2020 Skoda Octavia – Features, Design and Interior. Skoda’s global best-seller, the Octavia, has been redesigned for its fourth generation, bringing in a range of new technology and the model’s first plug-in hybrid.
Skoda calls the Octavia its “heart and engine” – more than six million have been produced since 1996 – and the new Mk4 version is said to build on the existing car’s strengths with more interior space, better functionality and higher levels of safety and comfort. It’ll go on sale in hatchback and estate forms in the second half of 2020, with customer deliveries starting soon after.
The Octavia’s exterior design has been brought into line with Skoda’s latest non-SUV models, the Scala and updated Superb. The front end takes inspiration from the Scala, with the old car’s split headlight design ditched in favour of redesigned units with standard-fit LED tech (full-matrix LEDs optional). LED tail-lights also feature.
A lower roofline is claimed to give the hatchback a more coupé-like stance and aerodynamic efficiency is said to be greatly improved on both the hatch and estate.
At just under 4.69m long in both bodystyles, it’s 19mm longer than the outgoing hatch and 22mm longer than the old estate. It’s also 15mm wider than both. That means 30 litres more boot space for the estate and 10 more for the saloon – and even more generous passenger room. Both cars can be had with new paint finishes and optional Chrome or Dynamic trim detail packages.
The interior takes a more substantial step forward, not just in technology but also, Skoda claims, in perceived quality. A variety of soft-touch materials aims to lift the cabin’s appeal, as does multi-colour ambient lighting. Optional ‘Ergo’ seats are described as being “particularly back friendly”, with a massaging function and seat ventilation on top models for the first time.
The dashboard is dominated by a free-standing touchscreen display that measures 8.25in or 10.0in, depending on spec, and Skoda has introduced gesture control and an advanced voice-controlled digital assistant called Laura.
A redesigned 10.25in Virtual Cockpit is available on certain trims, as is a new head-up display. The model also includes a built-in eSIM for always-on connectivity. Like the Scala, the Octavia uses only the latest USB-C connections. Wireless charging is also offered. Three-zone climate control makes its debut, too, as does optional acoustic window glass. Further tech includes an enlarged suite of driver assistance features, such as an enhanced predictive cruise control and predictive pedestrian and cyclist protection.
The new Octavia shares its underpinnings with the recently revealed Mk8 Golf. This means a reworked version of the MQB platform and an engine line-up that includes both mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid options. The basic range kicks off with a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol engine, putting out 108bhp. A 148bhp 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol is also available. Both can be had in mild-hybrid form, with near-identical performance but claimed efficiency gains.
The flagship petrol engine for now is a 187bhp non-hybrid 2.0-litre TSI with all-wheel drive and a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Just one diesel, in three states of tune, will be offered initially: a 2.0-litre unit with 197bhp, 148bhp and 114bhp. The 197bhp version will offer the most torque, 295lb ft, and be all-wheel drive and DSG only, achieving 0-62mph in 7.1sec. There will be no mild-hybrid diesels at launch.
However, a plug-in hybrid petrol option will be available for the first time in the Octavia. It’s powered by a 1.4-litre engine and a 101bhp electric motor – via a six-speed DSG gearbox – for a combined 201bhp, a 34-mile all-electric range and 0-62mph in 7.9sec.
No economy figures are quoted. The boot capacity in the plug-in hybrid reduces substantially, though, to 450 litres in the hatch and 490 in the estate. The Mk4 Octavia also includes a new-to-Skoda innovation of a shift-by-wire DSG gearbox.
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