutch box. Going for the auto adds a 48V mild-hybrid system that does not add any additional power or torque but allows the car to coast with the engine completely off – boosting fuel efficiency.

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The 1.5-litre unit can also be had with 148bhp, offering the same combination of manual and auto boxes, with the latter mild-hybridised.

The range-topping vRS gets the same turbocharged 2.0-litre four-pot as the new VW Golf GTI, sending 261bhp and 273lb ft through the front wheels. The lone gearbox option remains the seven-speed auto, after the manual was dropped last year.

The vRS diesel has also been axed, meaning the most powerful Octavia to use the black pump has a 148bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre. It’s also available with 114bhp.

The Octavia 4x4 will not be available at launch, but will return to showrooms in 2025. It uses a detuned version of the vRS engine, sending 201bhp through a seven-speed automatic gearbox.

Charlie Martin

Charlie Martin Autocar
Title: Editorial Assistant, Autocar

As a reporter, Charlie plays a key role in setting the news agenda for the automotive industry. He joined Autocar in July 2022 after a nine-month stint as an apprentice with sister publication, What Car?. He's previously contributed to The Intercooler, and placed second in Hagerty’s 2019 Young Writer competition with a feature on the MG Metro 6R4

He is the proud owner of a Fiat Panda 100HP, and hopes to one day add a lightweight sports car like an Alpine A110 or a Lotus Elise S1 to his collection.

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Peter Cavellini 9 May 2024

But, which brand do you prefer? the VW or the Seat, no longer is Seat seen as the poor man's VW.

scrap 14 February 2024

Why wouldn't Skoda bring the same ergonomic controls to the Octavia as recently introduced elsewhere? These cars are all based on the same architecture so what's the reason? Laziness? Penny-pinching? A cack-handed attempt to offer an upsale opportunity to a Superb or Kodiaq?

VAG says it has learned its lesson from the awful user interface in ID and Golf, but it seems they have not. 

catnip 14 February 2024

The main lesson learned, as far as the Octavia and Golf are concerned, is to just bung in a larger screen. And anyway, shouting about ergonomic controls that are really (maybe) only as good as those being fitted years ago is a rather desperate thing to shout about.

scotty5 14 February 2024

Personally I can't see anyone who want's an Octavia paying many £££'s extra for a Kodiaq or Superb just to have a control knob for the temperature. I certainly wouldn't. But I can't understand this facination with knobs.?

The volume control was always stupid complaint. I increase or decrease the volume using the button on the steering wheel therefore can't understand the issue.

Temperature - I rarely ever touch the temperature. I have it set to 21C and let the system auto maintain it.

So in mid winter when it's freezing outside, inside my car is 21. In high summer when it's boiling outside, my car is 21. I quite like my car being at 21C - why do I want keep changing the temp inside the car?

Marc 14 February 2024
But I can't understand this fascination with knobs.?

Take it you're straight then?

Just Saying 15 February 2024
So to be clear, what temperature do you set you cabin Scotty5?
I'll stick my neck out here, the name, Skoda still has zero appeal to most.
I actually jumped to the comments before reading the article!
lukeski 15 February 2024

I take your point scotty, but sometimes i get in the car and i am cold and really need to warm up. Or get in the car with lots of clothes on and can't be bothered to take them up. Or me feet are wet and need drying out so needs redirecting. Or clear the scheme, or the dog is hot in the back, so i find quite a lot of reasons to change the settings.