Publication date: 19 May 2024
Skoda Octavia Estate

Skoda Octavia Estate

New heart, old soul

Review - The Octavia is the heart of Skoda's range. The Octavia is neither big nor small, but right in between. And the Octavia forms the heart because its name has been around since 1956. For the 2024 model year, that iconic model has been revamped.

In its long existence, the Octavia has always stayed true to the original concept: offering lots of functionality at a fair price. The Octavia therefore has the exterior dimensions of a mid-size car, but the price of a mid-size car. While doing so, the Octavia moves with the times.

Skoda Octavia Estate

For the 2024 model year, the exterior has been updated with new front and rear lights. This not only makes the Octavia appear wider, they also offer additional functionality. The beam is made up of 36 elements (was 24), allowing objects to be highlighted even more precisely. Minor adjustments to the lower bumper ensure that the streamline has been improved, which benefits comfort (driving noise) and fuel consumption. The modified lower edge of the rear bumper also provides just a little better guidance of the driving wind.


The cabin space remains the Octavia's strongest point. This is because the car is not only larger than the competition, but also manages to maximise that size. This is particularly noticeable in the rear, where head and legroom are excellent. Like every Skoda, the Octavia offers several clever features that make the car barely more expensive, but much more practical. Examples include an umbrella in the front doors, a (movable) waste bin in the doors, a storage compartment with cup holders on the floor in front of the rear seats, a phone holder on the back of the front seats (now also with sport seats) and a movable barrier in the boot.

Skoda Octavia Estate
Skoda Octavia Estate

From model year 2024, the cabin makes much more use of recycled materials. For example, the seats are upholstered in a fabric extracted from PET bottles. In the case of leather upholstery, it is coloured with coffee bean husks. A decorative panel on the dashboard has an uneven pattern because of the new raw materials. However, this does not look shabby, but instead gives a unique look, as if it were "grey marble". In the simpler versions, the plastic on the dashboard is partly replaced by grey fabric and, as far as the editors are concerned, that looks even more chic than the black plastic!


A display behind the steering wheel is standard. However, its options vary greatly from one version to another. Basically, round clocks are always shown and the user can additionally display data from the trip computer and audio system. Only on the more expensive versions can the layout be switched and instructions from the sat nav can also be displayed on the screen behind the steering wheel. Skoda proudly reports that the sat nav can now report hazards on the route based on user data. However, navigation apps on smartphones have been doing that for years!

„The main innovation is in the 1.5 TSI engine“

Skoda's smart assistant "Laura" is now available in the Octavia. Again, compared to a smartphone, Laura is not very smart. Her knowledge is limited to cabin climate, audio and navigation. A substantial expansion of knowledge through integration with ChatGPT has been announced, but was not yet available at the time of test driving.

Skoda Octavia Estate

The main reason for revamping the Octavia right now is the European Union's obligation to significantly expand safety features. Skoda interprets these rules less strictly and gives the driver some leeway. Apart from a single misinterpreted traffic sign (for an exit or parallel road), the new features are therefore experienced as useful and not a nuisance. Only when the driver is really speeding or acting more than carelessly, warnings sound.

Highway behaviour

The handling has not been updated for model year 2024. However, at this very point, the Octavia has been perceived as outdated. Compared to more recent competitors, the Octavia offers a slightly less favourable combination of comfort and dynamics. The feedback between driver and mechanics also lags slightly behind the competition. This is precisely why the updated Octavia steers slightly heavier than before (not documented, but confirmed by Skoda engineers).

Three cars were used for this test ("1.5 TSI 85 kW Essence", "1.5 TSI 85 kW mild hybrid Sportline", "1.5 TSI 110 kW mild hybrid Selection"). All three cars had rattles on bad road surfaces.

Skoda Octavia Estate


From model year 2024, the three-cylinder 1.0 TSI engine has been replaced by a four-cylinder 1.5-litre one. This seems illogical because a smaller engine by definition is more efficient than a large one. However, Skoda can work more economic by using the 1.5 TSI engine in more models. Therefore, budget was freed up to refine the 1.5 TSI and make it more fuel-efficient, so that it still ends up consuming less than the 1.0.

This was achieved, among other things, with cylinder deactivation and mild hybrid technology. When the electronics detect a car ahead or uses the sat nav to notice that a speed limit is approaching, a suggestion appears on the screen to release the accelerator. From that moment, kinetic energy is converted into electricity and the car brakes using the engine. Although the request to let go of the accelerator sometimes seems to appear too early, in practice the electronics are extremely accurate and, for example, the Octavia rolls nicely into a village at 50 km/h from an open road.

Skoda Octavia Estate

In practice, the difference between the engine with and without mild-hybrid is clearly noticeable. At low revs, the hybrid offers much more smoothness. In the city, this makes for more comfort and at intermediate sprints on the motorway for more punch.

The difference between the 85 kW and 110 kW versions of the 1.5 TSI engine is less pronounced in practice. When driving calmly with the flow of traffic, the difference is nil. Only when more power is demanded does the difference become apparent. For instance, in mountainous areas, the weaker version imperceptibly loses speed on a slope (tip: this is prevented in Sport mode, because the revs are artificially increased). On the contrary, the stronger version performs effortlessly and is therefore perceived as more comfortable.

The same route was driven with all three variants, consisting of motorways and inner roads (hardly any city traffic). The 85 kW version without mild-hybrid recorded the highest consumption: 5.1 litres per 100 km. The hybrid needed 4.5 litres per 100 km for the same route (consumption is the same regardless of power).

Skoda Octavia Estate


The Octavia is at the heart of Skoda's offering because of its long history and dimensions. That very model has been revamped for the 2024 model year. This was prompted by European Union requirements. Safety features had to be expanded and Skoda has shaped this in such a way that it does not bother the driver and only assists when necessary. As new technology has become available from the parent company (Volkswagen) since the model was introduced in 2020, the opportunity has been taken to modernise the equipment too.

The main innovation is in the 1.5 TSI engine. It replaces the 1.0 TSI and, thanks to mild-hybrid technology, delivers noticeably better performance and more agility at lower consumption. This new heart provides the biggest gain, while the familiar concept of lots of functionality for little money has remained.

  • Spacious and functional
  • Sophisticated ergonomics
  • Strong, smooth and relatively economical 1.5 TSI engine
  • Test cars not free of rattles